Spring practice is over, the Blue/White Mess is (thankfully) soon to be forgotten, and we've walked smack into the worst time of year for college football fans - the dog days of May and June. To keep the fires burning, plenty of places on the interwebs have begun their team previews and guesstimations on what final records and Big Ten standings will look like at the end of December. Over at Off Tackle Empire, it's Penn State week, featuring a team preview, best and worst case scenarios, and plenty of content coming over the next several days.
I have to say though, that as fine of a job as OTE has done, it always seems that May is a bit early to be projecting the record of a team that won't take the field for another several months. We still have summer practice to get through, captains to be selected, and a starter to name at quarterback. This team has plenty of talent spread all over the field and is a threat to win 10 or more games. But it also has plenty of question marks, some of which loom so large that the team could easily be one of Paterno's most disappointing. In the end, this team has a high ceiling but a low floor.
So maybe it's impossible to predict the overall record of this team at this stage with any sort of accuracy. But I do think it's worth doing baseless speculation on individual player performances. With that in mind, I present to you:
Black Shoe Diaries' Over/Under - Vegas Style . . . minus the actual gambling, drinking, and partying.
The rules are as simple as they appear - I'll give a player and a statistic, you tell me if he'll go over or under the designated number:
Silas Redd - 900 yards
Under. No knock on Silas, but he'll split carries with Green and Beachum.
Brandon Beachum and Mike Zordich - 4.5 rushing touchdowns each.
Under for Beachum and over for Zordich. I think we're likely to see these guys put together in some goal line formations.
Rob Bolden - 0.5 summer practice sessions
Matt McGloin - 9.5 starts
Paul Jones - 5.5 starts
I have no idea about any of these, so have at it. If Bolden stays, the job is his. If he leaves, McGloin starts at the beginning of the year, but ends up ceding ground to Paul Jones.
Johnnie Troutman - 8.5 starts
I'll go over, but not by much. Troutman is a doghouse resident, but also maybe the most naturally gifted lineman on the team. I'll say he gets himself in some trouble at some point, but ends up starting 10 games.
1st team Offensive Line (Okoli/Urschel/Stank/Troutman/Barham) - 10.5 starts together
I'll take the under because of Troutman's consistent inconsistency and the possibility that Stank gets outmanned at center and we move to a younger player, but I do like that the OL has been established in the spring and can work to gel during the next several months. They will, as usual, be a key to our offensive consistency.
Mike Mauti - 100.5 tackles
Take the over for the next great Penn State ‘backer.
Defensive Ends - 12.5 sacks
Under, unless Crawford can get his act together or Olaniyan supplants him or Lattimore.
Have at it, everyone. We can reconvene in August and laugh at ourselves after all of the news emerges from summer practice.