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BSD Mailbag 11.6.14

Answers to your abundant questions.

Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Should I hedge my bets for the rest of the season and assume we lose out? Much better IMO to assume a loss and be pleasantly surprised than to assume a win and be bitterly disappointed.--Lucius429

I did this after the Michigan loss and before the Ohio State game, and then we came out and played one of, in my opinion, the best games we’ve played all year. Then I got confident and Maryland happened. So assuming we’ll lose out seems a good proposition.

Who will our starting five offensive linemen be next year?—Dbridi

Honestly? Probably very similar to who it is right now, a combination of Donovan Smith, Brendan Mahon, Angelo Mangiro, Wendy Laurent, Brian Gaia, and Andrew Nelson. Maybe Noah Beh, Chance Sorrell, Brendan Brosnan, or Chasz Wright really impresses in the offseason and sneaks in opposite Smith at the other tackle spot, but I doubt it; you can’t really beat game experience, and the only O-lineman we lose this offseason is Miles Dieffenbach. So this is it, kids. They’ll be better next year, I fully believe it.

so many questions so little space I will just ask a few questions here.

  1. How undefeated would this team be with a B’OB offense and a this years Shoop Defense? I see a few blowouts in the schedule we have played. Definitely undefeated
  2. How much worse does Shoop make Butler from last year look? I mean most of the players were players on the team last year
  3. What does the future hold for this team in the next couple years? I see success but I feel like this will be a Peyton Manning/ Tee Martin situation. After Hack leaves I think we will probably have the best team if they can get the pieces in place to run whatever the hell this offense is. As long we keep playing great defense
  4. Completely dreaming here but if things panned out differently and Franklin was hired first, he brings Shoop with him, and lets just say he hires B’OB as his OC. How much better would we have been last year and this year? How many Championships do we win in the next 5 years?
  5. Finally, how cool is it that Pat Fitzgerald came out in support of Mike Hull for the Butkus Award? I thought it was


Holy crap. Okay.

  1. Haha, no. We still lose at least one game; the offensive line woes don’t evaporate just because O’Brien is calling plays. We probably don’t have four losses at this juncture, but we don’t have zero.
  2. It makes him look worse, but not that much worse. We didn’t lose that many players last year, and experience is a lot; I think we only add one or two more wins on to last year with a Shoop defense. Keep in mind, losses such as Minnesota last year weren’t on the defense—the Gophers didn’t score in the second half; that loss was on the offense that (under everyone’s favorite playcaller O’Brien) just couldn’t put the ball in the end zone.
  3. I think the future is bright. Next year we should be good; I think in 2016 we should be borderline great, depending on the QB situation.
  4. I don’t even know how to respond to this, because it just seems wonky and out there.
  5. It was cool. Pat’s still a jerk, though.

Should punting woes change the approach to 4th downs?—ShamefullyObsessed

It should. But it won’t.

Honestly, our punting woes combined with how killer our defense has been should mean we go for it more on fourth down than we do—but alas, that has not been the case. Franklin’s said we’ll see a few new wrinkles on offense this week; here’s to hoping this is one of them.

How do you view Christian’s attitude on the sidelines during games? It would bother me if he is throwing little "hissy-fits" because he seems to make as many mistakes as anyone else. Is there anything positive in those actions?—uforabin

The best response to this would be to shamelessly plug our podcast, which we recorded on Tuesday night and discusses this in depth.

How will this poor run effect recruiting?--rugbyrowe

It shouldn’t. Good recruiters (and, above all else, James Franklin is a good recruiter) can spin poor on-field performance into getting good talent (ie, "we wouldn’t have lost had we had you on our team!" and the like). I don’t expect us to see much drop, even if we lose out.

Penn State's last win was Sept 20th....Today is Nov. 2 . Is this the longest period of time without a win during the regular season?—jiminore

In 2004, we won on September 18 (against UCF) and then didn’t win again until November 13 (ironically, over Indiana). So, if we win on Saturday, this stretch won’t be as long. If we don’t win on Saturday, our drought will be the longest in PSU football history, from what I can find.

What is Franklin’s rationale behind not talking about injuries? Why keep Donovan’s/Diffenbach’s status a secret? What exactly was ZZ’s injury? Do Maryland/O$U/Meatchicken/jNW prepare their defensive game plan differently than UCF/BTPHR/Kent State and UMass do based on not knowing who’s going to be playing in our offensive line? There does not appear to be any strategic or tactical advantage in leaving everyone guessing about these things.—glenrocker

Back in February, he indicated that he wouldn’t discuss injuries because he didn’t want his opponents to have details they could exploit. It’s probably a combination of that, and family/player privacy.

Better offensive coordinator? Two headed Galen/Jay monster or Donovan?—eternalpessimist

Too early to tell. Galen & Jay never had to deal with scholarship limitations, and as young a team as we have right now; the offensive ineptitude of the dark years was basically a program self-imposition.

Ask me again in a few years, then I can assess it properly.

Temple beat #23 ECU on Saturday. ECU hung 70 on Carolina this season. They are a pretty good team. And Temple beat them by 10 points. Are we doomed to lose to both The Terps and the Owls this year?--87Townie

Meh, it could happen. As long as we get bowl eligible, and I don’t care how that happens, that’s all I care about at this point.

Is it physically possible for our run plays to develop any slower? Maybe have Hack fake a throw to both the left and the right before handing off?—eternalpessimist

Yes. Yes, it is physically possible.

What would be the most satisfying outcome of the following?:

  1. Avenging last year’s loss at Indiana by going out there and dominating the Hoosiers utterly.
  2. Finding a way to avoid losing to Temple for the first time since the 1940’s.
  3. Crushing the Illini in their stadium while Beckman whimpers audibly.
  4. Putting up a real fight against Sparty so that the game goes down to the wire in a raucous Beaver Stadium.
  5. All of the above, in exactly this order.


Well, for me it actually is #5—good call on the order, and in week to week order too! I think if the first comes true, we’ll have enough momentum and have our head back in the game to make the others more reasonable—but first thing’s first, and that’s the Hoosiers.

People are calling for a new OC next year. Who is our dream choice (not named BOB)? Who should be on the short list?—rlostinspace

First of all, people are spoiled. And they are masters at revisionist history; though our offense was better last year, sure, we probably only have one or two more wins at this point than we would were BOB at the helm.

All of that being said, I’d be cool with Cam Cameron (LSU), Mike Norvell (Arizona State), Mike Bobo (UGA), or even Ralph Friedgen (which would be hilarious for Maryland fans).

Is our basketball team going to be better (relatively) than our football team this year?—rlostinspace

It’s all about expectations. People had inflated expectations of our football team because of how we ended last season, and because the sanctions were lifted, and because we started the season 4-0; right now, there’s no real expectation (aside from a select few) that the basketball team will finish higher than about 11th or 12th in the Big Ten. So, what do you mean by better? Making the post-season? Probably. Standing in the conference? Probably not.

Aside from the BSD podcast, what other podcasts do you listen to? I listen to a lot of comedy podcasts: Bill Burr’s MMPC, Comedy Bang Bang (lots of the Earwolf family podcasts), Dom Irrera Live at the Laugh Factory, WTF (although I always skip Maron’s first 20 minutes of blathering and go right to the interview), but I just started listening to "Serial," the first real narrative-driven podcast I’ve gotten into. I’m almost finished the third episode, and so far so good. --Bob Sacamano

I actually don’t listen to any podcasts—including ours, as I really don’t want to hear how I sound (I’m convinced it’s awful, and I’ll be trying to hard to fix it the next time it’ll just come across as worse). I’ve downloaded a ton, including the Solid Verbal and The Thrilling Adventure Hour, but I just haven’t had the opportunity to listen to them.

Who should I cheer for when Marygers plays Rutland?--3letters3numbers

If you had asked me two weeks ago, I would have said Maryland, based on the obscene flags and general abhorrent behavior of many of the Scarlet Knight fanbase leading up to that September game. But, perhaps because it’s so fresh in my mind, right now I’m cheering for Rutgers all the way.

You are hunting on a beautiful fall day. Suddenly, a 12 point buck, Mark Emmert, Randy Edsall, Tim Beckman, and Stefon Diggs appear. You only have 4 cartridges in your rifle; who do you spare, and why?—otholion

First of all, football is only a game, so I don’t really condone the violence against any of them—though I do think my idea of a kickstarter to fund Steph Morris’ bail money is hilarious. That being said, it’s Diggs, and it’s not close. He’s a kid. The others are adults and thus ostensibly more responsible for their actions.

Cari, you are shipwrecked on a desert island with Edsall, Pat Fitzgerald, and Bert Bulimic (too lazy to look up proper spelling). My question is, How long does it take to grow a tree from which you can fashion a suitable club to beat them all to death?--PSU_Lions_84

Boy, you guys are violent this week! I have to say that I don’t have a degree from Penn State’s esteemed College of Engineering, so any club I would attempt to fashion wouldn’t be sufficient. I’d probably just stay on my own side of the island, and let them be. They’d likely destroy each other anyway, with no help from me.

Besides, though I have negative feelings towards Fitz, they’ve abated a little bit since he announced he was writing Mike Hull in on his ballot for the Butkus Award.

Must we feed the trolls? Honestly, it’s getting annoying. We sound like idiots. You’re not going to magically convince them no matter the argument, ignore and read on--Sperbro

Sometimes, even existing is feeding the trolls. And feeding the trolls can be hilariously fun. But a bunny or two in their direction always works well. And certain trolling almost demands a response.

Another SBN Overlord style question... Currently we can Rec a FanPost. If a FanPost gets 10 Recs it moves to the top of the list for 14 days. Just wondering… Is it possible to create a "Negative Rec" for FanPosts? (or a "Thumbs Down" icon?) If a FanPost receives 10 Negative Recs it drops off the front page list.—Smee

As far as I’m aware, there’s nothing in the works to put any "negative rec" feature, ala reddit, in place.

Is there a causal relationship between a person's lack of sexual activity and the volume of relationship memes they post on Facebook?—WorldBFat

Not necessarily. Those who post a lot of relationship memes likely aren’t getting laid much, but the inverse isn’t necessarily true.

What is your stance on male Chapstick use?—Dbridi

I’m for it. But not regular chapstick (that tastes gross) and nothing too fruity. But it makes the lips soft, and helps prevent chapping. So, I’m for it in the general sense.

You're interviewing a PSU undergrad/Maryland B-school graduate. Would you hire them? And vice versa (if it matters to you).--trizani83

Sure, why not. Being a Penn Stater should trump everything—and nobody’s perfect.

Which time change is easier to adjust to: falling back, or springing forward?—Smee

How is this even a question? Falling back, dude. That extra hour of sleep is golden.