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BSD Mailbag 11.13.15

You've got questions, BSD has answers!

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How many players from the 2015 Nittany Lions football team are playing for an NFL team in 2016 and who are they? Gerry Dincher
This might just be blind optimism, but I have a hunch that either Christian Hackenberg or Austin Johnson will remain for their final season of eligibility, while the other moves on to greener pastures. With that in mind, I believe that there will be four members of the 2015 team who are playing on Sundays next fall- either Hack or Johnson, Carl Nassib, Anthony Zettel and Jordan Lucas. Angelo Mangiro and Trevor Williams should each receive plenty of looks as well, but both seem far from guaranteed an NFL roster spot at this point.

After the Sparty/Nebraska game, how many more horrible, game-changing calls does John O’Neill and his crew need to botch before he steals the "Worst BIG Official" title belt from Dave Witvoet? vern05
It would be impossible to rank B1G officiating crews from "best" to "worst." A more accurate approach for this group is something I like to call "Tiers of Ineptitude." In this case, O'Neil and Witovet are both firmly in Tier I, where they shall remain until the end of their officiating days (which can't come soon enough).

Who had the most disappointing loss last week? Candidates include but are not limited to LSU (or Fournette’s Heisman campaign), Michigan State, Memphis, TCU and any FBS school from PA not named Temple. Former_DC_Buck
TCU is tempting because they were once a firm number two in the rankings and were absolutely dismantled by an unproven Oklahoma State squad. However, everyone had to have seen this coming based on the fact the Horned Frogs have not had any semblance of a defense this season.

Sparty has to be the choice here. They have been living on the edge for most of the season, but having your College Football Playoff hopes dashed by a team in complete disarray had to be a soul-crushing experience for everyone in green and white. The astoundingly awful call at the end that gifted Nebraska with the go-ahead score certainly adds more salt in the wound. If I were a Spartans fan, I would have a very difficult time forgetting about that game for some time.

Biggest disappointment from the jNW game? What was the worst part of the game in your opinion? Care to rank em?
- Hackenberg’s start 
- O-Line play 
- Defense (specifically vs the run and vs a back up QB) 
- Special teams 
- Penalties 

The worst part of the game by far was the missed opportunities. From the dismal start by the offense, the dropped interceptions, giving up a kickoff return after finally gaining some momentum, the inability to pick up a key first down or make a stop (especially on third and 15) that would have sealed the deal all contributed to an extremely close loss to a good team. I would almost rather see Penn State get blown out so you can at least say "We lost to a much better team" or "We just didn't deserve to win today" and move on, instead of thinking of the many ways your team blew a soul-crushing loss in a game that easily could have been a huge victory for the program.

As far as ranking the disappointing factors:

1. Hack's start- was expecting much more after the last few performances 
2. Penalties- far too many mental mistakes that made it needlessly difficult to find any rhythm
3. Special teams- far too inconsistent from week to week, and the kickoff return in the second quarter was the determining factor of the game
4. OL Play- I never have high hopes with this unit, but they looked completely outclassed against a solid front seven. 5. Defense- Overall the defense played fairly well, especially considering they were on the field for almost the entire first half.

Who would you like to see us play in a bowl game? Do you see a 7-5 season as a success? PhillyLion
There are many different possibilities with a few weeks left, and while I want to see a Jan. 1 or 2 bowl, I am very intrigued by a potential match-up with UCLA in the Foster Farms or Holiday Bowl. For one, bowl games against unusual opponents are always fun. Secondly, getting the opportunity to face off against Tom Bradley would be a fantastic storyline (although I'm not certain our Herb Hand would agree).

I hate to sound like a spoiled fan, but I wouldn't feel like a 7-5 season was a success. I wouldn't call it terribly disappointing because of the youth, but I thought a season of at least 8-4 would put Penn State in a great position to become a contender in 2016. Going 7-5 would also mean ending the season on a three-game skid, which is always difficult to be excited about, regardless of the strength of schedule in those final three contests.

With the year he is having Is Austin Johnson as good as gone? joey.taylor.jt
Like I mentioned earlier, I have a weird hunch that either Hack or Johnson returns. But using logic and reason, Johnson seems as good as gone. Not only does he produce at an alarming rate from the tackle position, he also has the measurables that NFL GMs drool over. Depending on the depth at the DT position for the upcoming class, I could see Johnson's name called late in the first round or early in the second with an impressive Combine performance. 

When you were a kid, what did you want to grow up to be?
My childhood dream was to be the successor to Bernie Kosar as the Cleveland Brown quarterback. I even had it planned out that my rookie season would be 2005, so he could retire from the game at the age of 42 after leading the Brown to nine Super Bowl titles.  Unfortunately, the long career with multiple rings didn't quite work out for Bernie. However, I am sure it was in the best interests of my long-term health that my dream of suiting up as the Browns quarterback didn't quite pan out.

What are your plans for the bye week? Former_DC_Buck
I should spend it catching up on household projects, but there will be plenty of Saturdays without any college football in the future. I will spend the day with my usual four-screen experience in the man cave, enjoying a long day of stress-free football while I polish off some of the remaining fall beers to make room for the next batch of seasonal brews. I like to plan my meals on Saturdays well ahead of time so I don't have to interrupt any football viewing, but I may get adventurous this week to have one last hurrah on the grill before putting it away for the winter. Either way, it will be an excellent day of too much football and calories.

Fallout 4 comes out this week For those who aren’t into video games, this is a big deal. I’ve tried to prepare my girlfriend for my inevitable withdraw from society as I roam the wastelands and told her time and time again how I’m going to basically be a shut-in, but I don’t think she’s fully grasped what she’s gotten into. Anyway, how much shit will I be in if I tell her to "Get Bent" if she asks me to go apple-picking or some bullshit on the weekend? skarocksi
The key here is building as much social capital as possible prior to the release of the game. Prepare by spending a couple weeks in advance doing anything you can to make her happy- show up with flowers for no reason at all, watch her favorite rom-coms with her, have dinner prepared for her when she gets home from school/work, plan a long weekend together. Just do whatever you can to build up enough social capital so that you can slink away for a few days in the best standing possible with your girlfriend.

I once put this together as a guide to watch as much football as possible throughout the fall. There should be some good advice in here for you. Best of luck to you with this endeavor.

4 of the last 5 QBs to start against the PSU defense have failed to finish, either due to injury or poor play. Should Michigan’s starter be nervous? vern05
Any quarterback should be mighty concerned about having to line up across from Carl Nassib, Austin Johnson and Anthony Zettel. If I went under center and saw them waiting to do some very bad things to me, I'm pretty certain I would ruin my football pants. At least when it happens to a Michigan quarterback, the yellow pants won't make it as noticeable.

What is your favorite burrito setup? Beef/pork/chicken? Black beans or pinto? Guac? Salsa? Etc…Bearwithscarf
For some reason I almost always go with shrimp on my tacos and steak on my burritos. I am not a picky eater at all, so I really love to go gung ho with my sandwich/burrito/wrap. etc. toppings.

My typical burrito looks something like this: steak, white rice, black beans, lettuce, sauteed onions and peppers, salsa verde, corn, black olives, hot sauce, sour cream and guacamole.

Also, if any of you have the opportunity to try a sweet potato burrito, please do so. You won't be disappointed.