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BSD Mailbag - Cotton Bowl Edition

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We’re here to answer your questions just in time for next week’s Cotton Bowl!

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NCAA Football: Rutgers at Penn State Matthew O’Haren-USA TODAY Sports

Greatest Penn State Bowl performance?—Paebr332

I’m not sure it’s close.

Bowl Questions

1. What is your highest bowling score?

2. What’s your first choice to put in a cereal bowl?

3. What’s your favorite bowl game other than whatever game Penn State is playing.

4. Have you ever had a bowl hair cut?

5. What’s more fun than a barrel full of monkeys? Is it a bowl full of baboons?—Gerry Dincher

  1. It’s been a really long time since I’ve bowled. Probably in the low 100s, when I bowled more often in high school. My average score was in the 70s-80s but I know occasionally I did better - but never super great.
  2. I love Wegmans brand cereals. They have a ton that they make versions of that I actually like better than the “original”, like french toast crunch, frosted flakes, or frosted wheats (their strawberry frosted is the best!). I also really like Wheatabix, from the UK (which is tougher to get in this country).
  3. I actually am really looking forward to the Fiesta Bowl semifinal between Ohio State and Clemson. It should be a very good game between two very good teams (and I’m still surprised that Clemson’s favored, but that’s what you get when you’re the champ)
  4. I have not. My mother was not cruel.
  5. I think a lot of things could be. Including a Penn State bowl game.

Which bowl games do you plan to watch? Cotton Bowl is the only one I know I will watch for certain.—Paebr332

See above - I’m super excited about one of the two playoffs this year. I also think the Citrus Bowl could be really good this year (Roll Tide!), the Holiday Bowl (Iowa vs USC) and today’s Vegas Bowl could be pretty good.

I am headed to the Cotton Bowl, which will leave only the Sugar Bowl as a major bowl I have not attended. Should watching Penn State in New Orleans be on my bucket list or does that doom me to failure?—Hate 710

Next year, one of the college football playoff semifinal games is in the Sugar Bowl. Just saying, nothing should doom you in that scenario.

Jerry World seats 80,000 for a normal football game. What is your attendance prediction for the PSU vs Memphis matinée on December 28th?—Smee

Tickets are still available from the Cotton Bowl website at about $150 a pop - but StubHub has tickets available starting from $14. Because of this, I’d be surprised if it’s more than 75% full - so let’s go with 60k in attendance.

You are NCAA commissioner and you are allowed to either whack 4 bowl games from the 40 on the slate or add 4 games, what do you do?

  • cut 4 of the lesser watched games
  • add 4 more so they can expand the CFP to 8 teams
  • a combination of cutting and adding?—kingkub

In order to add the CFP, I don’t think we need to add four more bowls. I think the best way to do it is to give the top four seeds in an 8 team playoff home field advantage - which preserves one of the best things about college football (the storied venues and students) but also gives a clear, better advantage to the top seeded teams.

That being said, there are far too many bowl games. I’m a fan of the extra practices and the swag that all the players, from the title game down to the lowest bowl, get as a byproduct of the bowl games, plus it’s extra football for us! But overall I’m conflicted because the more bowl games we have, in theory the less the other games mean. I think I could argue it either way.

Do you think the best way for Micah Parsons to win the Heisman next year is for our new OC (I hope its Bowen) to get him a couple rushing and receiving touchdowns to go along with some gaudy defensive stats?

I think that’s the only way a defensive player might win the Heisman in this day and age. But if anyone can do it, its Micah.—Churacane

The Heisman is the prom king award of college football - it’s not given to the most deserving player (and hasn’t been as long as I can remember) but rather a combination of a talented player playing in a system that showcases their ability, on a team that has a very, very good year. This isn’t to take away from the talent of those players - but when Deshaun Watson didn’t win in 2016 (Lamar Jackson was arguably more deserving in 2017, the year after he won) and Saquon Barkley wasn’t even invited in 2017, I’ve basically completely lost interest.

So Parsons should get that paper in the league and not worry about the Heisman, because it’s ultimately unnecessary and good only for commercials.

Am I the only one that thinks Matt Limegrover looks like a slightly cleaned up version of Hodor? Who do you think the other coaches look like?—swift_retribution

I never thought of your comparison before, but you’re so right - and that’s hilarious.

As for the other coaches, I think James Franklin is obvious. For the other coaches, the only one I can think of is character actor David Morse as Joe Lorig:

Drop your comparisons below!

I like CJF -- really do! -- but think he really enjoys being the focus of attention. (I offer as evidence his l-o-n-g answers to media questions: “Keep the camera on me!”) (I don’t view his liking the limelight as a fatal character flaw by any means: Focus on him brings attention to Penn State (which has been overwhelmingly good so far.)

If my theory is true (or at least shared), when is the optimum time for him to announce the selection of his next OC? Will he try to do it before Tuesday’s signing, so it has max resonance with recruits? Before the bowls start/after all are finished?—PSU_Lions_84

I don’t think that your assessment of CJF has any bearing on whether you like him or not - because I agree with both statements, I like Franklin as well and I do think it’s indisputable that he enjoys being the focus of attention and likes the spotlight (as evidence, I present his inclusion as part of the “starting lineup” that is broadcast at every home game). And in many ways, that’s what the profession has become for a lot of the up and coming coaches, and it’s fine!

But honestly, I don’t see the announcement of the OC as an extension of this. If it was, he wouldn’t have announced Rahne’s promotion two years ago with such little fanfare. I think above all else, Franklin is a very shrewd guy who understands parketing and PR - and he knows that this hire will be well-scrutinized. If it’s not an immediate home-run hire, or a hire that might come under more scrutiny, he would bury it more and let the on-field results speak for themselves.

Honestly, I think the hire is all but locked up but for whatever reason, he’s contractually obligated to not announce it yet. I have nothing to go by why I think that way, just my instincts.

It’s 10:58 AM on Friday. CJF started his first Bowl game presser 13 minutes ago. What get-up will bscaff report that CJF wore? (Don’t look!)—Smee

I’m sure it will be something far more creative than I could come up with, guaranteed for some holiday chuckles.

Is the amount of time it is taking to hire a OC a good or bad thing? Is it because they are coaching in a bowl and don’t want to let it be known until after? Will it hurt early signing? I would have thought if it was an internal hiring we would have known by now.—bva-psu

I agree that if it was an internal hiring, we’d probably know by now. I also am not sure that it’s actually taken this long to hire an OC - the job has been posted on the public PSU jobs board as it’s required to be, which generally doesn’t happen until it’s locked up and it’s a formality. I think it’s more likely than not that the hire’s been made, they just haven’t made the hire public knowledge.

If one was going to be in Orlando on January 1st, which of the following would be the best use of one’s time?

  • Go to the Citrus Bowl and watch No. 13 Alabama play No. 14 Michigan
  • Make the short drive over to Ray Jay and watch No. 12 Auburn play No. 18 Minnesota
  • Go to Epcot, park yourself in an outside chair at the Rose & Crown, and order Boddingtons and fish and chips all day while enjoying the weather.—Smee

I say the latter, because then you can watch both games (or neither, if either turn into a blowout). You can move between bars (honestly never been to Rose & Crown, but the Boddingtons sounds lovely) and both enjoy the weather, good food, and potentially good football.

Apparently Les Miles is the head football coach at Kansas. Beginning early this year E$PiN followed him and the entire Kansas football program around for the whole season and produced one of their “specials”. We’ve all seen enough of these exposés so… why do head football coaches think that constantly yelling inane and profane things at players/staff – especially scholarship players – motivates them?—Smee

Because it does motivate some players? Just because it doesn’t sound motivational or wouldn’t work on you or me, doesn’t mean that there’s not reasoning behind it. They wouldn’t do it if it didn’t work. And Miles isn’t exactly a completely failed coach, so if it didn’t work, he would have stopped doing it a while ago.

Best service l streaming service to watch bowls. I don’t have cable. But would try one just for bowl games.—TiogaCounty

I have cable, so I’m not exactly sure the answer to your question. I do know that Hulu offers a live sports package that probably could help some, and BTN+ might get you some of the Big Ten’s games. But the other options I’m unsure about - cord cutters, leave us your recommendations in the comments!

asked this somewhere else, but this is probably a better platform. Bowl season is almost upon us, so how long before (what is the first date) we have to hear 1) that Michigan is the hands down favorite to be the big 10 champ next year and 2) how Nebraska will be the big 10 west champ and a darkhorse to be in the playoffs?—psupro

Well whether Michigan is gonna be the favorite over Ohio State depends on the latter’s performance in the playoffs this year. But the fawning over both the Wolverines and the Huskers will probably start in March, around the time that spring practice starts - that’s when more intense coverage of the following season begins (albeit not in earnest until the summer) and too-early returns come back.

Would you rather....have Penn State win the B!G tourney and then bow out in the first round of NCAA? Or make the conference semis and then the sweet sixteen?—hbeach08

Oh, definitely the latter. Either one means a men’s basketball banner in the BJC, but the latter brings more prestige and ends the season on a much higher note - and if we could somehow be in the East Regional and make it to NYC in the third round, that would be killer.

My wife and I have long assumed, largely without discussion, that any and all children will default to Penn State for football fandom and Georgetown for basketball.

Now, assuming Penn State can keep up the momentum, the basketball piece is looking increasingly sad. What is my move here?—WorldBFat

I think this year is quite obvious - head to head performance means that they need to be PSU basketball fans for this season anyway.

How do you feel about Urban Meyer coaching the Washington Redskins next year?—BMAN13

I think it would be hilarious, because whomever is the head coach of the Skins is doomed to failure so long as Dan Snyder owns the franchise. So if Meyer does become the head coach, he’ll fail miserably and it would be hilarious.

Buried in the BSD code, is there an option for me to block specific users? …So that I don’t see their posts?—48-14

Not to my knowledge, but then again, I’m no Eli with an extensive coding background and the inquisitive nature to figure out how to do so much with our limited platform.

How do you get out of a destination wedding for close family member? Will cost upwards of $5000 for me and my wife for 6 days and 2 of them will be spent in the airports. Not looking forward at all.—bva-psu

Quite easily, actually. Anyone who doesn’t understand why you wouldn’t be willing to spend that kind of money to go to their wedding isn’t someone you should want to be a part of your day to day life; anyone worth it who sets a destination wedding should be able to easily see why it’s not feasible (both economically and time-wise) for everyone and should act accordingly. I think HBeach had the best answer to this question in the fanpost.

The most wonderful time of the year.....The Christmas song lyrics include “There’ll be scary ghost stories And tales of the glories of Christmases long, long ago”

Since when does Christmas have scary ghost stories? What kind of family did Andy Williams grow up in?—LukePSU89

First of all, that is my favorite Christmas song so I’m super glad you brought it up! It’s one of many Christmas songs written by Jewish men, which I find utterly fascinating.

And if you don’t think that Dickens’ A Christmas Carol isn’t a scary ghost story, then perhaps you should read or watch it again - even Scrooged (especially the ghost of Christmas future) gets it appropriately scary.

Top five holiday movies?—Sperbro

In no certain order:

  1. Love Actually
  2. Home Alone
  3. Elf
  4. White Christmas (replacing Holiday Inn, which I can’t watch anymore because of the racism)
  5. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

Best white elephant gift idea? I’m thinking this year I’m just going to do the $30 worth of scratch off lottery tickets, but I’m going to add a twist that in order to get a shot at luck (or steal them), you first have to try your luck at shots. I’ll grab a bunch of the airline liquor bottles, throw them in a bag, and you have to pick one out at random and drink it.—Succss With Honor Always

This is the best idea yet! Lottery tickets are always the best and most-stolen gift at a White Elephant (ours at our last tailgate/house gate of the season was no exception) but I really like your spin on it.

Ok, rank all the star wars movies from best to worst!—jiminore

  1. A New Hope (the original is still the best, because it spurred everything)
  2. Rogue One
  3. The Force Awakens
  4. Empire Strikes Back
  5. Revenge of the Sith
  6. Return of the Jedi
  7. The Last Jedi
  8. The Phantom Menace
  9. Solo
  10. Attack of the Clones

I haven’t rewatched the Last Jedi since seeing Rise of Skywalker this week, but I feel like it’ll be better upon rewatching which is why I bumped it above Phantom Menace. And I can’t put Skywalker anywhere yet, because I’m still not sure how I feel about it.