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BSD Mailbag 9.3.14

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You've got questions, BSD has answers.

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First game under Franklin: did it exceed your expectations, meet your expectations, or fail to meet your expectations? Explain. Dbridi
Exceeded. Hackenberg looked even better than he did against Wisconsin outside of a few ill-advised throws, but I can't blame him for forcing things with no running game. The play of the receivers exceeded my best-case-scenario. I had high hopes for the DL, and they look to have the makings of a dominant unit from the peak of the Scrap/LJ Sr. era. I was anxious to see how Jordan Lucas progressed from last season, and he looks like he'll be shutting down his side of the field this fall. I was even somewhat satisfied with the offensive line. Sure, there's plenty of room for improvement but they will continue to get better with each week. Considering how green the unit is, they could easily be a huge disaster- something that won't happen as long as everyone can remain healthy. The team has its share of weaknesses, but there's no doubt 2014 should be a very exciting season.

On a scale of "we don't serve alcohol here" to "open bar" How sweet is it to have a QB that makes you feel confident, not just "we have a chance", but actually confident with 1:13 to go and three timeouts needing only a field goal to win? vern05
I'm always overly optimistic leading up to games, then flip a switch and assume the worst case scenario will occur once the game begins- probably some defense mechanism I developed growing up as a Browns fan. But I still believed Hack would carry the offense down the field after UCF's last go-ahead touchdown. So to answer your question- open bar with top-shelf liquor and all your favorite beers on tap.

On a scale of 1 - CJF Hugging $am Ficken post game How happy are you that college football is back? Lucius429
I'm CFJ hugging $am Ficken after drinking coffee by myself in the basement for the past four hours, with an extra dash of giddiness. It just doesn't get any better than Saturdays in the fall- truly the most wonderful time of the year.

I had my first experience of listening to Paul Finebaum this morning. I don’t think I have ever heard anybody with such an anti B1G bias in my life. Is he the worst ever or is it just me? Gerry Dincher 
He's great at stirring the pot and getting people to tune in for the conflict. He's the perfect addition for ESPN.

What are the chances of getting a few blowouts this year? I don’t know if my heart or liver will make it without a few gimmies. gestaltshift
At the moment, I'm not expecting too many blowouts. I'm cautiously optimistic but I'm still concerned about the team putting together a winning season while building for bigger and better things in 2015. I even think the Akron game will be closer than many people think. The only likely blowout is September 20 against UMASS. I also believe there will be an unexpected blowout or two when Hack is especially on and all the bounces go Penn State's way. 

For those of us who are time-challenged, BSD in the past had a feature each Thursday (?) listing that weekend’s games by several categories such as "Don’t Miss" to " Don’t Bother." Is that feature coming back? glenrocker
Yes, we used to run a national preview post every Thursday during the season. I took it over from Peter Berkes in 2012, but we decided to discontinue it following that season. It wasn't a very frequented post and practically the only comments it received was along the lines of "Screw the rest of the NCAA, I'll only care about Penn State." Perhaps the sentiment has changed a bit since we can now see a light at the end of the sanctions tunnel. But for now, check out the non-Penn State Saturday open threads where we list the times and TV coverage of notable games for the week.

Are there any pictures out there of the team's party-flight home from Ireland? Raoul69
A live video feed of that celebration would have been almost as entertaining as the fourth quarter. My guess is they celebrated like cray the entire flight home, and then were all business as soon as they stepped off the plane.

Any possibility that the PSU-UCF series could continue? Raoul69
It's a possibility, but I wouldn't hold my breath. With the B10 moving to a nine-game conference schedule in the near future, out-of-conference scheduling will become much trickier. UCF will need to build on its success from a year ago and consistently field a ranked team for them to be considered an attractive home-and-home option for our athletic department.

What is your guess on the season for Kent State this year? In light of an 0-1 start. Like you, I am an alum. jiminore
I'm back to expecting losing seasons now that Darrell Hazel has left for Purdue. In 2012 they were a double-overtime loss to Northern Illinois from an Orange Bowl appearance, but that seems like a very distant memory now. I'm not certain what to takeaway from the week one loss against Ohio- they squandered numerous opportunities and should have come away with a huge conference win. Does it prove they can hang with the upper-echelon of the MAC, or simply that they don't know how to win games. Like all the other teams from Northeast Ohio, at least we can say there's always next year.

How many pints did hbeach consume in Dublin? Smee
I believe the formula to determine this is to take the number of Christian Hackenberg pass attempts, multiply by Anthony Zettel negative hits, add then add the amount of James Franklin postgame hugs.