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NCAA Football: Penn State at Northwestern David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

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BSD Mailbag 11.10.23

Our weekly answers to your questions!

How happy are you for Adisa Isaac? I believe he leads the team in sacks with 6.5. I hope he gets to double digits and can be a second or third round pick.—swift_retribution

Really, really happy. I’m glad he was one of the players representing Penn State at the Big Ten media days over the summer - he’s such an inspirational young man, and a testament to the program.

Which way will the ref bias be this weekend? Will mi be getting any bonus time added to the play clock?—JayMPSU

I anticipate 2013 levels of booing by the end (basically equivalent to the boos in the Peg after the zebras waved off our first goal last Sunday evening).

The wankers on E$PN are expecting PSU to get smoked this weekend.—LarzLion

I think most people are expecting Penn State to get smoked this weekend. Michigan players are expecting PSU to get smoked this weekend

And listen, Michigan is favored for a reason - they are a good football team! But smoked? The only times Penn State has lost by more than one score in Beaver Stadium under James Franklin when there are fans in attendance are:

2014 - 23 points vs Northwestern

2014 - 14 points vs Michigan State

2015 - 12 points vs Michigan

That’s right - only three times, and none since 2015 (all inarguably far less talented and well-coached teams than this year’s squad). There’s actually only two more times than that that PSU has lost by a touchdown - both vs Ohio State, and one in double overtime. So, a loss? Sure, it can happen.

Smoked? That would be highly, HIGHLY improbable. And this PSU team is just not that bad, especially at home.

I am getting pretty confident that Penn State is going to beat Michigan on Saturday. Why should I be confident? Why should I be wary?

If Penn State does beat Michigan and wins out, but doesn’t make the playoffs, what do you think the reaction of the fanbase will be?

If Penn State makes the playoffs but gets blown out in the playoffs, hell even loses a close game, how long until someone calls for James Franklin to be fired?

What is your favorite fried chicken? White or dark? Where do you get it? Is hot sauce added or not?—Gerry Dincher

You should be confident because of what I put above - Franklin coaches his guys up for big home games, and always competes. Plus the PSU defense is elite this year, and it wouldn’t be unreasonable to think Allar might have turned a corner. You should be wary because even if Penn State is a great team, Michigan is #3 in the nation for a reason. They’re very good, and well-coached (and prepared). This should be a good game either way.

If PSU wins out and doesn’t make the playoffs, I think most Nittany Lion fans will be disappointed but unsurprised because most of us have been conditioned to expect disrespect and the worst. I know folks who have flat out said that they expect to be perpetually ranked #13 when the college football playoffs expand.

If the Lions get into the playoff and get blown out, I think we’ll have to wait until next year to see whether there will be calls to be fired - if he doesn’t repeat to the playoffs next year, then yes. If he makes it two years in a row, then I think he’ll buy himself some goodwill (even if it’s begrudging from some “fans”).

I prefer dark, but I like to cook my own or have my friend PSU Girl cook it for me because her cooking is amazing.

Students famously cheered so loud a few seasons ago that the scUM offense had to call a timeout before the first snap.....

How disappointed in the students will you be Saturday if they either don’t repeat the event or if they don’t drown out the stadium with chants of “CHEATERS” that are audibly heard on all the tvs around the globe?—kingkub

Of course, I’ll be a little disappointed because that was a pregame for the ages. But since it’s a noon kickoff and it’ll likely be only a little above freezing at kickoff, it may be far from full let alone quite so loud.

Big Noon games suck, at the Beav at least.

I feel like if Harbaugh gets suspended this week that the game this weekend almost becomes a no-win situation. If we lose, we can’t even beat them without their head coach. And if we win, well it was because they didn’t have their head coach and they were in shock or something like that. Not that I really care, but I can hear the naysayers now. What do you think?—PascalsDog

I really wouldn’t care less. A win’s a win in the end, especially against a team that went to the playoff last year. And naysayers are gonna say what they’re going to say - they’ll be caveats no matter what happens.

Are we ready to set up a betting pool on what Michigan gets for being found going all out Billicheat and getting caught?

Harbaugh suspended

Harbaugh fired

Coaching staff suspended

Coaching staff fired

# of wins vacated

How far back for seasons vacated

Have to pay back B1G shares

Scholarship reductions, how many and how long

Ineligible to play for championship game

Bowl ban

Death penalty

Not a damn thing!—ForTheGlory

I don’t think anyone will be fired - but I do think Harbaugh likely bolts for the NFL after this year. And because of that, the rest of the staff will leave; there may be a few show-causes, but that’s the extent of the coaching penalties.

Since the NCAA does enjoy being punitive to student athletes when they’re not the ones who did anything wrong, there will probably be some sort of scholarship reduction and postseason ban. And the most likely, in my view, is vacated wins, back to when the proof of the cheating is found to have begun. Probably circa 2021.

But not a damn thing is still very much in play!

“We, as would any other member of the Big10, deserve nothing less. Our students, our coaches, our program — all are entitled to a fair, deliberate, thoughtful process.”

I don’t really disagree with the statement. But, um, you can’t have your NCAA Sandusky hammer cake and eat it too. Sanctimonious p&!¢#$.

Question for the mailbag. Is it possible to hate Michigan more?—Nittany SeaLion

Probably not much! They’ve definitely gotten to the tops of my list ever since Pat Fitzgerald was fired.

Would it not be delightful schadenfreude to watch The Fightin’ Harbaughs celebrate the program’s 1,000 win later this season, only to have to go back and do it all over again a few years later after they end up vacating 25-30ish wins from 2021-2023 due to the in-person scouting mess they’ve gotten themselves into?—MJBPSU

It would be funnier if they don’t get it this year and then have to climb back close again. They only have to win two more games - and while these past few decades Michigan has been decidedly subpar in the post season, if they beat Maryland on November 18 (which is most likely to happen), they only need one of the PSU or OSU games in order to make it to 1,000. So it would be more shocking for them not to make it, than for them to make it.

If you were the leader of the entertainment planning crew at Beaver Stadium and were going to have a band play before this Saturday’s game, what would it be?—LarzLion

Carrie Underwood, but she only sings one song.

I apologize if someone asked this already, but JMU is requesting full bowl eligibility this season. Should the NCAA grant it?


Yes, absolutely. They’ve proven their worth on the field and if they do win out, they deserve the autobid to a NY6 bowl game. But as mentioned above, since the NCAA does like to force their rules arbitrarily and most often in service of penalizing student-athletes, I highly doubt they reverse course now.

Post-Bedlam, apparently the goalposts from Boone Pickens Stadium were first limboed under in the street, and then taken through a Wendy’s drive-thru before being dunked in a campus pond. If the fanbase had cause to liberate the Beaver Stadium goalposts once more:

a) Who have we just beaten and in what game?

b) What fun activities should they go through?

c) In what body of water would they best be laid to rest?—NittanyPUMA

If we didn’t tear down the goal posts in 2016, then I don’t think we would have in any regular season game. But since the first round of the playoffs is now going to be on-campus - the best bet is after a first round playoff win. That or a final game of the season win after an undefeated season.

The goal post has got to be paraded through Beaver Canyon and also in front of the Lion shrine. And it should end up close, like at the arboretum - but there would be something to be said for it making it all the way to Pittsburgh and being dumped where the three rivers converge.

What is your ultimate car in the snow?

Porsche 911 Dakar (a lifted, off-road-y model) just appeals to me, as impractical as it may be.—Liongame

I’m not a big fan of driving in inclement weather (I know most aren’t, but it does cause me extensive anxiety) so I’d likely go with the absolute safest option, which is the Subaru Outback.

My dad is 87 and in a wheel chair and hasn’t driven for a few years now. I’m the one that takes him to all his DR appointments, etc, so I have his handicapped placard in my glove compartment. The other night I was picking up a pizza (he wasn’t in the car) and the parking lot was packed. I drove around it twice trying to find a spot, but there was nothing, except for three empty handicapped spots. So, yes, I did it. I threw the placard on the rearview mirror, and parked in one of the handicapped spots. I had already ordered and paid for the pizza online, so from the time I parked until the time I got the pizza, came out and left, it barely took a minute (TWSS). If there was only one handicapped spot left, I wouldn’t have done it, but there was three. On a scale of 1-10, one being not horrible at all, ten being absolutely horrible, how horrible of a person am I for doing that?—LTFT

Maybe a four or a five? The only reason I’m not giving you like an 8 or a 9 is the fact that there were two other handicapped spaces open, they were open the whole time you were there, and you were in and out very quickly.

Nothing gets my goat more than when I’m driving with my mom someplace (she has a handicapped placard) and all of the handicapped spaces are taken, especially by someone sitting in a car without a placard or plates. This happened once at Sam’s Club near her house, which has over a dozen handicapped spaces and when we left there was the same person without a handicapped placard sitting in their car, in a handicapped space as there was when we went in.

So if vegetable oil is made from vegetables and corn oil is made from corn what is baby oil made from?—joey.taylor.jt

Typically, a combination of mineral oil, paraffin, vegetable oil, and some sort of fragrance.

A “how well do you know your neighbor” question... if you invited Dincher to your tailgate on Saturday, what food and beverages would you serve to ensure he was properly nourished to fully enjoy the Penn State victory?—Smee

I’d serve him scrapple because I can be incredibly selfish and I’d want more for myself, so that I could be properly nourished to fully enjoyed the victory ;)

While I was watching the game on Saturday, that Samsung commercial came on extolling the virtues of Artificial Intelligence to “make adjustments” to photos and videos. Does this concern you? This could call into question the veracity of any photographic or video evidence. To wit, what if this Harbaugh thing is just an elaborate AI scheme? I don’t think it is but we’re fast approaching that type of reality.

Artificial intelligence+natural stupidity+social media=disaster.—Scoop Dawg

When that commercial came up during the broadcast, I turned to my friends and explicitly derided the whole idea. I’m not a huge picture taker myself, but I absolutely do not begrudge those who do take photos. But I see photos as a way of later remembering the moment and the people and how I felt; nowadays, though, so much of it is performative, with posing and lighting and editing. And in so many instances, it’s no longer real, what’s put out there in the world just isn’t reality and the younger generations are being taught that surface and what you put out there is what’s important, not what’s underneath.

And being able to edit photos or combine them so that it shows a moment that never actually existed, well, to me that’s the perfect encapsulation of this trend. And it will lead to the continued degradation of the mental health of society. /end rant

Four miles north of the PA/MD border on US 220 is a small church and graveyard. There are two (count ‘em, two!) very prominent and permanent signs visible from the road that read, “POSITIVELY NO UNAUTHORIZED DIGGING OR PLANTING IN THIS CEMETERY.” I’ve never seen such graveyard signage in my life and was just wondering if you have any thoughts about it? I did a quick search and didn’t find any Frankenstein’s in Bedford County.—Smee

So many likely think that when you (or your loved one) buy a plot, that it’s your land for you to do as you see fit. But that’s not exactly how it works; cemeteries are still obligated to keep up with landscaping and general grounds maintenance, and that’s not possible when (likely well-meaning) mourners plant gardens or do digging.

On a far less serious note, I will no longer be stopping after dark in Bedford county when driving between the DC area and State College.

Are there any TV series you have stopped watching because they just got too bad? I’m a bit of a completionist, is that a word?, so I will almost always finish a series I start. Just curious if I’m in the minority or not.—swift_retribution

I am typically very much a completist as well, and when I’m unable to continue a show or finish it because it’s gone so downhill compared to when I really enjoyed it, there’s a pit in my stomach every time I think of it.

Recent shows I’ve been unable to finish are Grey’s Anatomy (I stopped during the covid storylines, they hit too close to me), Once Upon a Time, and most of the early to mid aught teen shows (like Gossip Girl, the OC, and the 90210 reboot).

I also never finished Sons of Anarchy for an entirely different reason - I couldn’t watch after Gemma killed (spoiler: redacted) because I was terrified of where Jax would go as a person. Still have been unable to watch the rest.

Penn State Men's Basketball

YAY HOOPS: Lions Look for Another Sweep

Penn State Wrestling

Wrestling Dual Season Postview: Penn State finishes a 4th straight season undefeated by shutting out Edinboro, 55-0.

MMQB - 5+7