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Blue & White Roundtable Almost Forgot

It's Wednesday, so time for another round of the Blue & White Roundtable. Run Up The Score nearly forgot it's his turn to host this week. He gave us all of five minutes to come up with these answers. Slacker! Anyway, stop by Run Up The Score and The Nittany Line to get their take on all things Nittany Nation.

I totally didn't realize it was my turn this week.  Okay, here we go:

1.  Penn State finished 8-4 and lost to teams with a combined three losses.  Should the Nittany Lions be ranked in the top 25 heading into the bowls?

I've been taking a lot of heat from Nittany Lion fans for not ranking our Lions in my top 25 on the BlogPoll. I don't think they belong there. I know they lost to four teams with a combined three losses. Sure there are moral victories in football, but they don't move you up in the polls. Well, unless you are USC...and Florida...but I digress.

Had the Lions one just one of those games I would have them in the top 20. But they didn't. So who is their next best win? Purdue? Minnesota? Michigan State? Sorry, Lion fans. No other four loss team is there. Neither are you.

2.  With so many 6-6 teams playing in the postseason, this may be a difficult question.  What is the least compelling bowl game on the schedule?

The least compelling matchup would have to be Troy and Rice in the New Orleans Bowl. Seriously, how does a scalper make a living on a game like that?

The least compelling title for a bowl has to be the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl. Apparently anyone can get their own bowl game these days.

3.  How can Penn State beat Tennessee in the Outback Bowl?

Well, I'm going to take a pass on this one and wait to go over this in the coming weeks. Let's just say we have to stop their passing game, and our offense has to put some points on the board.  

4.  Are the Lions really the best four-loss team in the country?

No we're not. Penn State fans will scream blasphemy at that, but look at Nebraska. Their four losses were to #4 USC, #5 Texas, #8 Oklahoma, and an Independence Bowl bound Oklahoma State.

"But we lost to Ohio State, Michigan, Notre Dame, and Wisconsin," you say? True, but we also almost lost to Illinois and Minnesota. Who did we beat? Nobody of note. So all we can conclude is that Penn State is not a top 10 team. Should we place them around 15 just because they played Michigan close? So did Ball State. The Lions' best statistical win is probably Purdue or Minnesota. Nebraska on the other hand has wins over Kansas State, who beat Texas, Missouri, and Texas A&M. I think that qualifies them as a better four loss team.

5.  What is the proper mix of non-conference cupcakes and real opponents?  What should Penn State do with it's early season games?  Are you happy with Florida International (0-12), Temple (1-11), and Buffalo (2-10) in 2007?

Well, you left Notre Dame off the list there. Penn State is following the trend in college football to schedule one powerhouse and three cupcakes. I understand the thinking. You want easy wins so you can get bowl eligible, but you need a quality wins you can point at to impress the voters, right Wisconsin?

That being said, I'm not happy with FIU, Temple, and Buffalo. Temple I can understand since they are local and willing to do a 3-for-1 with us and we have a lot of history with them. But we should strive to do better than Buffalo and Florida International. Unfortunately, the economics of the game dictate we find opponents willing to trade 2-for-1's or play in our house without us going to theirs. Not many self respecting programs are willing to make such a deal. So we get stuck with teams that jump on the revenue opportunity. While I would gladly trade one less home game per year to get some better competition, the economics of the game today rule that out.

Lightning Round:

Would you take the Alabama head coaching job?

No. Nobody can succeed in that job, and now nobody wants to be known as their tenth choice.

Most underappreciated and overrated team in 2006?

Most underappreciated has to go to Boise State. Ian Johnson is a beast and it's a crime he didn't get invited to the Heisman ceremony.

Most overrated has to be Notre Dame. They beat up on the armed forces and got destroyed against ranked opponents. Isn't it funny how Notre Dame, Michigan and Wisconsin fans all told us we sucked after we played them, but now at the end of the season they all claim Penn State as a "quality win."

What will be the biggest bowl blowout?

Write this down: LSU wins the Sugar Bowl 55-14.

Seriously, will you please take the Alabama job?

Only if I can take those stupid numbers off the helmets. No? I'll still pass then.

What gift do you want for the holidays?

My own bowl game.