In honor of today being Festivus, we here at BSD are paying homage to one of the best Seinfeld episodes ever with our own “airing of the grievances” in which a few of us participated in a roundtable, where we described the ways in which the Penn State fan base has disappointed us this year. Unfortunately, there is no table big enough to host the entire fan base where we could express these grievances in person, so we’ll just have to resort to do it on here.
”James Franklin is a great recruiter but a bad coach” is a narrative that needs to die in a grease fire. Look, I’m not debating that PSU hasn’t had its share of issues with baffling decisions in tight games, there is a reason “Late Game James Franklin” has become an Internet meme of sorts, but late game decision-making is just one of many different factors that go into making up a head coach’s performance. Recruiting, hiring/firing of assistant coaches, game planning, film study, the day-to-day management of operations within the program, alumni relations, and this little thing called WINNING, which James from State College has been doing a pretty damn good job of lately.
In fact, PSU is currently going through its most successful stretch of winning since the mid-90’s. Also, if you think that Urban Meyer, Nick Saban, or Dabo Swinney coached teams have never had costly brain farts in games, allow me to tell you about the Eskimo village I discovered atop Mount Nittany recently.
While I’m on the subject of coaches: Nothing infuriated me more this season than to see Ricky Rahne get blamed for seemingly everything that went wrong. Receivers dropping balls thrown right at them? Fire Rahne. O-line not blocking their guy or not holding their blocks long enough to allow Sean Clifford/Will Levis to make his throw? Fire Rahne. Secondary getting absolutely picked apart? Fire Rahne. Lack of a pass rush? Fire Rahne. Wife/Husband left you? Fire Rahne.
I have no problem with criticizing Rahne for the play calling at times or more importantly, the lack of rhythm or adjustments necessary to counter opposing defensive coordinators, but at least understand that there are many other things that are out of the offensive coordinator’s control before you go hitting your favorite Internet punching bag.
One of the worst takes in recruiting is when people say they “want the kids that want to be at Penn State”. If Coach Franklin and his staff took that approach, they’d be fielding a team of average to below average rated PA kids every season while they go 7-5. Sure, it helps when highly rated kids already what to play at Penn State. But it’s the job of the coaching staff to make those kids want to come to Penn State. It is not their job to load up on low hanging fruit. So, the next time Penn State missed out on a big target in recruiting or a player flips, please, for the love of all things holy, do not respond with “well, I only want players that want to be at Penn State anyway”. That’s a loser mentality.
The color red is the worst color, and if you like red, you’re wrong.
Oh, and if you’re one of those people that throw a hissy fit whenever a play loses yards, or isn’t a first down/touchdown/good thing for Penn State every single time, maybe find a new thing to invest your time in. What has a 100% success rate? Maybe yo-yo? Not walk the dog or anything like that, just throwing it down and having it come back up. Do that if you expect every play to be positive. These are college kids, most of whom will not end up in the NFL. They’re going to make mistakes. They’re going to miss tackles, or drop passes, or whiff on blocks sometimes. Not every drive has to end in points for Penn State to be good.
And another thing: Sometimes Penn State loses games! Sometimes they even lose to teams that aren’t “typical.” Kentucky last year, for instance. That was a generational team, yet you hear people talk of firing Franklin because “he lost to Kentucky for goodness sake!” Did Bill O’Brien not lose to Indiana? Did Joe Paterno not lose to TOLEDO?? Get out of here if you think bigger name teams don’t sometimes lose to the little guy. App State-Michigan anyone? Get out of here with that mentality.
Just because a play succeeded doesn’t mean it was a good play call, and the same goes with a play failing. Additionally, every pass play has multiple routes! Just because the ball was thrown deep doesn’t mean the coordinator called a deep ball!
Oh, and Matt Limegrover is good and you’re all whiny for complaining about him.