During my freshman year, April 2002, a rock band from Arizona played Penn State’s “Movin’ On” concert on the HUB lawn.
That’s right, through the rain and mud, the band Jimmy Eat World sang their No. 1 hit “The Sweetness” to us Penn State students.
“Are you listening? (Whoa oh-oh-oh-oh). Sing it back (whoa oh-oh-oh-oh). So tell me what do I need? (Tell me what do I need?),” howled lead singer Jim Adkins over the noise of our own feelings, our own desires, and our own thoughts.
Sort of like college football podcasts and media over the course of the past 48 hours.
Penn State has stayed stagnant in the polls, finally bumping up to No. 6 in the AP poll today. It’s not that the Lions were completely overlooked, after all they started the year solidly in the Top Ten.
But where’s the buzz with the Lions? Is anyone listening? What more do they need to do?
I listen to a lot of college football podcasts and read a lot of coverage (pssst...post your favorites in the comments below) and a familiar refrain is “we’ll learn more about Penn State once (insert moving goal post here)”.
First, it was “once we see Drew Allar play.” The sophomore QB answered with 300+ yards and three scores vs. West Virginia.
Then, it was “once Penn State plays a conference game on the road.” That was answered with a comfortable win where the Lions led 30-7 early in the fourth quarter before pulling their starters.
Last week, it was “against a tough defense that can confuse Allar”. But, it was Penn State’s defense that confused and Allar who looked cool and calm as he threw for 4 scores in a dominant win.
Much of the narrative seems to be that Iowa has been terrible, Luke Altmeyer was mistake prone, and that Penn State will finally be tested when it plays Ohio State in a few weeks.
Maybe this is fine. I, myself, picked Penn State to go 10-2, saying it was simply a prove it situation and the Lions have only two teams on their schedule to fear.
Maybe being off the radar until October/Novemeber is what we want. But, I can’t ever remember a game where so many (again, indicting myself on a blog level) thought Penn State might struggle and some even picked to lose that saw such a decimation. Yet, the national buzz...is that of crickets.
So what do you think about Penn State through one month of the season? Underrated? Overrated (don’t you dare)? Or properly rated?
Go ahead. Sing it back...