This week's blogpoll roundtable is hosted by CrossCyed who much like their team, The Iowa State Cyclones, I did not know existed. (Oh Snap!)
1. We're about halfway through the season at this point. Have you gotten a gauge on your team's chances this year to make noise in conference play, or is the team still a total freaking mystery?
I'm still at a loss. Penn State could finish anywhere between second and 8th in the Big Ten this year. There's an outside chance we could win the conference if we win out and get some help. But the Buckeyes look pretty good this year and so do the Wolverines. If we beat Michigan I would say we are going to finish closer to #2 or #3. But with road games at Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Purdue yet to play, there's a good chance we could end up in the lower half of the conference this year.
2. Many of the bigger conferences such as the Big 12 and the Big 10 use a rotating schedule to determine conference games each year. What are your feelings on the current system used in your conference? Does a rotating schedule work? Has your team always caught a break?
I'm a fan of it because I like the big out of conference matchups. That's really the only way you can compare conferences with each other. If they played all ten teams in the Big Ten that would only leave two out of conference games. Most teams would treat those like revenue games and schedule cup cakes. But I don't like it when big teams rotate off the schedule. A few years ago there was a two year span when Michigan and Penn State didn't play each other. Iowa and Penn State aren't playing until next year. That's not right. They should prevent that from happening whenever possible.
What's interesting though is looking at the schedule you can tell the Big Ten works it so teams either get all their tough games at home or on the road. This year Ohio State has the soft schedule getting all their tough games at home other than Iowa. Next year Penn State and Michigan get the easy schedule. They set it up so one of their powerhouse schools has a chance at a decent title run every year.
3. In an effort to get to know more about college football, both nationally and regionally, what have you done to expand your college football horizons? Have you caught yourself watching games from other conferences, or taking an interest in games that show up on ESPNU or Fox Sports?
Since I only started blogging on college football earlier this year, I've really had to step up my game. I visit about two dozen bloggers sites every day and read through the headlines of about six Pennsylvania newspaper sports sections online. I also visit more message boards. On Saturdays if I'm not attending the Penn State game in person I will try to watch as many games as I can. Mostly I focus on just the Big Ten games to scout for upcoming opponents. If there are no good Big Ten games on I'll watch whatever the biggest game on television is. I've also caught myself watching a lot of Thursday night football which is giving me pretty decent exposure to the Mid-Majors. I think I would be scared if Penn State was playing Boise State this weekend.
4. What would you change about the current exposure your team gets, either on the radio, television, print, or on the internet?
I can't complain about the television exposure. It's nice being in a big program that gets good ratings across the country. Penn State is usually on television 9 out of 10 games in my area as long as they are decent.
My only complaint is with the internet. Penn State fans have a reputation (sometimes rightfully deserved) of being rude and stupid in the chat rooms and message boards of the internet. I'm working hard to change that here and prove that some Penn State fans aren't all obnoxious assholes and some of us do just like to talk football without all the trash talking. It's hard to change people's minds though. I think I have at least earned some respect for myself amongst some of my fellow bloggers. But the PSU fans stereotype is something I fight every day.
5. During last Saturday's game against I-AA Northern Iowa, Iowa State trailed 21-7 at the half. The Cyclone Marching Band played a variety of songs from animated shows, including selections from South Park titled "Blame Canada" and "What Would Brian Boitano Do?" Needless to say, the Cyclones outscored the Panthers 21-6 in the second half. If you had to pick one song for your favorite team to rally to, what would it be? Because we all know what they did for the 2005 White Sox, Journey and "Don't Stop Believing" are not to be considered.
When I was in high school our basketball team used to take the floor to the song "You Can Do Magic" by the old 70's band, America. Let me tell you, that might have been cool in the early 80's. But when I was there in 1991 we thought it was the lamest song alive. I hate stupid inspirational songs like that.
I'm going to lose some major cool points here, but I used to be in the marching band in high school. I point this out because I like to think I can point out the finer things in a marching band better than the layman. I'm impressed more by a band's sound and technique more than their playlist. PSU fans are going to kill me here, but Youngstown State's marching band blew the Blue Band out of the water at halftime. They were in constant motion and their formations looked great. They had a great sound and hit the crescendos spot on. And they had their music MEMORIZED, which is my biggest pet peeve with most marching bands.
I love a band that can play a good Beebop style jazz tune. Give me some Charlie Parker or some Thelonious Monk. Give me something that is fast and loud and in my face. Blow me out of my seat with as much noise as you can. Rip up and down the scale with as much brass as possible. Give me drum lines that make me want to get up and dance. If you want an example listen to anything played by The Concord Blue Devils drum and bugle corp. That would get my blood pumping and inspire me to cheer in the second half much more than a shabby rendition of "Hang on Sloopy" or yet another Beatles tribute.