You can tell the calendar is about to flip to July. Everyone is starting to pick apart schedules and rosters and looking into the crystal ball to identify the haves and have nots for this upcoming college football season. As you can probably guess, not many people have anything nice to say about Penn State and the Big Ten.
I can assume we will see a weekly feature from now until January of Dennis Dodd ripping the Big Ten.
Here's my best example for how average the Big Ten has become: Penn State has to replace 12 starters (the most in the league), including its entire secondary. It is a twisted ankle at quarterback away from finishing fifth. A good, not great, group of receivers have to be replaced by what might be good, not great, group of receivers.
Still, the Nittany Lions are a virtual pick-'em with Ohio State to go to the Rose Bowl.
By the way, the Rose Bowl is going to be it for the conference champ. I don't see a national title contender in the bunch. The letters U, S and C will burn the ears of Big Ten loyalists. USC has beaten Big Ten teams by a combined 60 points the past three Januarys. The Trojans will likely be waiting in Pasadena to lay the smack down once again.
Does guy do any, like, journalism? Or is he just paid to rehash the same tired argument week-in and week-out?
ESPN takes a slightly different approach. Mark Schlabach arranges imaginary conference matchups. Then he plays these games out in his head and declares the Pac-10 is better than the Big Ten while offering witty one-liners like this one.
Indiana vs. Southern California
Honestly, it doesn't matter which Big Ten team plays USC. Even the Hoosiers could play the Trojans as well as the rest of the Big Ten teams did the past few seasons.
I'm really tired of hearing about the Big Ten's Rose Bowl failures as evidence of the Big Ten's weakness. USC has been the opponent in a virtual home game every year, so if anything you could say USC would be the best team in the Big Ten. I'm pretty sure I saw Penn State kick Oregon State's ass last year, and the Beavers had a chance to win their conference on the last game of the season.
I actually would like to see a Big Ten/Pac-10 challenge, because I think the Big Ten would do better than 4-6, as Schlabach suggests.
Scores of Other Games
- Nice Article about Derrick Williams - Detroit Free Press
- PSU Players don't get the summer off - Altoona Mirror
- Update of former volleyball player Matt Anderson - CDT
- Fluff on Eric Shrive - Times Leader
- Spartan fans think they are going to be pretty damn good.
- Check out the new PSU blog, The 20,000+, who claims to know some players and has already done a few interviews.