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BSD Mailbag 9.24.21

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I took some late questions from Auburn week and added them into Villanova week. THERE’S NO RULES IN THE MAILBAG ANYMORE!

soon.
Heather Weikel

Mike Yurcich. No question, just Mike Yurcich.—Dbridi

No answer, just this gif.

How legit is Jahan? Auburn message boards called “5” the best player on the field, and I agree. But I’ve been slow rolling my appreciation for him, ranking him below recent performers Robinson, Godwin, Hamilton, maybe Hamler… And for good reason, those guys are/were legit! But those hands, that punt return… The guy brings it every week and impresses every week. When do I move him up?—Nittany SeaLion

I’d put him below Allen Robinson & Chris Godwin at this point in his career, but above DaeSean Hamilton & KJ Hamler (as much as I love those two). Jahan made a smart business decision in coming back this year, with the loaded WR class in the draft last year, and his performance so far has made him an obvious choice to be a finalist for the Biletnikoff (which of those you mentioned, only ARob was close to winning). He’s got a potential dozen more games to show off that he deserves to be in the discussion of the nation’s top wide receivers, and if Sean Clifford keeps playing lights out, with the competition that PSU is going to face, he’ll have a strong case in proving it.

Dotson wasn’t even on a lot of folks’ top ten WR lists heading into the 2021 season, which is another reason why preseason polls are bullshit.

Are some of you folks Happy that #44, Tyler Warren lined up in the FB position? Yes, I saw it on at least one play. Penn State lined up in the “I” formation. QB was under center, Warren was at FB and I forget who was the RB/HB, but it happened. So, when Warren dove over the line, was that considered a FB-Dive?—EagleLionSly

What do you mean “you folks”? ;) I was very happy when I saw this, especially since Warren is a former HS quarterback so we can run a lot of options out of that look. And though I knew he would be ok for us, and that CJF has stated that this TE room is the deepest he’s ever coached, I was unsure beyond Brenton Strange and Theo Johnson, whether we’d be able to get more TEs involved.

Suffice it to say that Yurcich assuaged any fears I might have had that that wouldn’t happen.

Can we get some love for Arnold Ebiketie? A Temple (!) transfer, he’s been extremely solid this season.—MainLion

Consider this some love. Ebiketie has so impressed me and my family that we sought out the Temple media guide in the first few minutes of the first quarter of the Wisconsin game, just so we would know definitively how to pronounce the name we were all cheering and alarming our neighbors with.

Side note: PSU, please bring back your pronunciation guides of player names. It would be most helpful (for the record, it’s Eh-Buh-KAY-Tee).

What’s up with Auburn fans? They seem to have all of the unearned arrogance of Michigan fans combined with the boisterously insecure twattery of Maryland fans. Just awful.— InflammableDumpster

is it the era of recency or have some Auburn and SEC fans been unbearable?

every single one I met on Saturday was very nice but I’ve also seen a lot of talking heads and keyboard warriors taking shots before the game and after that we aren’t very good, the white out is over rated, the refs helped us (???), LSU is louder, etc. We’ve seen salty from opposing fans before but this seems a bit over the top.

Mr. SEC, Paul Finebaum said “I would have them in the middle of the SEC” , or the 4th in the SEC West and 3rd in the SEC East. SMH —kingkub

Combining these two for some obvious reasons. I think, as with many fan bases, there’s a vast chasm between the way fans act online and the way they act in person. For the most part, all of the interactions I had with Auburn fans in person in Happy Valley last week were very pleasant! They weren’t over the top in their SEC praise, nor did they espouse unrealistic expectations – most were expecting a close game, and just happy to be there (and a part of the conversation, not written off).

What a marked difference from on this here internet, huh?

Online Auburn and SEC fans have been simply illogically over the top, and I don’t get it. I don’t root for the Big Ten to do well, unless it advances the interests of Penn State (or it’s of a team that I have a friend whose a fan of). I don’t espouse some mythical Big Ten dominance narrative, nor do I extrapolate any sort of ego boost when my mhr wins a national title. I don’t get it.

And also, 3rd in the East might not be as illogical as it sounds (though I think we’re second, behind UGA and ahead of Florida) – but fourth in the west? GMAFB. Ole Miss hasn’t played a schedule like ours (or defenses like we have), and A&M hasn’t looked like a world beater. Arkansas beat Texas, and…who? So which one would you put us behind, except for Bama? It’s all soundbites and not reality, and when Auburn comes back and finishes the season 8-4 (with a 6-2 record in the division), we can talk then.

How do you count to 4?—mvrck

A lot more carefully than the SEC refs, let me tell you that. I’d even count on my fingers, if need be (which apparently was a step beyond them this past week).

Beating a dead horse; I watch a LOT of college football. Bad calls happen in every game, but I feel like more bad calls go against the Lions than most. Is this just recency bias (or maybe just straight bias) on my part, or am I onto something here?Tmbgiants_3

I think it’s not recency bias, but rather, those are the games you pay the closest attention to, so those are the ones you pick up the most inconsistency in. I’m sure I’m the same. But refereeing is a hard job, an often thankless job – but overall, a job with little to no accountability so there’s no incentive to make corrections or to actually be, you know, decent at it.

I was listening to college football radio on Sirius XM on the drive home on Sunday, and Barrett Sallee and Tom Luginbill discussed a proposal that I think makes a lot of sense– putting the referees in front of the press post-game. Coaches have to face press after a loss or a win, and players do to. The only group that goes without any accountability or having to answer any questions (let alone tough ones) are the referees – why is that? That’s not ok. They can slink off, back to their own lives with their wagered wins and losses stuffing their pockets, and no one knows the wiser. That’s crazy.

What’s even crazier, though, is expecting them to do any better without any changes being foisted upon them. They’ll continue to be shitty and ridiculed, without respite, until they are forced to change.

How do you think the B1G refs step up their game to prove that they’re worse than those SEC refs? Let the other team play with 12 men on defense for a quarter? Call targeting on Clifford? Its gonna have to be good.— skarocksoi

I’m sure they’ll come up with something we can’t even dream of, like calling a touchdown when the ball didn’t break the plane or calling intentional grounding when a ball is spiked or calling targeting on a player when he’s trying to intercept the ball and doesn’t even tackle the offensive player. Who’d ever guess *those* things would happen?

Officials. Joel Klatt, while he is a nozzle sometimes, had an idea and mentioned this past weekend that all officials be hired by the NCAA and not have a conference affiliation to prevent appearances of bias. While this is one solution, it would create some level of bureaucracy with the NCAA running it (without a great track record for “running things”). I think a better solution would be to have a different conference’s officials officiate non-conference games (like they do in the bowls).LarzLion

I absolutely agree – there shouldn’t be any conference-affiliated officials, there should just be NCAA officials and the official groups should change every month, so they all work with each other. I don’t like even having a different conference’s officials officiating non-con games, because they could have bias as well – if a certain team is perceived to be able to spoil their conference’s chances of winning a title, they could call games a certain way. Doing away with conference affiliations overall seems the quickest and easiest way to best ensure parity amongst officiating, and mitigating perceived bias.

Now that Brandon Smith has been named BIG defensive player of the week, what’s the over under on his tackle total for the year? I’ll say 100.swift_retribution

He has 25 so far on the season (15 solo, 10 assist), so 100 seems conservative to me – unless you’re assuming he gets pulled early this week, and maybe at homecoming versus Illinois. We’ve played 3 games so far, and if you extrapolate his current production out to 15 games, he’d be at 125 tackles for the season. I feel like he can make that happen; it’s not a gimme, but Brandon can do it. I have faith in him.

Which coach retires with more titles: James Franklin or Jay Wright?—bveo12

Conference or national? Wright is ten years older than CJF and could retire at any time; he has two national titles under his belt, and 10 regular season conference titles (6 tournament titles). Franklin has zero national titles and only one conference title, so it’s probably a safe bet that overall titles will go to Wright, but Franklin has more time to win more nattys.

how long before someone reports seeing a USC private jet at State College airport?—Pasadena’95

Are you sure that didn’t happen already? There were a ton of private jets flying in and out last weekend, after all. Though it seems that all of the talk about how the white out is the most special even in college football has minimized a lot of the outlandish “Franklin to USC” talk that so many were worried would split our team’s focus. 1-0, after all.

How many Villanova people care about their football program in tangible ways? There’s practically zero coverage of them in the Philly media, so I really have no idea.—Parepidemos

I’m sure there’s some, and more than any of us here likely realize. They’re just overshadowed by basketball coverage, and probably Penn State coverage to some degree.

Do you remember when Villanova voted against Penn State joining the Big East? I do.mattinglywasking

I don’t, but thanks for the reminder.

Best tape delay strategy?

Phone completely off? Phone on with discipline and hope no one ruins it? Peek and ruin the surprise?

Tell your family you’re watching it without them and promise to rewatch it when they’re done with poorly scheduled Saturday events?

Asking for a friend…—Nittany SeaLion

The last time I wasn’t able to watch a game live was Iowa 2017, when I was at a friend’s wedding. I did my best to keep offline, avoiding tvs and having set my dvr, and most of my family and friends were respectful of that – until my now-former boss texted me, “I think Iowa scored too fast, left too much time on the clock.” Of course, that was when the reception was winding down; of course, I went down to the hotel bar to catch the final drive. And of course, let out a yell when now-NO Saint Juwan Johnson nabbed the walkoff TD from the Wizard, and shushed the crowd.

If the games end up that way, I’m frankly ok with having to watch them on replay (and my friends’ marriage is going strong).

Does the constant discussion of Alabama, Clemson, Oklahoma, and Ohio State being playoff teams get on your nerves like it does mine? It’s constant. I am tired of these teams always being anointed as playoff teams before the season even starts. Which four teams other than the four mentioned most deserve playoff recognition?Gerry Dincher

A lot of the press so far this year has been hat it won’t be those four in the playoffs – and not just because Ohio State lost, but both Clemson and Oklahoma have looked *incredibly* vulnerable this year. The biggest beneficiary has been UGA, of course, who is a current odds-on favorite to make the playoffs – but Iowa and, yes, Penn State are also in the mix, as is Oregon. This year could be fun!

What are your thoughts on this?

While I want more quality out-of-conference games against Power 5 opposition (Saturday night was a reminder of why), I’m not sure how we would ever schedule an SEC team again with an 8-1-1 setup.—Parepidemos

I like going back to 8 conference games, provided we get a little more variety (I’d like it more if we were in pods, and not simply two divisions). I want to play home and homes with some interesting teams, like Oregon or UW or Clemson or UNC, not the same old same old.

I don’t care about scheduling an SEC team if we can get some other interesting names on the schedule!

Does the chipmunk report start this week, or do we need more games?—Precious Roy

Just the Stats generally starts between non-con and conference games, but since we started off with a conference win this season, we’re pushing it off to before week four. I think it will more accurately reflect where we’re at on the season if we wait, too.

What happened to the “Former Foes” weekly feature on BSD?kavija66

That’s a great question! I don’t honestly remember if it’s something that is gonna pick up after the season starts more, or if it was one of the things that fell off since we have a smaller staff this season. I guess we’ll find out as the season goes!

Sam Sessoms: Sorry to ruin the post victory high, but one of our own needs our help. In their own home. I can’t even imagine.IronCityLion

I’m glad you brought this up – this is so sad, as his family had just moved out of his old neighborhood because Sam’s young sister had been the victim of gun violence (luckily, she is ok). I donated a week or so ago, and I hope any who are able can help Sam’s family out as well. They’re trying to better their situation and take care of their family, and using Sam’s platform to help seems like a very wise call.

So, when are we gonna talk about

1)The Miami defender that was zeroing in on the ball carrier and mysteriously peeling off last second to block a guy?

2)Whether USC learned that, if you’re gonna bunch your linemen in the back of the plane, you should let them get off first?—LocalYocal

I honestly am not sure about the first item – if you can provide a link, I’d appreciate it (my creative google search yielded few results, and none having to do with ncaa football). For the latter, that’s just hilarious to me (and likely has more to do with them unloading cargo too quickly, but I still chuckled).

What is the reasoning behind NFL fans dressing up in outlandish oversized over the top outfits?

“ Did you see me on TV this weekend, Bob?”

“Yes, Jenkins, I did. You looked like a complete moron.”—Dbridi

C’mon, man, you’re acting like this is just the purview of NFL fans! You know that the NCAA has some of those complete morons too!

Did you watch any of this 30 for 30 ‘86 Mets thing . . .

particularly Lenny Dykstra’s insane remembrance of things past? I don’t know if that was some sophisticated self-caricature as performance art or if he really self-monitors at that low a level. I do know that I loved it. He needs his own show. I read that ESPN dumped Max on that First Cold Pizza Take spectacle, so why not put Lenny on there in his place? “Fuck you Steven A., you dumb motherfucker. I mean fuckin ’a. What the fuck?” Do that and I’ll start DVRing the show.SubLime

I didn’t watch – I wasn’t much of a baseball fan in the ‘80s (all I knew was that Cal Ripken was awesome), so it didn’t appeal to me on its face. But I should probably check it out – I wasn’t much of a basketball fan in the early ‘90s either, but I absolutely loved watching the Last Dance last year. Sports is the best, guys.

“Boy, I sure had fun playing fantasy football this weekend!” Has anyone ever said that?—Dbridi

I’m sure the dudes who win their leagues and thus take home five or six figures have.

What’s so special about the top dollar? You can pay me the bottom dollar, it’s still worth the same.—Dbridi

And you know what? A hundred cents spends the same as a top dollar, too. That wasn’t funny and didn’t make a lot of sense but in my mind the response turned out GREAT.

What do you think of Non Fungible Tokens? NFT Crazy shit is my take—jiminore

I agree, seems batshit. There will always be folks who are looking to make a quick buck (or quick bottom dollar?) and hope things like that buck the trend and completely take off – but of course, the odds are ever not in their favor. Most of us will never be millionaires, let alone billionaires, and that’s ok because someone’s gotta be the person to run and grab the Sheetz order.

Thoughts on Gabby Petito murder?—Liongame

I think it’s incredibly sad, because it seems as though there were many instances in which she could have been saved (but of course, it’s all speculation and we’ll likely never get the full story of what actually happened, because I for one am guessing her fiancé will never be found).

But ultimately, it says so much about us as a society because from 2011 to 2020 there were over 700 indigenous people who went missing in the same area in which Gabby Petito’s body was recovered, and there hasn’t been the media fascination or outrage the likes of Nancy Grace show for an endemic problem in our country. It takes a young, pretty, white woman to bring attention to an issue that advocates for native women and girls have been screaming about, and that’s even sadder to me.

So...my cardiac doc is suggesting that a glass of red wine at night would be a good idea for me. Problem is, decades ago a bad evening with red grape malt duck turned me off to any red grape-based beverages. Just smelling red wine normally brings back bad high school parking lot memories. However, I very much enjoy white wine. Pinot grigio, riesling, chardonnay, chablis… enjoy consuming them all (I also only eat green grapes). So here’s the question. Is there a red wine that when chilled in a blind taste-test would taste very much like one of those white wines? Does such a concoction exist? My hope is I could pour it, never look at it while I drank it, and get it down without gagging.Smee

Unfortunately, the red wines that likely would taste the most like the wines you could gag down are the sugary sweet ones that wouldn’t comport with your cardio’s recommendation. I don’t like super chewy reds, so I prefer blends or a good pinot noir, but I have a feeling that might even be too much for you.

What about orange wine?

how much would you pay for a beer? $240 for 25 oz? Sam Adams Utopias beer what if it is 28% abv and is illegal in 15 states?kingkub

What’s the concert you went to with a chip on your shoulder that you came away with a fan? Like totally blew away what your expectations were, you didn’t want to be there but came away a fan?

Mine is P!NK.

For the other side, a concert you were excited to see but left wondering where the last few hours of your life went?

Easy for me. Eagles @ BJC.. Ugh that was a Geneva convention violation of holding an audience—mbailey71

I don’t know of any that changed my life, but my first Aerosmith concert certainly changed my perception of them as a band. I’d always liked them (I got into them during the Alicia Silverstone era) but seeing them in concert a few years later, and having Steven Tyler sing the opening verse to “What it Takes” completely a cappella, completely changed my perception of them as a band, and it was a truly amazing moment (for a song that I’d never thought twice about before then).

In terms of negatives, I can’t really think of any off the top of my head but I am 100% sure that’s because I’ve blocked any such negative experience out of my memory. I went to so many concerts when I was a student at PSU that I’m sure there had to have been some that were super bad? But as for now, I’ll just go with the Gavin DeGraw show where he was so drunk that he couldn’t perform right. That’s certainly a waste of a ticket price.

You get to share a park bench/cab ride with a famous person. who is it? some of Mine:

Dave Grohl

Tom Hanks

Henry Rollins

Keenan Thompsonkingkub

Dionne Warwick

Taylor Swift

Sean Doolittle

George Wallace

Was looking for a GIF and found this and it’s just too awesome to not share...

LocalYocal

I have no comment to top that.