First off my apologies to The Big Eleventh. Last week he sent out these questions and we had planned on posting them yesterday. But then with the holiday weekend and all the recruiting news going on I completely forgot until I saw the BWR over at RUTS. But really it's his fault. He should know by now that us bloggers are all a bunch of slackers. You can't send out questions a week in advance and expect us to remember. We usually send the questions out at 8 PM the night before and throw something half-assed together in the morning much like I'm doing right now. He should have known better. Rookie.
Anyway, be sure to check out these other fine blogs who I'm sure might participate in the roundtable as well.
The Big Eleventh
Run Up The Score
The Nittany Line
William F. Yurasko
Tangled Up In White and Blue
There Is No Name On My Jersey
The Nittany Notebook
Of the PSU players who went undrafted but were picked up by NFL teams, which one has the best chance of actually seeing playing time in The League?
It seems like the Eagles are always desperate for wide receivers, so you might think Terrelle Golden has a good chance to make the roster. But coming from Penn State and going to play for Andy Reid is like going from the Stone Age to the Nuclear Age overnight. If he makes the roster it's going to be his blocking ability that gets him there. If he can hang around for a year to learn the playbook he stands a chance of having a decent career in the league.
But I would say Austin Scott probably has the best chance. With his troubles seemingly behind him he can focus on football again. And in a town like Cleveland he won't be as exposed to the temptations of the big city lights and glamour like New York or California. Jamal Lewis is the feature back there, but you have to wonder how many years he has left.
My office recently installed those vending machines that keep the coil spinning when your selection gets snagged by the oversized potato chips in the next slot over, usually resulting in two treats for the price of one. This has improved my occasional afternoon snacking 250%.
What football technological improvement has most increased your afternoon football enjoyment the most in, say, the last five years?
My oldest boy is almost four years old now, so he doesn't quite understand football at this age other than it makes his dad yell at the television a lot. I'm just waiting for the day I can break out my "Back in my day" speech. I envision it going something like this.
Back in my day we didn't a yellow line to tell us where the first down marker was. You had to actually watch these people called "referees" who came out and measured the distance with a chain! Then they would signal a first down. If it wasn't a first down you had to rely on the announcer to tell you how far they had to go and you had to actually remember it while the play was going on. And we didn't have little boxes in the corner telling you the down, yards to go, score, quarter, time and timeouts left, and how many times Jim Tressel brushes off his sweatervest. If you were flipping between games you had to wait until a commercial break when they put the score on the screen to tell who was winning. During the two minute drill you had no idea how much time was left on the clock. Once in a while between plays a camera would show you a scoreboard to let you know. And the scoreboards weren't these high definition LCD things you see now. They were just a bunch of light bulbs flickering on and off. Bulbs were burn out and sometimes you couldn't even tell the correct score. 'Is that a 6 or an 8? I don't know.' And you know what else? They used to signal in plays with hand signals instead of having headsets in the helmets. I know that sounds crazy, but they only had 15 plays to choose from back in those days so it wasn't so bad. Not the thousands of plays they do today.
Now everything is measured through GPS and all the officiating is done from the press box by two guys watching 20 cameras strategically located throughout the stadium. They took all the fun out of yelling at the ref.
List the top 5 Penn State games, in order of intrigue, that you would like to attend. For bonus points, include an away game.
- Illinois - The first conference game of the season against the flavor of the week team. Illinois may be carrying a lofty top ten rank into that game, but with no Mendenhall or Leman I have to wonder how good they will actually be.
- Michigan - The streak is going to end this year and in a big way. This game should be a blowout in our favor, and Michigan fans will sound like Charlie Weis telling us to laugh now.
- Ohio State - The Buckeyes will undoubtedly be ranked in the top five when we go to Columbus. I don't think we have much of a chance against them, but any time you play a highly ranked team it gets your blood going.
- Oregon State - Who was the last west coast team we played? (Answer below) It's been a long time so that in itself makes it intriguing. The Beavers should be a good test on top of that.
- Temple - Call me crazy, but I'm looking forward to the Temple game. They played us tougher than the score indicated last year so they are going to come to Happy Valley with a lot of confidence. I like what Al Golden has going there, and living in suburban Philadelphia I guess I have a soft spot for the Owls.
Penn State hasn't played a team from the Pac 10 in eight years (USC in the 2000 Kick-off Classic). Oregon State adds a little flavor to an otherwise very standard schedule. How do you think this season's matchups compare to prior years?
It's ok but not great. We have two teams from BCS conferences which is something not many teams can boast, but it's not like they are national championship contenders. Syracuse looked like a decent matchup when it was signed several years ago, but the Orangemen have fallen on tough times of late taking a lot of the luster out of that game. But adding Oregon State is a nice last minute addition.
Hopefully this may be the start of a trend to get one marquee matchup every year and add on a game against some middle of the road BCS team. I could stomach one or two games against the Coastal Carolinas and Akrons of the world if that were the case.
Night games appear to be a growing trend in the Big Ten. While the 2005 Ohio State game was as good as it gets, the following year's Michigan game seemed overhyped and we all know about last season's Ohio State outcome.
This year's Penn State night schedule includes Illinois at home and tough ones in the dark at Wisconsin and at Ohio State. (I'm not sure what to make of the 4:30 kick-off against Michigan)
Here is the three-parter: (1)Does this mean that all of our big games will be played at night from here on out? (2)Do you enjoy the 8:00 or still prefer 3:30? and (3)Do you think a night kickoff actually increases home field advantage or does it simply look cooler on TV?
PSUncle and I were talking about this over the weekend. There is definitely a trend of seeing more big games in prime time television. For the program this is a good thing. It gets us great exposure, and for alumni spread across the country who can't attend the game in person it gives them another chance to see their team play on television. So I think the trend is here to stay and I welcome it. Now on to part two of your question.
PSUncle and I concur that we almost prefer the 3:30 games anymore. It gives you plenty of time to tailgate and have fun and you get home at a reasonable hour after the game. Maybe I'm getting old, but getting up at 5 AM to get drunk while you bake in the sun or freeze in the cold or sit in the rain and then drive home after the game well after midnight just isn't as fun as it used to be. The 8 PM games are cool once a year for a really big game against a top 10 opponent, but this year we're turning on the lights for Illinois? That's when I think we're going a bit too far.
As for part three, I think playing under the lights does provide a better home field advantage. I don't know what it is, maybe the extra alcohol, but the night games I've been to (2002 Nebraska, 2005 Ohio State, 2006 Michigan, and 2007 Ohio State) had a certain electricity in the air. I've been to big games in the daytime back in the 90's and they were exciting, but they didn't compare to any of the previous games I mentioned. So yeah, I think there is an advantage to playing at night.
How would Penn State finish with Iowa's 2008 schedule (substitute Iowa in place of the obvious difficult situation of playing yourself)?
No Ohio State or Michigan and we get to play Wisconsin at home? We're going undefeated. As a bonus we get to beat Pitt in the process. How come Iowa can get them on the schedule and we can't?
Which RB gets the most carries this year? The most TDs?
Hopefully not Joe Suhey. If so we're in trouble.
How much would you pay for this fall's Michigan ticket? What is the most you've ever paid to attend a PSU game?
By the time Michigan comes around on the schedule they should have two or three losses. But the Wolverines travel well and you have to consider it's homecoming so that will cause a small uptick in demand. It's mid-October so the weather should be pretty nice, but it's televised at 3:30 so a lot of people may decide to stay home and get the leaves raked instead. I'll put the average price around $75. Some people will undoubtedly expect to get $200 for their tickets, and they may find a sap stupid enough to pay it, but I suspect a savy shopper can find tickets for face value if they stay patient and determined.