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BSD Mailbag 12.4.15

You've got questions, BSD has answers!

Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports

I need a sounding board for this question...truth or bullshit? At home in State College for Thanksgiving, the rumor was that the administration would like a weak, middle of the pack football team. They feel that there is too much support for football, it makes up too much of Penn State’s presence. Truth or bullshit? 87Townie
I'll say almost all bullshit with a little bit of truth. I am sure there are a few in the administration who hold the sentiments you expressed, and I can't say I completely blame them. If you have devoted your entire career to academia I could understand sour feelings about having your university mostly recognized for its football program. But that's just the way the world works, and most academic administrators have the emotional intelligence to understand this. Heck, just try Googling any major university and the first hit is almost always "INSERT UNIVERSITY NAME Football."

Anyways, there are many reasons why Penn State is currently a middle-of-the-pack football team, none of which have to do with a lack of support from the administration. I highly doubt members of the BOT are interfering with the play-calling or doing anything to stunt the development of the offensive line (Crap, maybe I shouldn't give them any ideas). The simple fact of the matter is that if the administration wanted a weak football program, they would not have worked to land one of the hottest coaching candidates at the time in Franklin, making moves to renovate/re-build Beaver Stadium or have an extremely active Athletic Department that is endlessly promoting the football team.

Suppose Hackenberg goes pro. Which team do you think takes him? Which team is the best fit? Which team is the worst fit? Gerry Dincher
It's impossible to predict who might take him if he's projected to go after round one, which means just about every franchise will have the opportunity to select or pass on him. The good thing about his slipping stock is that it allows for Hack to be selected by a well-managed and stable franchise. The best-case scenario for him is to go to a team with a reliable veteran quarterback so he can sit and learn the NFL game for a year or two. He has all the physical tools the NFL needs, and his eventual NFL coaches will need some time to work with him to reset his mechanics after all the damage he's been through during the past two seasons.

The worst fit for Hack, or any other college quarterback, is the Browns. They have a way of ruining quarterbacks, and if he ended up in Cleveland, he'll be forced into action by the end of his rookie season where he will once again be behind a patchwork line, but this time with no weapons at his disposal at the skill positions. Although, I do think Hack has too much talent and potential for Cleveland to take much of an interest in him.

Kansas and Purdue on a neutral field- Who loses? Other than the folks forced to watch? Former_DC_Buck
I know I'm a Big Ten homer, but I think Purdue is the obvious choice to win this game. They are still a poor football team, but Darrell Hazel had them playing hard and they nearly pulled off a couple stunning upsets this season.

Should Rutgers have fired Julie Hermann earlier or kept Kyle Flood instead of trying to fill both positions at once? Former_DC_Buck
Herman never should have been hired in the first place based on her atrocious track record before joining Rutgers. But firing both at the same time points to a failure in leadership from the University, which now finds itself in the dilemma of being in the middle of an extremely competitive head coaching search with no clear vision for the future of the athletic department. It may have been best to just hand on to Flood until the new AD is in place and ready to begin taking steps forward to rebuild the department.

You get one play back this season, what is it? I mean you get one play were the team gets a "do over," not you get to pick some unlikely outcome (i.e. we block the kick vs. Northwestern). My pick would be 3-and-15 vs. Northwestern. Decent coverage and that pass might not even be thrown. I could also see a case being made for the holding behind the play on Barkley’s TD run vs. tOSU, or going with the punt vs. Temple and telling NWW to take a knee and sit than down out. Others? MJBPSU
I'm right with you with picking something from the Northwestern game. That was by far the most painful loss of the season because Penn State had about eight opportunities to close out that game toward the end and did not capitalize on a single one. Grant Haley's dropped interception and the blown coverage on third-and-15 immediately come to mind, but I think I would choose Hackenberg's interception on Penn State's final drive. Prior to that play, he had gone nearly seven full games without being picked off. Not only did it give Northwestern decent field position to get into field goal range, it also prevented Penn State from running out the clock and/or taking a four or eight point lead that would have likely sealed the deal.

Was Anthony Zettel overhyped in preseason – did he live up to expectations? jb3jammer54
I don't think Zettel was over-hyped at all. We all know what he could do when offenses didn't focus on him, so it's only natural for his production to dip once teams know to make him their main focus and work to shut him down with double and triple-teams. Plus, I am sure the loss of his father earlier in the season took an emotional and physical toll on him. Regardless of his numbers as a senior, Zettel will be fondly remembered as a Penn State legend for years to come.

When should we expect an announcement of what bowl game we are going to? rpm5103
All bowl games will be announced on Sunday, so your wait will be over very soon. In the meantime, check out some of the latest projections for Penn State.

Who should we root for in B1G Championship game? I know MSU is probably the best shot to represent the B1G admirably but Iowa would be a "holy shit how did that happen?!" team. rpm5103
I'm honestly really torn myself, so I just say go with whichever team you like more/hate less. I do agree Michigan State would probably have the better chance against the likely playoff teams, but I think with Iowa's style of play (tough defense, excellent ground game, few mistakes) anything can happen in 60 minutes on the field against the likes of a Clemson or Oklahoma. My pick right now is Michigan State because they seem to be a team on a mission now that they're back in the playoff picture and have a near healthy roster after an injury-laden season. Either way, I'll be cheering my heart out for either one on New Year's Eve.

Who will fill the shoes left by John Butler and John Donovan? Who will draw the BSD hate next year? Who is the new whipping boy? dbridi
Herb Hand. If he returns as offensive line coach in 2016, the heat will be on him from the very beginning. Hand will need to show immediate and sizable improvements with a veteran line that has been given plenty of time to show progress.

With the hiring of a new OC, how safe would the rest of the offensive coaching staff be? Would a new OC want to enlist the help of people he is familiar with? Would Franklin be amenable to that? uforabin
I don't think anyone on the offensive staff should be too comfortable right now. If Franklin wants to bring in the best man for the job, he will need to give him control of the make-up of the offensive staff. This is especially true considering the fact that Franklin seems to be more of a delegator when it comes to his coordinators. If bringing in his own staff means bringing in his own set of position coaches, then by all means it should happen.

Ever had a Rax roast beef sandwich? WorldBFat
No. I don't eat fast food so that sounds absolutely terrible. It would literally turn my insides to mush.

Give me one good reason we shouldn't hire Dave Wannstedt as our next OC. millzners
How about three?

1. The dumb smirk that never leaves his face. 
2. He's making bank as a commentator without any of stress and 16 hour days that come with coaching.
3. He's a defensive coach.

Do we have a new OC in place by the bowl game? If so, how much (if any) does the playcalling change during that game? drea1020
There is a good chance the new OC will be in place by the bowl game, but I seriously doubt he would be around long enough to jump into action to serve as the OC within a month. He will likely be more spectator than coach for the bowl game and we will just have to wait until September to find out what we can expect from the new regime.