When we decided to do this series, there was one game that would probably be really, really difficult. That game was not Big Ten Powerhouse Rutgers, that's going to be a bloodbath. It wasn't going to be Northwestern, since they're just Northwestern.
No, the game was going to be Ohio State. Some tidbits: OSU has not lost a regular season game in two years. It is 24-0 in its last 24 regular season games. That's better than The Undertaker, for god's sake. It lit Penn State on fire, waited for it to burn down, and pissed on its ashes last year in a 63-14 rout. Its recruiting class is loaded. It returns a ton of talent, including Braxton Miller, who's nearly impossible to stop. THOSE ASSHOLES STOLE LARRY JOHNSON.
You know what? I'm about to chug a sixer of Zima from 1995 and talk myself into this happening. Here, watch this, AND GUESS WHAT...
YOU, OHIO STATE, WILL NOT BEAT PENN STATE IN 2014.
Listen, Ohio State will be a better football team this year. If anyone tries to argue that Penn State will be better than Ohio State, I implore you to do everything in your power to try and sell them moldy bread at $10 a slice, and say that the weird bluish-green stuff growing on it are MAGICAL TASTE SPRINKLES. They'll probably go for it, because they are a moron.
Here are the things Penn State will have going in its favor, in no particular order:
- With a new head coach, especially one as creative as James Franklin, Penn State will bust out plays and formations and various things that nobody has ever seen before. I would be shocked if Franklin didn't already have some idea of what his gameplan is going to be when the Nittany Lions host the Buckeyes, and that we're not going to see any of the interesting things Franklin has hidden up his sleeve in the season's first six games.
- Conversely, we're in year three of Urban Meyer in Columbus. We know everything that he's going to do by this point. There likely won't be any silly wrinkles or tricks that Penn State has never seen before, and with a bye week leading up to the game, Franklin will probably sleep in a filing cabinet in his office pouring over every ounce of game film that he can get his hands on dating back to Urbz's time as the defensive backs coach at St. Xavier High School in 1985.
- Along those lines, here's Penn State's four weeks leading up to OSU: bye week, Michigan, bye week, Ohio State. That's a free week of preparation, a huge night game (which means Penn State won't be incredibly nervous about having a major night game against OSU (I think)), a free week of preparation, Ohio State. Meanwhile, Ohio State will be coming off a "hellacious" three week stretch of Maryland-Bye-Big Ten Powerhouse Rutgers, one that may leave them complacent heading into their showdown against PSU (note to the football gods: make OSU complacent after that stretch). So...there's that.
- By this point in the season, we'll have answers to Penn State's two biggest questions: A) Who replaces Allen Robinson, B) Can Penn State's offensive line stop a defensive line of malnourished sloths from getting pressure on Christian Hackenberg. If the answers to both are answered in a positive way, then this game has the potential to be very interesting.
- The last two times these teams met were last year's public embowelment of Penn State, and in 2012, when Penn State kiiiiiiiiiinda got screwed at home and lost 35-23. It sucked. But this happened and it was AWESOME.
- White Out.