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BSD Mailbag 10.20.17

Will Michigan put up a fight? How’s Gameday going to go? Who else misses Derrick Williams? All that and more in this week’s mailbag!

Michigan State v Michigan Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images

It's 3:48. Can anyone tell me how many Big Ten East titles Jim Harbaugh has won?—kijana's acl

The same number as you or I! Also note that he never won a Pac (10) 12 title (they didn’t have divisions when he was at Stanford) when in Palo Alto, so he has the same number of conference titles overall as you or I too!

Can we score enough points against Michigan's defense to overcome the 10-17 points Michigan's putrid offense will inevitably put up?—Blumski13

Haha yes. This is a night whiteout game. We gon’ eat.

Did Coach Franklin and JOMO hold anything back in the first 6 weeks?

Is this the game we see explosive plays like last season?

Michigan allows 85 rushing yards/game….Does the O Line get it done? Does Barkley get over 100 on the ground?

Bonus Question…Does Michigan eventually have to play their 3rd QB? (either O’Korn getting knocked out or blowout win)—PeteZockyU

  1. According to them, they did. I’ll only not believe it if we don’t see anything new.
  2. Only if we need to! (we probably will need to)
  3. The O-Line does enough to get Barkley his, whether it’s a handoff, out of the back field, on end arounds, or getting him the ball in space.
  4. I don’t necessarily think this will happen…unless they have to send in the 3rd stringer for a play rather than use a time out because O’Korn’s helmet has been knocked off.

Are the most important plays in Penn State Football history since 2000? Off the top of my head:

- Robinson’s pass to Smolko at Northwestern on 4th and 15 back in 2005

- Haley’s TD return last year of the blocked OSU FG

- Tamba Hali going Fresh Prince on Troy Smith and how his life got flipped, turned upside down

- A Rob’s catch versus Michigan in 2013—Dbridi

Those are some pretty good options. Another one is Derrick Williams’ catch also in that Northwestern game, where he ducked a defensive back and continued his run after an almost full stop for the score. I also think, and this isn’t really us doing anything so much as taking advantage, the Wisconsin missed field goal to end the 2012 season on a win also was a key play; it showed that even with sanctions and key parts of the team leaving for “business decisions”, Penn State wasn’t going to lie down and take it, and would be a force to be reckoned with no matter what. Leave your other great football memories of the aughts in the comments!

When does Penn State start getting the calls that we like to think Ohio State and Michigan get? Is it happening already? Are we just paranoid fans who think the refs are out to get us?—Gerry Dincher

It’s definitely already happening. Just look at Michigan fans complaining about how many penalties they are being called for – these penalties have been happening for years, they’re just finally being flagged. And, to be honest, they could be flagged for defensive holding or PI a lot more, with the way that their defensive backfield plays (though, to be fair, in almost every game by the letter of the rule book, dozens of penalties go uncalled). We have a complex whereby we don’t think we get calls, but it’s selective memory for most of our fans. The Big Ten refs are just generally awful to almost everybody.

Will Michigan score a garbage time td like Northwestern did? Or will the second team defense preserve the shut out this week? Unless something unusual happens I don’t see how Michigan will reach the end zone.—wvlion

I don’t think it will be a shutout headed into the fourth – but I also don’t think Michigan’s offense will score a touchdown, at least not without an incredibly short field from their defense.

Please rank in probability order (Highest probability first):

Coaches who will remain with their current employer 5 years from now

James Franklin

Urban Meyer

James Harbaugh

Mark D’Antonio—LarzLion


Dantonio (I don’t understand why so many people put an apostrophe in his name)


Meyer (I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s gone by 2019)

How many undefeated teams will there be at the end of the regular season?—jiminore

Like most years, zero.

How much grief does that diva Quinn Nordin receive this weekend for his attention craving antics when he committed to Penn State?—jrh5064

I hope none. He was a kid and teenaged kids do stupid shit. We just have social media nowadays, which means teenaged stupid shit gets broadcasted everywhere, retweeted, and comes back to haunt everyone.

Which of these events will be the most satisfying to see on Saturday?

1) Erstwhile Penn State commit Lavert Hill getting torched on a post route by DeAndre Thompkins for a long touchdown?

2) Erstwhile Penn State commit Michael Dwumfour getting flattened by Chasz Wright, springing Barkley loose for a long touchdown?

3) Erstwhile Penn State commit Quinn Nordin having a desperation FG. attempt blocked right back off of his facemask, into the waiting arms of Grant Haley for a long touchdown?—notJohn

I think most likely (not what you asked, of course) is number one – Hill is good, don’t get me wrong, but so are our wideouts. Not sure it will be Thompkins, necessarily – maybe Juwan Johnson gets the call on that one.

It would be most satisfying to see Wright pancake Dwumfour because it also feels like the most unlikely, with how our offensive line has been playing.

Is the CFB Imperialism map the best thing about 2017 different from other seasons? I guess we have to cheer for MSU a couple weeks cuz if we win the next 3 games, PSU might have an insurmountable lead on the map. As well as some very nicely connected areas.—C.McKean

The guy who created this was genius. It’s fun to watch it change every week.

Overnight rv lot...Two years ago, there were Michigan fans all over the place. (We were actually parked between two groups. Puke.) With the new rules in place, how sparse will their contingent be? Has there been any chatter among their fan base about the inability to come camp?—bearwithscarf

I tried to look for chatter on the Michigan boards about this, but was unable to find any. I think it’s more likely they’ll be almost exclusively confined to Grange rather than the lots on campus, due to the new rules this year; either that or they’ll be buying their passes on StubHub or using one of the AirBnBs set up as RVs for this game.

Game day advice: Going up with a large group (10 people), 3 people’s first time in Happy Valley. What are things I should do on Saturday? Game Day is a must but I’m mostly concerned of starting drinking at noon for a 7:30 game.—rpm5103

“I’m mostly concerned starting drinking at noon for a 7:30 game”.

I’ll be there around 8 am, likely drinking as we set up. Just remember – a day like this is a marathon, not a sprint, so you’ve got to pace yourself. If you do head over to Gameday, you’ll be pretty close to downtown; I’d suggest going to one of the bars down there, either the Skeller or Deli or a number of others have great food to go with your drinks, before grabbing a gameday shuttle up to the stadium (maybe around 3) and wandering around. Most tailgates will gladly accept stragglers, especially those who’ve never been in Happy Valley before.

Does the PSU fanbase put its best foot forward for Gameday or does a small minority with an axe to grind make us all look like a bunch of asshats?—PSU Mudder

I think most of the jerks will be kept out of the area that makes it on campus by ESPN security, so the small minority will only make us look bad to the behind the scenes ESPN crew, not national television. I’m expecting it’ll go pretty fine, basically like most other Gamedays not in Happy Valley.

In the battle of the “we-don't-want-to-be-PSU, Just-kidding-we’re-totally-jealous” match up of rutgr VS. pitt, who would win? Let’s say the game is at rutgr. Side questions, how many fans would show up? How much would the tickets be if the stubhub minimum wasn’t 6 bucks?—darthmango

I think if it is in Piscataway, Rutgers would win. They’re both just so horribad this year, but the Scarlet Knights, playing in arguably the toughest division in college football, actually have a conference win this year, and looked okay against Washington.

I’d bet that you’d find people giving away their tickets outside the game.

This is my first mailbag question. Should I play it straight and ask if Michigan can stop #26 with their front 7 allowing the Strong Safety to play pass and holding PSU to under 30 points, or do I dive into BSD jungle and ask how on earth could a hot dog be a sandwich because that would open the crazy possibility that a Taco is a sandwich (well of course I’m talking flour tortilla and not a corn tortilla because everyone knows corn tortilla is a snack food and a flour tortilla is actually bread by the strictest reading of Jewish Law) because it is meat and cheese and hopefully other things between bread. I’m not sure I can live in a world that calls a Taco a sandwich…..or for that matter Michigan being able to hold PSU to under 30….—jbolt1971

Yes, they will – I’ll be surprised if PSU cracks 30 against the Wolverines.

And I can see both sides on a hot dog (don’t @ me), but are you crazy like a Harbaugh, man? A taco ain’t a sandwich!

I'm contemplating a vacation to one or more of the Rocky Mountain states. Any recommendations?—WorldBFat

Colorado is absolutely, hands down beautiful. I took a week and drove around the state a few years back after my college roommate’s wedding, and it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made – wandering through the backroads, everything was picturesque. Even the thunderstorms were gorgeous.

What's the craziest dream you have ever had? I’ve been having really lucid ones lately. Last week I had a dream I was playing HORSE with Charles Barkley.—swift_retribution

I have a lot of weird dreams, but also dreams that feel relatively real. I once had a dream that a former coworker was getting married to her boyfriend, and when I told her about it the next day, she informed me that they had just gotten engaged but hadn’t told anybody yet. That was pretty crazy.

But arguably the craziest was preseason this year when I dreamed we were down three scores to Maryland. That’s just so unfathomable, it’s got to be close to the craziest.

how old is too old..…to go corning? Mid-40s still OK? Does house versus car make a difference (I always enjoyed both, but preferred cars).—mikeswavely

I had never heard of corning until the comments of the questions fanpost. And I kind of wish I still hadn’t – you’re too old, dude. High school graduates are too old.

(he’s 50 now...can you believe it?!)

I was sick with the flu for about a week. What is your "I’m sick and I’m staying home" routine if you have one. What’s the worst you’ve been sick? Also, did I miss anything around here?—skarocksoi

I once had the flu for a week a few years ago; in having this flu, I found out that I was one of the 10% of the population for whom TamiFlu actually makes you worse, so that was fun. Generally I will just stay on the couch and watch TLC and TNT all day, with reruns of Say Yes To The Dress and Supernatural.

When I was a kid, I used to watch Three Ninjas every time I was home sick. Now I want to watch it again just because of this question.

I just drove by Arby’s and saw "Venison Sandwich Coming Saturday". Will they be serving scrapple for breakfast, soon? They might was well sew up the Central Pennsylvania demographic and start making cosmos.—Gerry Dincher

If Arby’s starts selling scrapple and it is even close to being cooked properly, I will become a regular customer again.

Is it Saturday yet?--bearwithscarf

At the time of this post, no. But it’s getting closer with every passing second!