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BSD Mailbag 9.8.17

We’re talking Pitt, the so-called rivalry, job openings and more!

Taylor Swift's Court Case Against David Mueller Photo by Joe Mahoney/Getty Images

Besides at OSU and Michigan at home, what do you see as our most challenging game?--phillyfanisc

I've said this before, but I really think Northwestern is. Franklin has never beat Pat Fitzgerald, either at PSU or Vanderbilt, and we get off to slow starts at 11 am local time (see: at Northwestern, 2015). Northwestern is talented enough to make a run at the Big Ten West crown; it's just going to be a question of whether they believe too much in their own hype. Of all coaches in this conference, I dislike Fitzgerald the most so this is the loss that would hurt me more than others. I also don't think Michigan will be that close, even though the final score may indicate it.

Is Narduzzi good for the Pitt/Penn State rivalry? He seems to give the game the attention and theatrics a rivalry should warrant, but it also seems like he’s trying too hard. Since he doesn’t have any personal history with Pitt prior to coaching there, it seems rather artificial and nothing turns me off of something faster than something being promoted for its own sake rather than the original reason it exists in the first place. It’s kind of like all the out of town people that would come to Penn State for State Patty’s Day.--Succss With Honor Always

Narduzzi seems perfect for the Pitt side of the rivalry. He talks up the game a lot, seems to compare himself to his counterpart, and talks negatively about his purported rival when given even the smallest opportunity (like in recruiting). He gripes about unfairness (like in last year's mimicing of offensive play calls), but complains of whining when his counterpart brings up those same issues. He's a microcosm of the fan base, and a perfect embodiment of them.

Contrast that with James Franklin, who seems perfect for the Penn State side of the rivalry; Franklin publicly talks about how it's just another game, but you know deep down he wants nothing more than to crush his counterpart. He's not publicly trashing them, and doesn't go out and speak of them unless asked or in the context of the next game. For him, he wants to win the game, of course, but he's got bigger goals so this isn't his superbowl insomuch as every game is that week's superbowl.

Do you believe that the Pitt vs. Penn State rivalry should be played on an annual basis? How does your age affect your response to this question?--Gerry Dincher

No. I was a student the last time we played this series, and I grew up in a PSU household in the '80s, so I am well aware of the historical significance of the rivalry. But that's just what it is - historical. There's very little incentive for PSU to play this game every year, and I'd much rather see a steady rotation of Eastern powers interspersed with strong teams from the south and west. The vitriol we get from playing these teams who all want to be our rivals intensifies so much when the game is nigh; look at how Maryland and Rutgers also reacted once they joined the conference. Prior to joining, it was a fairly cordial relationship; we got along, and didn't so much think or speak of each other, because we didn't play. And that's how I like it. I'd rather think about Ohio State, Michigan, Iowa, and heck, even Indiana than these other teams.

Narduzzi seemed way more complementary of PSU this year than last. Is this because he’s absolutely shitting his pants about the beat down hes is going to receive?--PhillyLion

He's totally buttering up Franklin because he doesn't want to lose by fifty. In seriousness, I'm sure he got some shit from how things went down last year and comments made in Pittsburgh, and he's hoping that his team will get treated better in our town than his was. And here's hoping they will be - we can be the better people.

Who has a new job next year? (a) Narduzzi, (b) Moorhead, ( c) Shoop, (d) Both b & c, (e) All of the above, (f) None of the above--LarzLion

Moorehead is almost definitely gone. I'd be shocked if Shoop also sticks around; Butch Jones doesn't seem too secure in his job, despite pulling off a miraculous come-from-behind win this week. Shoop's defense is trending down this season, while Brent Pry's is trending up. As for Narduzzi - barring a complete shutdown, and by that I mean something like 3 or 4 wins - I don't really see Pitt letting him go. His status might have more to do with Michigan State's season, and whether Mark Dantonio decides to step down amidst an even tougher Big Ten East.

a couple of softball questions....

What are the odds Pitt comes out like 2014 Maryland and refuse to shake hands?

How many scores does CJF put on the board before he calls off the dogs?


What are the chances someone can get Tony Dorsett on camera after the game, and have McSorley yell "Shit on Pitt" to his face?

Could JOMO find himself at Pitt in the future?…..(after Narduzzi totally f*cks up their program)--PeteZockyU

Maryland got such bad publicity, and Randy Edsall was fined by the conference - I don't see Narduzzi doing that. If he does, he's an idiot and the beatdown will be even more severe.

I expect Tommy Stevens will only see time at wide receiver or running back (or in a trick play) until the final Penn State possession.

I don't think so - I think his entire season is a Heisman showcase.

Trace McSorley is a better man than Tony Dorsett, and wouldn't do this even if he had the opportunity.


Will CJF get all his assts some shiny key chains like HSG5b got his assts last year? And if so, how many will come up missing at key parties?--swift_retribution

For those of you who don't recall:

This is ridiculous. This game isn't a championship so doesn't warrant a key chain, but of course Pitt assistants got one.

Can PSU get 409 yds passing and 409 yds rushing this week? Any chance we can arrange captains to walk out with 48, 14, 40, 9 facing the Pitt bench?--BMAN13

That would be hilarious, both of your scenarios - but I don't see either happening. Putting up 2016 on the side of the stadium is trolling enough of Pitt, imho.

How do you feel about the media blackout for SPitt players and coaches?--wvlion

First of all, these nicknames are not funny - they're silly and stupid. Meatchicken, O$U, etc...just win where it counts, on the field, and don't let them come back to us with schadenfreude. Second, this is stupid and unnecessary so of course Narduzzi is doing it to build up the rivalry.

My son is a junior in high school. In his lifetime he has never known the joy of a Penn State victory over the Pitty Pitty Panthers. This Saturday will he finally experience that emotion?--Smee

If Pitt scores a touchdown at a home game, does the stadium make a sound?--spigmana

As George Berkeley, the oft-known purveyor of this philosophical conundrum, stated, "To be is to be perceived." So, no.

Why do companies torture you on job application websites? I’ve already uploaded my resume. Now I have to watch their shitty program try to scrape text and arbitrarily put it into a series of (usually the wrong) text fields. So then I have to re-hand-jam everything into their stupid text boxes before I can hit "submit." Why does corporate recruiting hate America?--NittanyPUMA

I think having to upload resumes on a company’s website is stupid; I think it’s better if you can email it to the person doing the hiring, which gives you a more personal touch. But, unfortunately, many big companies are going this route - which leads to less personalization and more generalization. Which doesn’t, in my opinion, get you the best employees, necessarily.

Why do people put the "clapping hands" emoji between every word on some social media posts? What is this?--WorldBFat

Putting the emoji between every word is supposed to be an emphasis, or "ratchet", clap. It's based on the clapping of hands when someone talks to emphasize their words, and it is stupid in written form.

Does passing gas lower your blood pressure?--Dbridi

Apparently, yes! Who knew?

I love Pumpkin Spice Lattes. Unapologetically.

On a scale of 1 to 10, 1 being the least basic and 10 being "drives a crossover, lives in the suburbs, votes moderate Republican, and has unironically used #Yolo in regard to an event that isn’t particularly dangerous or exciting," what is the lowest I can possibly be on the scale in light of my love of the PSL?--ckmneon

Just kidding. I'll give you an 8.

On a scale of 4-8, how excited are you that Taylor Swift is performing at the championship game?--mattinglywasking

Hard 8. I love me some Taylor Swift, and I've never seen her in concert - and at halftime of the NCAA title game would be a perfect time. Though "Ready For It" is so much better than "Look What You Made Me Do", whoever decided that the latter would be her first single should be fired.