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Late Week Musings - Penn State is Going Winless in 2020

I’m some sort of anti-Nostradamus

Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

Let’s establish the facts of the matter right up front.

On January 16th, 2020, I penned an article in which I detailed how Penn State basketball had managed a three-game losing streak against very beatable opponents, and that the team would simply never be any good.

Since writing that article, the shootyhoopers have gone 5-0, with two top 25 wins, and three road wins (very hard to come by in this conference). Clearly I have some sort of reverse magic going on here, and I will not let this fact be disputed whatsoever.

That got me thinking, however, about an article I wrote exactly one week later, in which I asserted that Penn State football will go undefeated in 2020.

Since writing that article, wide receiver Justin Shorter completed his transfer to Florida, defensive line coach Sean Spencer left the team for a position with the New York Giants, and running back Ricky Slade entered the transfer portal.

It is with these facts in mind, and with a heavy heart, that I must now amend my previous article, and tell you instead why the Nittany Lions will go winless in 2020.

Week 1 (September 5th): vs Kent State Golden Flashes

2019 Record: 7-6 (5-3 MAC)

2019 Ranking: N/A

2019 Bowl: Defeated Utah State 51-41 in the Frisco Bowl

The Golden Flashes are actually not as bad as I had perhaps predicted, and catch the Lions napping. Kent State does what Appalachian State could not a few years back, and the Lions suffer an opening day loss to a G5 team.

Prediction: Kent State 42, Penn State 14 (0-1)

Week 2 (September 12th): at Virginia Tech Hokies

2019 Record: 8-5 (5-3 ACC)

2019 Ranking: N/A

2019 Bowl: Lost to Kentucky 37-30 in the Belk Bowl

Despite some odd coaching decisions, Justin Fuente has the Hokies in the top 25, and the Lions are shell shocked after starting the season with a loss. Gobbling haunts the players on their way down the tunnel after a second loss, followed by turkeys being outlawed in Pennsylvania on Monday morning. They’re no longer sold in stores, the best you can hope for is a nice tofurkey at Thanksgiving.

Prediction: Virginia Tech 35, Penn State 21 (0-2)

Week 3 (September 19th): vs San Jose State Spartans

2019 Record: 5-7 (2-6 MWC)

2019 Ranking: N/A

2019 Bowl: N/A

The Lions want to get back on track, but seeing a non-green and white spartan on the field confounds Penn State, and they abruptly leave the stadium. With just the concession workers available to play, San Jose State runs roughshod over the “Lions.” There is some garbage time scoring when a security guard hoists a fade to a cotton candy vendor, drawing some ire from the SJSU fans in attendance.

Prediction: San Jose State 56, Penn State 10 (0-3)

Week 4 (September 26th): vs Northwestern Wildcats

2019 Record: 3-9 (1-8 Big Ten)

2019 Ranking: N/A

2019 Bowl: N/A

Realizing their error from the previous week, the Lions actually stay on the field this time. Unfortunately, every single bounce that did not go the Wildcats’ way in 2019 comes back with a vengeance. The ball is literally alive, and actively forces its way out of the Lions hands at every possible turn. Given this, the Lions are actually somewhat successful on the day.

Prediction: Northwestern 38, Penn State 21 (0-4, 0-1 Big Ten)

Week 5 (October 3rd): at Michigan Wolverines

2019 Record: 9-4 (6-3 Big Ten)

2019 Ranking: #18

2019 Bowl: Lost to Alabama 35-16 in the Citrus Bowl

Michigan’s finest hour finally shows up, albeit a year later than it was originally prognosticated. The players put up a fight, but a late game drive to close the gap is foiled when Noah Cain slips on a booger near the Michigan sideline. He fumbles and Michigan closes out the game. James Franklin offers Jim Harbaugh a bucket of congratulatory KFC, which sends Jim running for the tunnel.

Prediction: Michigan 24, Penn State 14 (0-5, 0-2 Big Ten)

Week 6 (October 10th): Bye

During the bye week, James Franklin invests in witch doctors, shamans, a ouija board, and a magic 8 ball to try to fix the issues plaguing the team. They all come back with “reply hazy, try again.”

Week 7 (October 17th): vs Iowa Hawkeyes

2019 Record: 10-3 (6-3 Big Ten)

2019 Ranking: #15

2019 Bowl: Defeated USC 49-24 in the Holiday Bowl

Iowa is now a national contender, having turned their win over USC into dominance in the B1G West. They man ball the Lions harder than anyone has ever man balled someone, but Kirk Ferentz still punts every so often, lest he collapse from low blood punt sugar.

Prediction: Iowa 35, Penn State 10 (0-6, 0-3 Big Ten)

Week 8 (October 24th): vs Ohio State Buckeyes

2019 Record: 13-1 (10-0 Big Ten)

2019 Ranking: #3

2019 Bowl: Lost to Clemson 29-23 in the Fiesta Bowl (College Football Playoff semifinal)

Ryan Day somehow really is Urban Meyer 2.0, and the Buckeyes smack the Lions around before heading back home. Franklin and Pry are seen on the sidelines eating buckeyes, either in an attempt at voodoo or in an attempt to end the suffering.

Prediction: Ohio State 38, Penn State 24 (0-7, 0-4 Big Ten)

Week 9 (October 31st): at Indiana Hoosiers

2019 Record: 8-5 (5-4 Big Ten)

2019 Ranking: N/A

2019 Bowl: Lost to Tennessee 23-22 in the Gator Bowl

‘Member all those times we talked about how the Lions play weird games in Bloomington? Yeah, the Hoosiers grab another win in the series, and finally lay claim to the Olde Wooden Boot. #9WINDIANA once again trends on the twitterspace.

Prediction: Indiana 28, Penn State 21 (0-8, 0-5 Big Ten)

Week 10 (November 7th): at Nebraska Cornhuskers

2019 Record: 5-7 (3-6 Big Ten)

2019 Ranking: N/A

2019 Bowl: N/A

Franklin is now desperate, and decides the best idea would be for the players to consume only corn in the week leading up to the Nebraska game. The ensuing vitamin deficiency means the team are all put on iron lungs before the game, but still bravely take the field. The Nebraskans sling all sorts of midwestern concern at the state of the Lions, but release their red balloons nevertheless when the Huskers score, and a “bless their hearts” chant takes over late in the fourth when the clock strikes zero.

Prediction: Nebraska 42, Penn State 21 (0-9, 0-6 Big Ten)

Week 11 (November 14th): vs Michigan State Spartans

2019 Record: 7-6 (4-5 Big Ten)

2019 Ranking: N/A

2019 Bowl: Defeated Wake Forest 27-21 in the Pinstripe Bowl

A new coach roams the sidelines, a grumpy man with a mustache who goes by the name Dark Mantonio. The Spartans are still trash on offense, and marginally less so on defense, but it’s clear that the season is over.

Prediction: Michigan State 49, Penn State 14 (0-10, 7-0 Big Ten)

Week 12 (November 21st): vs Maryland Terrapins

2019 Record: 3-9 (1-8 Big Ten)

2019 Ranking: N/A

2019 Bowl: N/A

The Terps start 2020 fast again, then plummet when they actually have to play good teams. For once, the Lions are not as invested in the game as the Terrapins by the time the two teams meet, and Maryland gets the win. After the game, Mike Locksley refuses to shake James Franklin’s hand, and all of the #handshakegate2 truthers tell you it was actually the players’ idea, and the coach had no idea it was going to happen until it did.

Prediction: Maryland 42, Penn State 9 (0-11, 0-8 Big Ten)

Week 13 (November 28th): at Rutgers Scarlet Knights

2019 Record: 2-10 (0-9 Big Ten)

2019 Ranking: N/A

2019 Bowl: N/A

Life is pain. You’re born, you suffer, and then you die. Why believe in anything? There’s no point to it.

Prediction: Rutgers 45, Penn State 10 (0-12, 0-9 Big Ten)

And so there you have it. Your Penn State Nittany Lions will not win a game in 2020. All of the coaching staff is fired, every good player sits halfway through the season and then transfers out. The four-team playoff is Ohio State, Michigan, Pitt, and Notre Dame. The board of trustees votes to shutter the football program and tear down Beaver Stadium. The erector set is melted down and turned into a statue of Pat Narduzzi, the actual best coach in all of Pennsylvania. Incoming freshmen and graduating seniors must walk between Nard-dawg’s straddled legs upon matriculation and commencement. Penn State is renamed Pitt-Central PA, and becomes a junior college. Years from now our children and grand children don’t believe us when we tell them that Penn State was once a school with a football team, and a good one at that, muttering under their breaths about senility. But we know the truth.

We know.