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BSD Mailbag 12.2.16


Michigan State v Penn State Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

Not a question but more of a recognition request. Tim Banks deserves a big shout-out for his role on the staff this year. From Marcus Allen’s turnaround to Malik Golden’s fantastic season, the safeties didn’t have a drop off at all last year. That’s surprising (at least to me) because it was also the position group Shoop was responsible for. Didn’t have quite the dramatic results like the O-Line or the offense production in general but a damn fine season of work nonetheless.—Bro-Lo El Cunado

Consider your recognition request fulfilled. Also, don’t forget that Banks is technically also the Co-Defensive Coordinator (similar to how Pry was the last two years). Also, here’s a good Q&A with Banks.

How sad are OSU and many of its fans for celebrating a "shared" division title? I honestly didn’t even realize until yesterday that PSU had a share of the Leaders division back in ’11.—06Lion

I don’t understand why some schools consider the shared titles when they lose head to head...and for us, when we “share” the title, it’s with OSU (ala 2005 and 2008) and they claim the share, though we have the head to head. Sigh. It’s silly - especially when you have divisions, and there’s an actual title game.

Andre Robinson almost always creates positive yardage. Is Saquon so good that we don’t see Andre as a change of pace more often?—mcbike

So, here’s the thing that many PSU fans forget—at one point in the 2015 recruiting cycle, Robinson was rated ahead of Barkley (though they finished 6 & 7 ranked players out of the commonwealth of PA, both four star backs).

But yes, I think what you’re saying is generally correct - and having him in means the defense keys on him and it opens up the pass game, since they stack the box (like MSU did).

Biggest single play this year (aside from the FG Block/Return against OSU)?

I feel like there was a turning point before the OSU game for this team. For me, it was the 3rd and 10 play against Minnesota on the final drive where McSorely threw off of his back foot to a diving Chris Godwin to get the first down and keep the drive going. We went down and forced overtime with a FG then won it in overtime. The rest is history.—mattritch56

I agree. Before the overtime, on that drive, we kept feeding Saquon to no avail—but after that play, after that drive when we got the touchdown - our first play from scrimmage when we had the ball, he waltzes into the endzone near untouched.

But really it was the blocked field goal and Grant Haley’s return that made everyone, the team to the fans to the rest of the nation, true believers and made them realize that we were contenders—compounded by the next four minutes in which the Penn State defense did what they did all game, stifling the Ohio State offense and keeping them out of field goal territory.

On a scale from 9.9 to 10, How spectacular will it be when a talented, deep, and now experienced Nittany Lion team puts the hammer down on a talented but young and naive Wolverine team at home on a Whiteout night next season ?—notJohn

Numbers cannot describe. But I will take bets on how many times during the game Jim Harbaugh whines about the refs - I’m setting the O/U at four right now.

Why does Alabama get so much love? If college football has taught us anything, it’s that anyone can be beaten anytime. The few times I watched them they haven’t looked any better than other year, but everyone is saying it’s Saban’s best team ever. One of the first games I remember watching was PSU v Miami for the 1986 MNC in which no one gave PSU a chance until Ray Isom hit Michael Irvin so hard that he had TRex arms for the rest of the night. Can Alabama be beaten this year? If they lose to Florida shouldn’t they be punished? Why don’t teams drop so far like they did in the past for losing on the field?—EnisEnvy

For some reason, this year late season losses don’t seem to be impacting teams’ rankings like they did in the past, and I’m not sure why - the only thing I can think of is the fact that there are far fewer no- and one-loss teams this year than in most years, so who would rise above Washington or Clemson with their one loss? Teams with worse records?

In terms of Alabama, it has to do with the fact that they are the returning national champions and were preseason number one - and still haven’t lost. They’re the only Power 5 team without a loss, and with the SEC being comparatively down this year, they haven’t been challenged as much as they normally are in most years. So that makes them look even better.

Any chance we can have the playoff committee select the top 10, write each team's name on a piece of paper, drop them in a brown tall boy bag, and have a hobo select the national champion?—Aqua Velva Man

That would be amazing. #Chaos

Three questions:

1) Why should the NFL be allowed to dominate the football landscape and push half of the New Year’s Six games onto a Monday when a significant portion of the country will be at work?

2) Why did they move the kickoff times for the playoffs up an hour? Last year, we literally got to ring in the New Year with football, and it was great. Now we have the first semifinal kicking off at 3:00 in the afternoon, and the Orange Bowl gets pushed to December 30th. Only 2 of the 6 New Year’s Six bowls are actually being played on New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day this year. That’s stupid. Now they may as well change the name to "Six Really Big Games that get ESPN Good Ratings". Not nearly the ring to it, but twice the accuracy.

3) Am I the only one who thinks the bowl schedule is all kinds of messed up this year?


1) Because unfortunately, a lot of America doesn’t have as good taste as we do and prefers the NFL to college football. Personally, I don’t get it (though I like pro football, it’s just not as good) but you can’t change people’s habits once they’re ingrained, really.

2) There was a TON of backlash last year with the late showings, and viewership was way down - a lot of people who normally would watch the games were out and not watching. I’m sure that was most of the factor in the decision, because it’s all about the money and ad revenue.

3) No, you are decidedly not. I, luckily, am off on the second, but I would have preferred to have that day to recover!

If we win the BIG and get left out of the playoffs, do we have a free pass to run up the score on everyone next year? Also, it was great to meet you, Dena, Tim, and everyone else on Saturday!—vern05

I think we may be running up the score whether we have a free pass or not, just by nature of our offense (but getting left out of the playoffs just makes it that much sweeter). And it was great to meet you too (and the porter was delicious)!

Wrestling starts at noon on Sunday in the BJC. The Nittany Valley Half Marathon starts at 10:00 AM and finishes at the Visitor’s Center across from Beaver Stadium. The walk from the finish line to the BJC is a half-mile. If you ran the race would you be in your seat in time for the national anthem?—Smee

Ha. Not a chance. Unless someone was chasing me for the end, or I had the promise of an up close Cael meeting at the finish line.

Bryce Jordan Center versus Big Ten Title Game—I already had tickets to the wrestling and I chose it because I doubted I could drive back from Indianapolis and stay awake (flying is not an option). Did I make the right choice? Is the athletic department so in love with the Big Ten Network that they were afraid to ask them to move the start time back to a later time?—wvlion

I don’t think you made the right choice, I’m sorry. There’s no guarantee that we’ll be back in the Big Ten Championship, but you know there’ll be another BJC Dual - and next year we’ll be just as strong in wrestling, and it will likely be a stronger opponent than Lehigh.

The athletic department moved the basketball and volleyball games the day before, so I don’t think that was a consideration - I don’t think they felt it was needed.

Thursday night at the Peg, #3 Penn State takes on #30 Michigan. They square off again Friday night. Who ya got?—Smee

Well I’m writing this on Thursday night, and as I type, PSU is up 6-1. So I’m pretty confident in the Nittany Lions.

Same on Friday, but I doubt it will be as much of a blowout.

From garder54 in the MMQB thread

This is very important, and solid. So in case you didn’t see it here, posting it here. What’s the word?

Thigh pads

How come some have the traditional pads, others have the logo on it, and I thought I saw "26" on Barkley’s this past game? Being phased in as needed? Player’s choice? These are the questions we need answered leading up to the bee one gee chip.

Posted by garder54 on Nov 28, 2016 | 5:23 AM


We started using the ones with logos last year (see this article) and to me the numbers just seem like another extension of that. It’s a way for the Penn State uniform to be just ever so slightly flashier (and have the PSU logo) without really changing. I dig them.

I'm taking the LSAT Saturday morning.

1. Any sage advice?

2. How the hell am I supposed to focus on the LSAT when I’ve got B1G Championships on the brain?


I’m no lawyer, but I’ve been told you shouldn’t become one ;) That’s my advice.

But seriously, good luck from BSD because it’s tough. And studying Friday night is going to be even tougher!

How long is too long to go back into a thread to comment? Is there a necro limit of decency? In a conversation, multiple days past, near the bottom of the first page, a late comment is just too late, not a real sentence, just janky phrases.—MrNoPants

Generally, I stop commenting or checking comments once a post leaves the front page. But that’s just me; feel free to leave your personal preferences in the comments!

I have a bottle of Dogfish Head 120 Minute IPA, aged eight years, that I have been saving for a special occasion. Is Saturday’s game this special beer’s destiny?—LowcountryLion

I personally can’t stand IPAs, so what you’re proposing sounds frankly disgusting. But I’d save it for the celebration beer, if/when we win the championship - so a midnight Saturday beer, or selection Sunday beer.

Please rank your top 5 Christmas movies/specials

It’s been awhile since we had a rankening.

1. A Christmas Story

2. Christmas Vacation

3. How the Grinch Stole Christmas – cartoon version not that Jim Carey crap.

4. A Charlie Brown Christmas

5. Elf

Gerry Dincher

1. Holiday Inn (parts are racist, and I fast-forward through them. But it reminds me of my childhood, it has Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire, and it’s the first instance of “White Christmas”)

2. Love Actually (come at me bros)

3. White Christmas (because I loooove Bing and Danny Kaye, even though he and Rosemary Clooney are incredibly inappropriate together)

4. Elf (I just bought an ugly Christmas sweatshirt that says “the best way to spread Penn State cheer is to roar loud for all to hear” and it’s so ugly that I adore it)

5. Christmas Eve on Sesame Street (if you’re a Christmas lover, try not to cry during “Keep Christmas With You”)

ok.....I have been seeing previews of the "new" Star Wars movie. How is this not a remake of Empire w/out snow. Were these last three episodes written this way or do they suck worse than episodes 1-3 that they’re just remaking episodes 4-6—joey.taylor.jt

Dude. I can’t even.

Rogue One has nothing to do with the characters in Episodes I-VII, aside from a not-so-surprise short appearance from Vader. This is totally a new Star Wars movie, and more of a heist movie that happens to be set in the Star Wars universe—completely different from Empire, which had three parts (opening on Hoth, the middle with Luke’s training/Han and Leia solidifying their love, and the denouement in Bespin) that, unlike the original, Return of the Jedi or Force Awakens, had no early-on stated mission that our heroes would need to complete (or overcome) by movie’s end. Rogue One is the reason why A New Hope exists given its subject material of the stealing of the plans for the original Death Star, and given the stakes and the projected cast of characters, I would be shocked if a majority of them made it out alive.

I have yet another wedding on Saturday, do I wear the chipmunk pants again? I wore them for the Pinstripe Bowl, with obvious success, but since then they have been worn for Temple and Georgia last year, plus UM and Minny this year. Overall chipmunk pants record is 2-3, but that Minny game tho…—vern05

No, don’t wear them. But DO keep them with you just in case we are down in the fourth and need their mystical overtime powers (side note, fall weddings are the worst).

Hey guys. I'll be in Indianapolis, but if you're in DC dring the game, you should go to Exiles! You won't be sorry.