Saturday, September 22, 2007

Blue-White Roundtable (Michigan Week)

If you're looking for my Blue-White Roundtable answers they can be found here:

The Nittany Notebook

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

My Top 25 Week One

1. Southern Cal
2. LSU
3. West Virginia
4. Wisconsin
5. Oklahoma
6. Virginia Tech
7. Louisville
8. Texas
10. Penn State
11. Georgia
12. Nebraska
13. Ohio State
14. Florida
15. Texas A&M
16. Arkansas
17. Missouri
18. Auburn
19. Georgia Tech
20. Clemson
21. Oregon
22. Hawaii
23. South Florida
24. TCU
25. Tennessee

19. Georgia Tech
20. Clemson

Dropped Out:
5. Michigan
25. Florida State

I Hate Notre Dame

photo©Will Dorsey, Boston College

That’s the simple truth. Sorry to any Domers that read this. Not all ND fans are bad people. One of my friends is a subway alum and I end up giving him more crap about ND than he gives me about Penn State. But the overwhelming majority of Notre Dame fans are arrogant unknowledgeable fools. Most non-ND fans know this but it goes to a whole new level when you’ve lived in one of the biggest hot beds of Irish supporters.

I’m from Scranton, PA and Northeastern Pennsylvania has to be one of the largest outposts of ND fans. The thing is 95% of them, and that might be being a bit kind, didn’t graduate from Notre Dame. I’d guess the vast majority of them have never been to South Bend. It’s these “my-granddaddy-was-Irish-so-I-root-for-ND” that are the worst. They are the ones that have created the arrogant ND fan stereotype. I almost feel bad for the actual ND alumni who have to put up with these jokers that make the entire fan base look bad.

It was bad in the early ’90s. It’s even worse now. The blind loyalty to Charlie Weis. The supposed “return to glory.” It’s all sickening. Notre Dame isn’t back. If the Irish are “back” they certainly have no intention of returning to where they were during the Lou Holtz era. I’d hardly call a two year stretch where your best win is against a Penn State team that went 9-4 (and don’t kid yourself, that’s it their biggest, I defy anyone to beat it) being “back.”

I can’t wait for Saturday night. I’ve waited a year for this. I remember thinking as ND went up 41-3 during last year’s match up, “Damn I can’t wait until next year and the shoe is on the other foot.” Last year Penn State had the inexperienced team playing a much more experienced ND team. This year Notre Dame returns little experience and Penn State has the experience and home-field advantage. And with Jimmy Clausen starting, it’s going to be rough for the Irish.

I’ll have a more in-depth preview up tomorrow but for now a score prediction:

Penn State 41, Notre Dame 10

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Blue-White Roundtable

Which is worse: having your parachute fail to open while skydiving or losing to Appalachian State?
Losing to Appalachian State. At least if your parachute doesn’t open people will pity you, or at the very least their first response won’t be uncontrollable laughter (as mine was upon hearing the final score). Or in a worst case scenario you’re dead. Assuming you die on impact that has to be relatively painless. Losing this game will haunt Michigan fans for years, perhaps even decades. Maybe forever. There will be no relief from this one for a long time. I honestly don’t know how I could deal with myself after a loss like that. That is the kind of game that makes you question yourself as a fan.

Is it too early to worry about the running game?
Yes. Remember the pitiful run game against Akron last season. Tony Hunt only had 36 yards on 14 carries and everyone was ready to panic. And that was with a third-year starter. I think we need to be patient. Austin Scott hadn’t carried the ball in a real game in more than a year and a half. Rodney Kinlaw has never been anything more than a change of pace back. Evan Royster was playing in his first collegiate game. Considering Kinlaw and Royster nearly each outperformed the team’s rushing attack in last season’s opener I’d say there’s some hope. The first game where Penn State is going to have to establish a strong running game is against Michigan. That leaves Notre Dame and Buffalo to work on it. Those games can be easily won with Morelli just slinging it.

Is just a win enough to satisfy you this weekend against Notre Dame or are there qualifiers on a victory to make it acceptable?
Given the fact that Notre Dame looked flat out awful against Georgia Tech I think PSU needs to win by at least 14 to make it acceptable, although at the end of the day a win is a win and I'll take it any way we can get it. But more-a-less I just want to see the team play solid football. Mainly just cut down on the drops and hopefully start establishing a rushing attack. If Georgia Tech's passing game hadn't been so pedestrian they could've easily beaten Notre Dame a lot worse than they did. I think with the experience that Penn State has in the passing game and with it being a rough atmosphere for the Irish Penn State should have no problem hanging a lot of points on the board. A fast start is going to be crucial. Put this Notre Dame team away early, don't let them they they have any shot at winning.

Lightning Round

Got a ticket, praying for a ticket, or watching the game somewhere else this weekend?

I’ll be watching from the comfort of my own couch after having to listen to the FIU game on the radio while driving around aimlessly after the local Buffalo Wild Wings decided not to show the game.

What non-PSU game are you looking forward to this weekend?
LSU-Virginia Tech is too obvious. Miami-Oklahoma is intriguing but it’s hard to get excited about this one after imaging how big a match up this one would’ve been 4-5 years ago. Oregon-Michigan will be interesting just to see how the Wolverines bounce back. I don’t think that one will be close. Either Michigan is motivated and crushes the Ducks or the Wolverines get blown out as they wallow in their self-pity.

Clausen to Start Against Penn State

Jimmy "God" Clausen to start against Penn State

A pretty big leap of faith for Charlie Weis. Seriously, Clausen is about to make his first start in what may end up being the most hostile environment that he will ever play in college or pro (assuming he gets that far, unlike another ND golden boy by the name of Ron Powlus).

Personally I think Demetrius Jones gives ND the best chance to win against Penn State. Juice Williams managed to keep Illinois competitive with PSU last season by running the option until PSU's defense finally figured out how to stop it.

This is a baptism by fire for Clausen. Troy Smith couldn't handle it. What makes anyone think a week will be enough time to get Clausen ready? I almost feel bad for the kid. He 's going to get the crap beat out of him on Saturday night and then be berated by ND's less than understanding fans come Sunday.

The Return of The Nittany Blog

After a year and a half hiatus from this site I have decided to resume posting here. I will continue to cover Penn State football through The Nittany Notebook for MVN. However, I have decided to use this as an outlet for my more insane ramblings and general thoughts on the entire college football world, a freedom I don't really get with MVN.

Coming back to this place is like getting behind the wheel of your old Camaro after driving a Lexus. Sure, there aren't as many bells and whistles but at the end of the day it just feels right. Luckily, I can have the best of both worlds.