Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Penn State: college football nomads

Miami-Florida State, Florida-Georgia, Notre Dame-USC, even Army-Navy all bring one thing to mind: rivalries. Some are timeless, some nasty, and some the world's largest outdoor cocktail party non-alcoholic-zippity-do-da-family-fun-time. Since PSU’s abandonment of the Independent persuasion, they have yet to form a true rival. Sure, PSU and Ohio State are usually a good game, but Penn State hasn’t beaten THEosu at the shoe since 1978: hardly a rivalry. There are Nittany pundits out there that have a newly found hatred for all things Michigan but let’s face it: the feelings are not mutual. When a team beats you 6, 7, 8 (I’ve lost count) in a row, it’s far from a rivalry. If you want to see deep-seated, I kicked the shit out of your dog and fed anti-freeze to your cat Hatfield and McCoy style hatred, look no further then THEosu – Michigan; evident by the wonderful Blogosphere- (MZone & Buckeye Commentary); these guys really despise one another.

The Buckstaches (show here circa 1897 ) & the McCoys have a long history of hating one another

No, PSU is stuck with the end of the year let’s-take-turns-pounding-the-snot-out-of-each-other-depending-on­-who-has-given-up-for-the-year-and-wants-to-go-home game with Michigan State. You see, when the Nits joined the Big 10 Michigan State called up PSU (read-Paterno) and were the first to welcome them to the Big Ten, asking to set up the now horribly labeled land grant trophy match, which PSU was happy to oblige. Unfortunately it has never manifested itself into anything great, albeit some fun games. That leaves us to the pre-Big Eleven era and Pitt – Penn State. Ah yes, I can remember many a game, there’s only one thing that slips my memory: when did Pitt win? Despite the constant din that emanates from the Pittsburgh Post Gazette where “writers” are contractually obligated to bring up the absence of Pitt on Penn State’s schedule on a monthly basis, this was never a true rivalry. Pitt HATES Penn State, period. The feelings were never, nor are they now, reciprocated. Paterno is 24-7-2 against Pitt… that’s not exactly nail biting results. Moreover, it was the Pitt student body that would chant “Fuck Penn State” whenever their band played during games not even remotely associated with PSU (this was one of the reasons that Brandon Short chose the Nits over Pitt). The Blue & White student body did no such thing, and this Pitt “tradition” has since petered out. All in all, PSU never has nor do they currently have any “true” rivals, just a bunch of Gypsies wondering the college landscape looking for a home.

The Paternos seen here dressed in full Gypsy garb place a hex on a Big Ten Ref doll.


paulwesterdawg said...

Arkansas ran into this problem when they left the Southwest Conference.

The biggest game on the schedule was Texas, and the TAMU game was also a monster. Since joining the SEC, they've been unable to rekindle any sort of a big time rivalry.

The SEC manufactured the "Golden Boot" trophy for the LSU game at the end of the season, but LSU doesn't take ARK seriously.

There's bad blood between ARK and UT, but the SEC's reconfigured schedule means they only play twice every 8 years.

It's an unfortunate byproduct of conference re-alignment.

BTW -- SDIAB is a great username.

Paul Westerdawg
Georgia Sports Blog

Galen said...


Thanks for stopping by, one question: isn't there bad blood between UT and just about everyone in the SEC??

Seriously, there seems to be this new wave in college football that things change for commercial sake. What I mean is there doesn't seem to be any consideration for "lesser" traditions/rivalries, just whatever the big bucks dictates.