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BSD Mailbag 10.28.22

All our answers to your questions on this fine Friday!

What path do you see for PSU to possibly win this weekend?—PhillyLion

Basically, Penn State has to play close to perfect and force OSU into some costly mistakes. The coordinators actually have to have some sort of clear plan besides throwing shit against the wall to see what sticks - which to an untrained eye seems to have been the Ann Arbor philosophy. Luckily, last week’s game basically showed the opposite - great game planning, utilizing the tight ends and generating points off the most obvious of mismatches. We’ll need the TEs to be impactful and the secondary to do what we know they can.

If that happens, we might just have a shot. Might. If not, then it won’t be close (I think it will be close because, for all his coaching faults, CJF coaches close against Ohio State at home).

Since the beginning of the season the B1G has handed out 42 “Player of the Week” Awards [qew(Offense, Defense, Special Teams, Freshman). See here.

Here is the distribution by team:

Penn State - 7

Ohio State - 6

Illinois - 4

Iowa - 4

Maryland - 4

Michigan State - 3

Northwestern - 3

Purdue - 3

Michigan - 2

Nebraska - 2

Wisconsin - 2

Indiana - 1

Minnesota - 1

Rutgers - 0

Is there anything you find interesting, odd, or otherwise unexpected in this list?

(Note: Northwestern’s three were all in the first week of the season when there was a limited number of options)—Smee

Not really, to me - I think that these “player of the week” honors aren’t just the best, most obvious players; it’s also a lot about expectations. Preseason, Penn State wasn’t expected to challenge for the Big Ten crown, but they’re sitting at 6-1 and should be favored in all games in November. Clifford has had some flashes of greatness, to many of our fans’ chagrin, and the freshmen RBs have come on strong. Exceeding expectations isn’t just a fan thing - it’s for everyone.

Will Sean Clifford follow the Iowa model and turn the ball over to stymie the OSU offense by giving them short fields? Because that was part of the spin coming from our staff about our first half issues against Iowa.

On to the actual serious questions, what do you think Diaz might take from the Iowa Defensive plan and try to do something similar with your personnel?

FOX’S Big Noon kickoff. Great thing or the greatest thing to happen to home field advantage? In all honesty, we dodged a bullet, getting this at noon so it isn’t a night whiteout. I love noon games, I have said that countless times. I like to get the game out of the way instead of fretting over it all day. However, white, stripe, or whatever, I think noon hurts for the kind of fan energy you get with a night game.

Finally, I have seen folks here talking about this maybe being a reboot of 2016. Big loss to the Wolverines, beat the Gophers and then upset Ohio State. I haven’t asked you a pop culture question in a while. Other than this reboot, what movie or show would you like to see rebooted or if there is a recent one you have enjoyed, what was it? Outside of the BSG one post 9/11 and Westworld, in general, I am not a big fan of them. And the ones I like, I like because they are telling much different stories. Yeah, some of the core elements may be there, but they are not slaves to fan service, which is way too common in these.—Former_DC_Buck

I know your first point is in jest, but it’s not like Penn State’s offense is anywhere near as inept as Iowa’s this year. Even in 2004 where Iowa themselves took a safety because they were more concerned with our defense scoring instead of our offense - we didn’t have four straight games of less than 160 offensive yards (in that 6-4 game, we had more than 160 yards). This Iowa offense is unprecedented in a bad way, and it doesn’t seem likely to get better any time soon.

For your second point, I couldn’t agree more. Fox’s ideas of putting their marquee games at noon might make some sense from a TV perspective, but it undoubtedly diminishes some of what happens on the field. Not sure that’s even in question anymore, to be honest.

As for the reboot question - I’m with you. I never watched the original Battlestar Galactica, which iirc was on before I was alive, but I loved the new one a lot. Same with Westworld - never saw the movie, love the show (especially the cast). I think some of these timeless shows or novel adaptations are that way because the way that society shifts and ebbs and flows - what would be the focus of one version of an adaptation twenty years ago would take a very different turn in 2022 (look no further than adaptations of classic literature, like Shakespeare or Jane Austen, to very varying adaptations). One of these more recent reboots isn’t tv but movies - I loved Greta Gerwig’s version of Little Women, from someone who adored the Winona Ryder version when I was a kid and doesn’t like Timothee Chalamet, that’s saying a lot. But the playing with time and the version of Amy March played by Florence Pugh (this was literally the first time I didn’t hate Amy, and I actually sympathized with her!) made a world of difference to me.

Anyone else really dig the “Generations of Greatness” uni’s and think they’d be A-ok if they were made permanent? There’s an ‘aye’ vote here.—mbailey71

I never liked them before this year. And that’s not solely because we never played well in them before (I’m a big superstition girl), but that might be most of it - and this year, under the lights of the night white out and when we absolutely demolished a not-horrible Gopher team, I could maybe get on board.

Still not on board for pink and black for football, though.

At this point in the season, after beating Minnesota and before OSU, would the 2022 PSU team beat the 2016 PSU team? Yes its a home game.—PSU1979dude

This time of year in 2016 was when we beat Ohio State, so I’m not sure about that at all. Two weeks ago, 2022 > 2016. But at this point six years ago, we were playing with swagger and confidence and more consistency that we still haven’t seen from the 2022 Nittany Lions; ask me a again in a week and I might change my tune.

Do some Penn State fans suffer from Stockholm syndrome?—Smee

What hard core fan base doesn’t suffer from this a little bit? We all buy into our teams’ greatness, even when it’s glaringly obvious the on-field production isn’t there (and PSU is closer than 100 other teams this year); it’s the nature of being a fan. But it’s also pretty common for Penn State fans to find fault in and dislike our team the same time that we love them - this isn’t unique to PSU, but is rarer than drinking the team-colored kool-aid.

If we beat OSU and then the Buckeyes beat Michigan and all three teams finish with 1 conference loss, who wins the tiebreaker?—Skeller

It’s too early to tell that right now, because it’s not just about the three teams who tied - it’s about the teams they played in the conference as well, and their record. So if Purdue and Minnesota both win out, that helps us tremendously; if Iowa does, that won’t help OSU and Michigan as much.

But we’re ahead of ourselves - the task this week is sufficiently tough that I think we need to focus on that first, and take care of our business the rest of the way out, to try to make a NY6 game.

You’ve heard of Dominate the State PA style but do PSU fans know that Franklin swooped into Ohio and took away the number #1 QB from Ryan Day and OSU who wanted Allar badly? I’m getting fed up with PSU ‘fans’ who rudely demand perfection.—PSU1979dude

I’m not sure how they couldn’t since so many of them are clamoring for Allar to supplant Clifford as the team’s starter. I just hope that Sean Clifford doesn’t get booed when announced this year, especially as the reigning Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week, but I’m not holding my breath on that one.

If I wanted to get a Papa John’s pizza delivered via golf cart to the visitor’s locker room at the Beav about 4pm Saturday, do you have a good contact with the athletic department you could put me in touch with?—vern05

I practically guffawed when I read this. Not getting ahead of ourselves, but it should be cold chicken fingers and not pizza.

Is Ryan Day a better coach than Urban Meyer?—PhillyLion

Ryan Day has only been the head coach for a handful of years, and he took over a program in the middle of an near-historic consistent high level of recruiting and on-field performance because of where Meyer left it. Not saying that Jim Tressel left the cupboard bare - but it wasn’t restocking every year in terms of playmakers like it is now. Meyer had a track record of building up programs into contenders on the field (let’s just remove the Jags from the equation right now) - Day would have to have multiple stops of rebuilding programs to be spoken of in that way.

Or a few decades of keeping OSU at a consistent high level, which I would prefer to not happen, thank you.

“What shade of Just for Men should I use on my beard, I want to match my opossum-like eyes as closely as possible”-Ryan in Columbus–vern05

Mike Leach, being Mike Leach, just went on another epic rant. The Dread Pirate is concerned, evolutionarily speaking, about his wide receiver room. That which doesn’t get used atrophies and doesn’t get passed on, and he’s worried his receivers’ grandkids will evolve to being born T-Rex style with no arms and hands.

If you had to make one positive or negative dinosaur-related analogy about the state of one of our position groups, what would it be and why?—NittanyPUMA

This would have been a better analogy and question to tackle last week, where I would have put our defensive front seven as a species that is large and intimidating-looking but lumbering and unable to see what was right in front of them (not dissimilar to what you’re talking about with Leach’s WRs) - but they redeemed themselves mightily last week, with an impressive game plan and subsequent performance under the lights of the night white out.

Just wondering as I was not in attendance... it was the second game with in-stadium beer. For a 7:30 PM kickoff and a Homecoming Whiteout. The world does not seem to have stopped. In fact, I’ve heard nary a word about it. So, how did it go? And will they add wine as an option since the sh*t doesn’t appear to have hit the fan? (I’m still taking my bota bag in anyway this week!)—Smee

I would argue against the idea that shit didn’t hit the fan last week, but I’m not sure it had anything to do with the beer being sold in the stadium. It was a big fuckup in terms of getting folks to their seats, with a lot of non-student ticket holders sitting in the student section so the students having to try to find seats elsewhere to their detriment. It got a bit dangerous, not unlike what we read about in the Purdue game to start the season, albeit in a stadium with tens of thousands of more people.

I think this week should be a good test of how it’s going to go in the future, with a good game that’s not a night white out and also not a horrible weather game like the Northwestern one earlier in the month that was the official first beer game.

I’ll just put this here........and “F” Iowa–EagleLionSly

No comment, except listen to the eleventh track on Taylor Swift’s new album.

Over the past 60 years what college football team do you see as most similar to Penn State? For me it is Tennessee–PSU1979dude

I don’t know about that - we’ve had division titles within the last 15 years, and multiple conference titles during the lives of our fifth-year seniors.

I actually don’t think that Nebraska is that bad of a comparison, as much as folks might dislike it - again, though, we’ve had more recent success but our fanbases are similar and so are our expectations.

It’s my strong opinion that assholes where red. Ohio State, Wisconsin, Buttgers, Maryland, Nebraska, etc. . . Even as a phillies fan, I agree we are assholes.

My question, is anyone that wears red an asshole?—Ironlung05

I don’t feel like I’m an asshole when I’m wearing my red nats or caps gear but I guess that’s all subjective, right? And I don’t think it’s a red-wearing thing - fans of all teams can be incredible assholes. It’s a sports thing, not unlike the above question about stockholm syndrome.

You’re buying a ticket to the World Series before it starts. Do you pick a game that will definitely happen so you know you’ll go, do pick an “if necessary” game and hope it’ll happen, or do you break the rule and wait for the day of the game and buy the ticket then?

I don’t think I could stand to buy a ticket for an optional game. That would cause me more stupid angst than the actual outcome leading up to it.—JayMPSU

My baseball team won the world series three years ago, and I didn’t buy any tickets and am sort of glad I didn’t - every game that we played at home we lost, and it was the first (and only) time a seven game championship series had every game won by the road team, across all sports. What I do regret is not going into the stadium to watch the Nationals win in game 7 with the big screen showing the game over in Houston, but I was convinced that things were going to continue to go great and I would be able to be back in the stadium a few months later for the first games of the 2020 season. Oh, how naive we all were at the end of 2019…

My daughter is researching college scholarships. Did you know that the makers of duct tape offer up to $10,000 if you design your prom outfit out of duct tape? There is also one from a nudist organization but LionFanPaige was informed she will NOT be applying for that one.—LionfanAllen

There’s a lot of scholarships out there that aren’t advertised and would be amazing for folks! It’s really fascinating, and I just recommend anyone looking for more scholarships to do a search like your daughter appears to be doing - you never know what you might find, and what groups you could be put in contact with.

My neighbor recently put his house up for sale. Back in July they bought a house across the country and he told me as long as they sold the house by the end of August he’d be fine. Well August and September both came and went and the house went unlisted. They’ve finally put it on the market 2 weeks ago as they set off for their 3rd and final Uhaul trip across the country.

There was another neighbor down the street that also recently put their house on the market and within a single weekend they received 17 offers and closed for $100k over asking. However that house was much more desirable than my neighbor’s house. So when I asked my neighbor what he was listing at, he told me $25k less than the house down the street initially listed for (even though that house was 2 more bedrooms, 2 more bathrooms, and nearly double the square footage).

Well it’s been 2 weeks (including an open house Friday - Sunday which received no traffic) and it doesn’t seem like there’s been any interest in the house. I’ve only seen 1 tour given. On one hand I’m feeling a bit of schadenfreude in that every piece of advice I gave my neighbor about selling was ignored as he insisted “it’ll have no trouble selling”, but on the other hand, him getting a ridiculous price for his house only benefits me with the value of my own home.

Not so much a question, but an attempt to bullshit and talk out my thoughts because I feel like a bit of an asshole.—Succss With Honor Always

I don’t think you’re an asshole. What you’re talking about seems logical and based on sound reasoning to me; make sure you give us an update on what happens with his house.

My main question is - did he seek out your advice, or did you offer it unsolicited? If the former, then you have absolutely nothing to worry about because if advice is requested and then discarded, he deserves what he gets. If it’s the latter, it depends on the manner in which it is offered and I wouldn’t bring it up again to him; he likely already knows he’s fucked up if he can’t sell it soon. Schadenfreude isn’t fun, as we all know.

Think we do this every year but what is the worst Halloween candy? Hands down for me is Candy Corn, followed by Neco wafers and toothbrushes.

Although I feel dirty watching E$PN I do enjoy some of their programming. Love the 30 for 30s and just watched a few Portraits with James Bates(former Florida LB). Watched episode on Mike Leach and his choice was also Candy Corn. Said it is the fruitcake of Halloween and if it was truly worth anything it would be sold year round.—bva-psu

I love the candy now known as harvest corn, because of the chocolate buts. I’ll buy it any time of hte year. And I also like chocolate neco wafers because I guess I’m super weird?

I always like the seasonal reese’s candies (pumpkins this time of year) because, while I do enjoy regular reese’s cups, the ratio of peanut butter to chocolate in the seasonal ones (eggs, christmas trees/ornaments, pumpkins) is just so far superior.

I just learned that Altoona style pizza is a thing. There’s no question here, I just wanted to let you know and that I’m mildly upset and disturbed.—GSAPS

Your question isn’t the first time I’ve heard about it and I find it equally disturbing.

The appropriate uses for American (processed) cheese are few and far between, and on pizza isn’t one of them. Altoona pizza looks bad, and those who came up with it should feel bad.

According to the Twitter Tweets last week on the Great British Baking Show the contestants were ask to make a traditional smore, which according to the show is composed of two digestive biscuits with an Italian meringue filling and a dark chocolate ganache, which I guess is somehow baked in the oven. Regardless of if you think that sounds appetizing, it is not a smore. My question is, WTF?—MJBPSU

Again as with the pizza, I couldn’t agree more! The photos looked great and delicious and decidedly not like a s’more. After season 42 of the bakeoff, they’re grasping at straws here, and a few weeks after a lacking Mexican episode, making these non-s’more smores seems like they’re just trying to piss off American audiences. And it’s working!

The Phoenix, at Elysburg’s own Knoebels Amusement Park, has been awarded the Golden Ticket as the world’s best wooden rollercoaster by Amusement Today, a prestigious rollercoaster and amusement/theme park publication, every year since 2017. As a rider of over 500 rollercoasters, I heartily concur with this assessment — the Knoebels Phoenix is PHABULOUS!

So, are you a rollercoaster person? Tilt-a-whirl? Merry-go-round? What’s your favorite coaster and/or ride?—Precious Roy

I get motion sick pretty bad so I won’t go on most of those rides you mentioned. Growing up, we’d go to King’s Dominion with girl scouts every year, and the rides I loved the most are the rapids (also loved those at Hershey Park) and the train rides. I’m a simple girl.

I’m going to be in Disney on Saturday, specifically at the Animal Kingdom. We have lunch reservations, but I don’t believe a TV will be available. This will be the 1st full day of our vacation, so a bit too early to try and abandon my family so I can watch the game live. Do I:

  • Attempt to watch the game off-and-on as much as possible live (so pull it up on my phone while at the table for lunch, watch it in lines, etc.)?
  • Follow along via Gamecast?
  • Go full media blackout and wait until we’re back at the hotel for the night to watch it off the DVR app?
  • Fake an illness (presumably from being on a plane) and stay in the hotel for the day so I can watch it?—Succss With Honor Always

I’d do the former. The only time I’ve tried to do a media blackout is in 2017 for our Iowa game, and it was ruined as the reception was winding down and I was getting texts from a friend sure that Iowa scoring so fast left too much time on the clock for Trace McSorley.

He was, of course, absolutely correct, and I got down to the hotel bar just in time for the team to get back on the field for the fourth and goal completion to Johnson.

Top 5 toys as a child?

I’m old so many won’t know a few but here goes mine.

1. Evil Knievel stunt motorcycle

2. Super Toe

3. Mattel Hand held Electronic Football

4. Wiffle ball and Nerf football

5. All-Star spin Baseball (great winter game)—bva-psu

We had a telephone set that was awesome. I also loved a racecar set that I had; I wanted a Jem doll or the She-Ra castle, but we weren’t able to afford those (luckily, one of my best friends had both). I didn’t play with a lot of toys but rather wrote on an older typewriter like the fun kid I was.

MMQB - 5+7

Penn State Hockey

No. 6 Wisconsin 3, Penn State 2: Badgers Sink Lions in OT

Penn State Wrestling

Wrestling Preview: No. 1 Penn State vs Edinboro