Welcome to what will be known going forward as Roundtable Wednesday. During the season we'll kick off every Wednesday with the Blue-White Roundtable and then we'll move into the Big Ten Roundtable. I see I'm slow out of the gate this morning as TNL, TINNOMJ, and RUTS, who provides the questions this week, all have their answers up. I'm sure William will have his up sometime today too. But before we get to the questions we have some business to take care of first.
|Only Deon Butler until Penn State football.|
Our long national nightmare is over -- football season has returned! The Nittany Lions take on the Golden Panthers of Florida International University this Saturday. FIU was 0-12 last season, with losses to such powerhouse programs as Middle Tennessee State, Arkansas State, and Florida Atlantic. There's no question that Penn State will win, but what are you hoping to see PSU accomplish against FIU? Aside from not getting injured, what can the Nittany Lions do that will make you say, "Okay, that's something we can build on for next week against Notre Dame"?
Maybe it's unreasonable, but I expect nothing less than complete domination. Or at least when the first team is in. I expect to see the offensive line opening holes wider than Happy Valley. I expect Anthony Morelli to have so much time in the pocket he could put the ball down, go run to the concession stand, eat a hot dog, go to the restroom, come back, pick up the ball where he left it and make the throw. I expect the defense to make them go three and out every time except when they intercept the ball. I expect to see a thirty point lead at halftime. This is a game where I will focus on the negative much more than the positive. If we struggle in any area of the game I will see that as a forecast of problems we will face all year.
Not every Big Ten team has a functional bye week. Take a look at this week's schedule. Who is most likely to suffer an upset?
Do you mean who is most likely to lose? Because in that case I have to say Illinois is going to have their hands full with Missouri. Wisconsin could have their hands full with Washington State. The Cougars are usually good for one big upset a year. Other than that I imagine everything will go as planned.
How are you affected by the squabbles between the Big Ten Network and Comcast? Who is The Bad Guy in this battle? If you're stuck in a situation where you won't be at the game and can't get the broadcast at your house, what are your plans for Saturday at noon?
I live in suburban Philadelphia so I'm stuck with Comcast. Right now I just have basic cable, but I've been thinking of upgrading to digital cable for some time even before the negotiations between the BTN and Comcast began. If they can work out a deal to even put the BTN on extended digital for $10/month I would buy it. But I'm not optimistic that we'll see a deal this season.
The fans are getting screwed, and both parties share some of the blame in all of this. The Big Ten Network is being stubborn in not even entertaining the idea of going on extended cable as a sports tier network. To presume that everyone in the country is dying to get the BTN is preposterous. But although their position may be unreasonable, at least they are fighting Comcast the right way. They are traveling the country doing interviews with the media and fans encouraging them to call Comcast and tell them their wishes if they want the BTN. And they are paying for advertising like you see at the top of this blog. Though you may not agree with them, at least they are going about things the right way.
Comcast is fighting dirty in my opinion. Brian Cook shed light on a scheme by Comcast to pay a PR firm to create a bogus website to make it look like fans were outraged by the BTN. Then they paid some intern to go around to different college football message boards and promote the site. A few weeks ago I put most of the blame on the Big Ten for the failed negotiations. Now I think I've shifted my view to where I am not as sympathetic to Comcast anymore. Both parties disgust me, and if the Michigan game ends up on the BTN I am going to be really pissed. That will be the straw that breaks the camels back and I'll be with Galen out back cutting down trees on the western side of the house.
If things go as planned, everyone on the PSU could see significant playing time on Saturday. Who will be the leading rusher, receiver, and passer for Penn State?
Leading passer will be Anthony Morelli with 160 yards. Leading rusher will be Austin Scott with 120. Leading receiver will be Deon Butler with 75 yards.
Predict the score of the PSU vs. FIU game.
PSU wins 55 - 6
What non-PSU game are you most looking forward to this weekend?
All of them. I'm just glad to be able to finally watch some football that counts for something. I'll be going to the game in Happy Valley so I won't be able to get in front of the television until 6 PM or so. Tennessee will be playing California on ABC at 8 PM, so that will probably be the only other game I'll get a chance to watch.