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more of this this week please

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BSD Mailbag 9.8.23

no redundancies this week, please

Athlon’s power rankings for the B1G has PSU at #2 ahead of O$U.

Can we get some more dark blue Kool Aid for the employees at BSD?—LarzLion

Not sure how much bluer the kool aid can get than #1 in this site’s power rankings!

Also, this humble blogger predicted that PSU would finish the season 11-1, with a win over OSU and a loss to Michigan. That seems pretty close to what Athlon is saying too (and seems in line with most of what BSD’s preseason predictions looked like).

Scale of 1 to 10, how excited must Yurc be when he’s sitting up in the booth watching guys running wide open all over the field...and knowing that Allar could hit any of them with a laser at any moment?—vern05

It’s gotta be at an 8 or a 9, especially since he’s now got Danny O’Brien on the sideline able to coach up the QB group or relay whatever it is that Yurcich needs said in a timely and accurate fashion.

So, since watching the game I’ve been wondering: Could this possibly be the deepest WR group PSU has ever had? KLS, Wallace, McClain, Clifford, Cephas....they all look incredibly dynamic (besides the couple of key drops, of course). Normally it seems like we have a high quality #1, a decent #2, and a serviceable #3, but then everyone after that is a question mark.—NittanyLifer

I feel like in 2008, we were pretty darn deep - that was the year that the triplets (Derrick Williams, Deon Butler, and Jordan Norwood) were seniors, and the team also had Brett Brackett, Derek Moye, and tight ends Andrew Quarless and Mickey Mickey Schuler. That was pretty deep, with a set of starters that were beyond proven to be a #1 on a number of other teams.

This year is very talented in terms of starzzzz (and what else is new in the CJF era) but beyond KeAndre Lambert-Smith, pretty unproven on the field - and KLS isn’t even proven to be a reliable #1 besides the last few games’ production, however impressive those last few games have been.

Will we learn anything significant about this team over the next 5 games? Maybe I’m being sucked into the hype too much of a 11± win season. But I don’t see any of these games challenging us much.—JayMPSU

This past week’s game versus West Virginia felt a bit like shades of Illinois 2021, aka the dumbest set of overtimes I’ve ever seen in person, whereby the opponent is using six or seven offensive linemen on every play - at least the plays in which they don’t have more. This game, though, the PSU defense didn’t flounder while staying in their base 4-3 and the starters still only allowed one score; this game, too, had a much more efficient offense, with a quarterback that hadn’t been knocked out with injury in the previous game.

Honestly, the biggest test in the first five games of the season may very well end up being the one against Illinois again. A noon kickoff on the road in the midwest against a team that surprised last year and is known for a defense, with a first year starter in his first conference game? Could show us more than the presumed tough matchup against Iowa a week later.

I expect some heartburn in the first halves in week 3 and 4, before a more comfortable second half.

60 players vs WVU, how many do you think play this Saturday?—kingkub

I’m glad this game is at home, because the Northwestern game is on the road - and we won’t be able to play as many guys in that game though the score, improbably, may be more lopsided. Let’s guess somewhere around 90 players getting into the game this week.

Expecting a lot of Pribula next week? Any bets on which quarter he enters the game?—Jiminsantafe

I think Beau should get in around the second possession of the second half, and likely will last for about a quarter of play.

Since current redshirt rules allow a player to play up to four games and still keep their shirt, I wouldn’t be surprised if Jaxon Smolik got in the game for a little bit, especially with how he was talked up by Coach preseason. At the least, we’ll see a few other freshmen in the run ons.

Why the hell doesn’t “Tre” Wallace wear #3?—vern05

At least six is divisible by three!

And also, Parker Washington wore three for a number of his years and it feels almost too late to change it now…though don’t tell that to Malick Meiga or Liam Clifford.

Should this upcoming game be renamed the Scrapple Bowl? I hear that scrapple is pretty popular in the First State. Scrapple is still vile.—Gerry Dincher

You will likely never find a blogger more supportive of educators without being one themselves than I, Mr. Dincher, but I’m sorry - for that comment

Is there any chance that either president Biden or former governor Christie show up to watch their Alma Mater on Saturday?—LarzLion

There’s a greater chance that the meteor hits the Alabama-Texas game. Ours isn’t El Assico, after all.

Did you know that the “Blue Hen” is a blue strain of the American Gamecock? And the Blue Hen Chicken is the state bird of Delaware, but it is not a recognized chicken breed.—PascalsDog

I know now! BSD subscription is worth every penny we pay for it.

Did you know that in Delaware, there is a retention pond/wetland that was designed to be shaped like Delaware?


This is what I’m talking about! I love these random facts and will no doubt be using them in otherwise boring cocktail parties in the not-too-distant future. Keep these observations and Delaware facts coming in the comments!

Did anybody else think that the new announcers and the PA system were really bad? Also why didn’t the music guy queuing the music play any Buffet on Saturday?—psudirtguy

Both of these things were surprising for me. The biggest complaint I had about the announcers (and I did mention this in the post-game survey that Penn State sent me) was that they just announced player names, whichever player had the last play.

For example:

Announcer: Kaytron Allen!!

Me: Great! Allen… did what? Caught a pass out of the backfield? Ran out of bounds at the 30? How many yards did he get?

The level of detail was decidedly lacking, especially when someone has to run out to the concourse or must look down for a second.

Should I pay for Peacock or listen at Gopsusports for free on Saturday?—wvlion

As Penn State fans, we’re blessed to have some of the best radio announcers in college sports. This is led, of course, by Steve Jones and Jack Ham, who are some of the best in the business - so I’d stick with the radio broadcast. If you really want to watch some of the highlights, they’ll be up online and on youtube pretty quickly.

Is the Big Ten’s slate of games this week one of the biggest piles of dog excrement out there? Rutgr vs. Temple looks like a barn burner.—LarzLion

Honestly, Nebraska-Colorado looks really intriguing to me - as does Friday night’s Illinois-Kansas matchup. And if I wasn’t going to be at a tailgate the rest of the day, I’d definitely be hatewatching the Iowa-ISU game.

When the 10 game conference schedule becomes a thing soon, how much fun would it be to cheese off Nardouchey and Pitt fan in general by scheduling a home and home with like, Duquesne?—mbailey71

Not sure if this is shade at WVU, who is actually hosting the Dukes this week, or what - but it would be pretty funny if we rolled our one-dimensional offense into their town and not be playing the Panthers.

It’s also funny that the three non-conference Mountaineer games are all against teams in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Other than the 1-in-XXXXX chance of a runback for a TD, why do kickoff returners even bother? Getting the ball at the 25 means a team is already 1/4 towards a TD. Less wear and tear on the returner who is often a starting RB.—PSU_Lions_84

It’s not just the wear and tear on the returner - kick returns, whether it’s a kickoff or a punt, are the most dangerous for all players, including the kicker and some of those blockers.

Some of the rewards can be there, but there’s a reason why CJF just uses a booming kicker that boots every kick through the end zone, like current big guy Gabriel Nwosu.

How many people actually had “the return of Clemsoning” on their 2023 bingo cards?—NittanyPUMA

It is very, VERY rare for a team to have sustained success at the top of the rankings for more than 5-7 years in a row, like Nick Saban has been able to do (and to a lesser degree, Ohio State ever since Meyer took over). This is more like the natural end to an era, the ebb and flow we should expect. If Dabo is able to ride it out, they’ll be back up in another few years. Not sure if Clemson fans (or the school) has the patience after tasting such high highs so recently.

Interesting teak from the Indinia FanNation page. The article talks about kicking schools out of a P5 league. They make an example of Temple getting kicked out of the Big East (RIP). They then go on to talk about who could be kicked out of the B1G, noting Indinia itself, NW and finally...

Rutgers is a fairly large school. But there is just not enough athletic success and history within the conference. Rutgers was in the Big East with Temple, and they could face a similar fate if the Big Ten one day decides to embrace addition by subtraction.

Here’s a link for an interesting read.–LarzLion

They aren’t the first to suggest a Premier-League-like relegation system in college football, and now that we’re trending towards super conferences, they won’t be the last. It’s intriguing to be sure, but since (in theory) these conferences aren’t just athletic but also academic in nature, it would take a heckuva lot to relegate an otherwise performing institution like Rutgers. Their basketball team actually isn’t bad anymore, and they had a pair of wrestling national champs before Nick Suriano transferred to another school and failed to help them win a team title!

Everyone is talking about Deion Sanders and Colorado this week, and understandably so considering he took quite possibly the worst FBS team from the last several years and turned it around in one season to beat a prior year’s playoff winning team. That said, TCU isn’t Bama and lost a lot of talent they can’t easily replace. Also last year’s team won half of their games by the skin of their teeth and a bounce one way or another has the with maybe 8 or 9 wins and looking kinda average.

Will we look back at that win and equate it to the next “Texas is back!” moment, or does Deion actually have something cooking enough to end with a pretty respectable record by years end?—skarocksoi

I think the influx of talent he was able to amass via the transfer portal speaks volumes, and he’s likely to make a bowl game this year. Whether that’s considered respectable for him and the expectations surrounding the Colorado program after a very hyped first game is yet to be determined - how does he coach up a squad with a lot of newfound hype?

There are tickets going for thousands of dollars per seat for this week’s game against Nebraska, and that’s a lot to live up to. And regardless of the outcome (I could see anything from a Colorado blowout to a narrow Husker victory), the rest of the season could go any which way.

Also I hope Texas themselves loses by 40 to Alabama to prove they are not, in fact, back themselves.

This news has flown very much under the radar, but Rob Koll formerly of Cornell and now formerly of Stanford is now the head wrestling coach at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. I am pretty sure no one at UNC really cares, but it seems like a pretty solid move for the Tar Heels. I can see Carolina having the same level of success that Koll had in Ithaca.

What do you think? Wouldn’t it be great to see Carolina out point Iowa?—Gerry Dincher

I had no idea that Rob Koll left for UNC! This is fascinating, especially since Tony Ramos was doing such a good job at that program already. I”m surprised, though this makes Cenzo Joseph’s departure from Stanford to become an analyst at ASU make a lot more sense.

And listen, as a PSU mathead I’m not a huge fan of Koll, because of the way he forced through a vote for the National Duals when some coaches were out of the country and unable to vote. But ultimately, good coaches are good for the sport of wrestling and I’m far from scared about PSU being dethroned - and Carolina blue is certainly pretty.

First WaWa and now Pat’s cheesesteaks coming to State College....what is missing from outside that you’d like to see in SC?—kingkub

Krispy Kreme, hands down. Everything else we can do without.

The actor who played Inigo Montoya in the Princess Bride is from what country do you think?—PSU1979dude

If I hadn’t heard Mandy Patinkin speak in his real voice multiple times before, this may have been more of a stumper for me - but he’s a born ‘Murican!

What is a reasonable fee for a dog friendly hotel?

I get that dogs could make a mess, but our dog is crated when we are not in the room and I’ve never seen a steam cleaner going into a dog friendly room after we check out, so what do they do with the pet fee?

A Marriott hotel tried to charge us $150 plus another $50 per night for bringing our dog (not to a Penn State game, youth hockey tourney)—kingkub

That fee is RIDICULOUS. I think a refundable fee makes a lot of sense - if your pet doesn’t make a mess, and you clean up after them, then you get the money back. $200 on top of the room rate is overly exorbitant and must just be a prohibitive fee - it’s their way of making it so you won’t stay with your pet.

What drink-adult or otherwise-is so nasty that drinking it seems like punishment.

My choices for avoidance are:

Adult: Twisted Tea

Non adult: Sunny D.—LarzLion

For me, it’s kombucha of any kind, and IPAs for alcoholic drinks. I’m not a fan of sour, hoppy, or vinegary. Or anything blue, as much as my PSU fandom wishes I could drink blue.

Why do businesses invest time and money on annoying how are we doing if you do this survey we’ll enter you in a drawing surveys? Should not they just pay their employees more and attract better workers and be rid of the damn surveys?—Gerry Dincher

In some ways, knowing there’s the possibility of getting a bad result on a survey persuades employees to provide better customer service (coming from a former retail manager). In a job market like this, those can be the difference - but I’m more of a fan of secret shoppers rather than customer service surveys. Because people lie, and they’re more likely to lie if things are anonymous.

Noted PSU fan, Joe Jonas, and Game of Thrones wife, Sophie Turner announced their upset are you?—kingkub

In the paraphrased words of the friend who texted me last night, no more Queen of the North in State College :(. Those videos of her serving drinks at Champs Downtown will forever live on in our memories and online, at least.

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