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BSD Mailbag 10.10.14

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It's been a while...but I've got As to your Qs!

Justin K. Aller

What would be considered a successful season for Penn State Football?-- JMO-PSU

I still maintain, as I have since preseason, that a winning season (and now, a bowl game) will be a successful season. I think we have the ability and talent to make it to eight wins; but 6-6 in the regular season would definitely be successful, and would mean that we navigated the sanctions without a losing season—something many of us would have been thrilled with 30 months ago.

Is it normal to feel really nervous for this Michigan game?--PSU12

Yes. It’s Michigan, and as Adam said in our podcast, weird shit happens in Michigan games.

After watching our girls fall to the Huskers Friday night, was I the only one feeling devilishly satisfied watching their football team get dominated by Sparty?—TonyLion

Not at all. But, as we all know, Russ Rose likes his revenge best served cold—and in December.

Offensive line ? When Miles returns to the online from his injury should we expect a small improvement in the line play considering it is only one position upgrade or should we expect much better play overall? Or should I just wait until next year?--adamp1984

I think we should expect a small improvement. So much of offensive line play is how they play together, and since Dieffenbach hasn’t been there all year, the unit as a whole hasn’t gelled. By the end of the year, though, there could be more improvement; and next year, I think they’ll be up to mediocre standards.

How important is this week for the Coaching Staff? They have had the bye week to catch up on things and have had the extra time to prepare. I worry with all the travel and the CrootinCopter that we may look unprepared as we did against Northwestern. I really want the staff to respond, because I want them to be as successful between the lines as they are off the field.This is certainly a winnable game, but Michigan is a desperate team and a desperate team is a dangerous team.--Dbridi

Meh, it’s somewhat important but not overly. This coaching staff is still only five games into its tenure in Happy Valley. This isn’t make or break, and it’s nowhere near. I’m interested to see how they come out of a loss and a BYE, no doubt, but even if we lose I don’t think it’s an indictment on the staff—just because everything is so new. Plus, in case you didn’t know, our offense is not so great—and this is a night game at Michigan, who has plenty of talent on their own.

It looks like no matter what Michigan does, they just can't get going. Has the team quit on Hoke? Also, will they beat us by 3 touchdowns or 4?--misdreavus79

From a complete outsider’s perspective, it looks like the team isn’t playing for Hoke anymore. They’re playing for each other and themselves—and that makes them all the more dangerous, in my opinion. I still think we’ll win, because we beat Rutgers and as you all know in college football the transitive property always works, but it will be close, sloppy, and probably pretty ugly football.

At this point, at a mathematical maximum, there can be 4 undefeated Power 5 teams at the end of the season. TCU and Baylor play each other (this week), and hypothetically-undefeated GT and FSU teams will see each other in the ACC CG. At a maximum, 1 team can go undefeated among the 3 that remain in the SEC West—MsSU and Auburn play this week. Arizona won’t see another undefeated team until the playoffs (if then, if they make it), but they do have 5 games remaining against teams that beat them last year, including USC this week. That’s a maximum of 4. So we’re most likely, once again, looking at 1 or 2. So among the non-Power 5 teams and Power 5 teams who’ve managed to only get outscored once, what two would you take for the playoffs?—ckmneon

I still like Bama, because they’re Bama. And Oregon has looked pretty dominant aside from their one inevitable fuckup that they have every year, so we’ll go for those two—provided they win out the rest of the season, naturally (and if Bama wins out, that changes the landscape in the SEC West anyway). #TeamChaos

If there were no preseason polls and no polls until today, what does the top-25 look like? There has to be less SEC-W respect based on past bias alone. Ole Miss and MSU – seriously ?—TonyLion

Ole Miss and MSU deserve to be in the top 25, because they are undefeated; six weeks into the season, I’m a believer that any Power 5 conference team that’s undefeated deserves to be ranked; I wouldn’t have Stanford or Clemson in right now, though, with two losses. I also think it’s ridiculous that LSU is receiving as many votes as they are, and I think it’s kind of insane that TCU, Arizona, and (especially) Georgia Tech are so low as undefeated Power 5 teams.

What are the chances that Wisconsin runs for 600+ yards this week vs Illinois?--bscaff

I’d say pretty good. Because Melvin Gordon is scary…and so is Tim Beckman.

With Whitehead's Commitment to Pitt, and Wimbush visiting Notre Dame, does this mean we officially lost to Bye, AGAIN?--NittanyLifer

Haha, not quite. The barometer for officially losing the BYE is, in my opinion, quite high—and this year just doesn’t come close.

Who is your favorite PSU Player in the NFL? I know you love Mauti, but I gotta tell ya, Puz is still an awesome football player.--87Townie

He is. But because of all he’s going through, and the universal support, right now I’m going with Devon Still. Get well, Leah!

If Ditka and Jesus Played an ESSSS EEEEE SEEEEEE team, who would win? Sec west only.-- gestaltshift

It depends who broadcasts the game. #narrative

Will Chambers ever get a chopper to recruit? Or the budget is not there for the basketball program?--Conejo73134

The budget isn’t there, but at least Chambers has access to private planes for recruiting—something that Ed DeChellis openly lamented. And, let’s face it, with a more limited amount of games to attend in-season, and outdoor-vs-indoor game venues, it’s more like an apples-vs-potatoes comparison.

If Penn State banned tailgating, would you still go to the games?--Aqua Velva Man

Absolutely. Though I’d miss tailgating, I went to games for many years before I started tailgating, and it’s not all about the tailgating—it’s about the football as well.

BSD tailgate? Are you having a tailgate for the Maryland game? If so, can we either invite HughGR or make some sort of fun of him? Let’s make tshirts.—LionInTheWeeds

Last year, the "official" BSD tailgate was a product of We Are! 2013, and unfortunately the turnout wasn’t what we had hoped for—which is why none of the giving levels for We Are! 2014 included a tailgate. So, there will be no official BSD tailgate for the Maryland game or any other game this season—sorry Hugh.

I recently bought my first LP - Tom T. Hall's "In Search of a Song" This is the best decision I’ve ever made. Why haven’t you – yes, you – made the same decision?--ReadingRambler

Because I’m an awful human being, and very un-American?

Favorite kind of pie?

Apple, praline, peach, shoefly, key lime, cherry crumb, pumpkin, pecan? Something else I forgot to mention? Also, are there any places on this planet that still sell ice cream cake roll? Think pumpkin roll, but with cake & ice cream.--Succss With Honor Always

I’m not sure if I can pick a favorite pie, because I love pie so much. Pecan is definitely up there, especially for those not-fruit-based—but you did miss chocolate pie, which is damn amazing for those of you who haven’t tried it. I also like banana cream which you neglected to mention. Any pie with a homemade, lard or crisco-based crust is a-ok in my book.

And as for ice cream cake rolls, last I checked you could still buy them at Friendly’s.

Did I miss a memo? Your FanPost contains 40 words. Did SBN eliminate the 75-word minimum for FanPosts? Or do mods live by different rules?—Smee

Staff members actually don’t have a minimum for fanpost. Mod privileges FTW!