Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Blue and White Roundtable

It's Wednesday and that means everybody's favorite: Blue and White Roundtable. Mike from BSD wrote the questions in between changing diapers and other fatherly duties so I'll respect his effort and put some actual thought into my questions this time.

Huzzah! Preseason practice starts this week! Which position or unit on the team makes you cry yourself to sleep at night hoping they do better than last year?

Galen: I said it before and I'll say it again – offensive line. The success of this year's team rests solely on their shoulders. Last season a lot of the offensive troubles were blamed on a myriad of things – coaching, Morelli's intelligence, play calling, etc. but I point to the offensive line. Michigan, Wisconsin, and Ohio State got metric tons of pressure on Morelli without the aid of the blitz. When you can pressure with just your four down lineman you're going to dominate an offense. If the offensive line is something near average or, God help us, slightly above this offense will have no problem putting points on the board. The offensive line was so bad during the Michigan game that I walked out of the game. I've never done that before in my life – when the second quarterback went down I was tired of watching the 300 pound sacks of poo whiff at defensive lineman as the past by on their way to destroying our QB's. I couldn't take it.

Nick: Offensive Line – just give Morelli time and Scott a little daylight and I see a great year ahead. On the other hand, if they’re playing matador to defensive pressure, then it’s going to be a long, painful autumn.

Which position or unit does everyone fuss over that makes you smile with confidence because you know they will be just fine?

Galen: Quarterback. Anthony Morelli is going to have a great senior season, I'm confident in that. If I'm wrong I'll have no problem admitting it but I just think he's had a year under his belt, he's been knocked around and most of the really good defensive lineman in the Big Ten last year are playing on Sundays now. You can say what you want about Jay Paterno holding him back, blah, blah, blah… whatever. Morelli has three wide receivers that have been playing for two years together, a serious pass threat at tight end that will create matchup problems that will keep opposing DC awake at night and a tall freaky wideout sitting on the bench just itching to get in the game and make circus catches when PSU is in the red zone. The only glitch I see in the plan is the offensive line (see previous question), other than that it's all systems go!

Nick: Running Back – Austin Scott is going to be great and Kinlaw and Royster won’t be too shabby either.

Last week the USA Today unveiled the preseason coaches' poll. Penn State came in ranked #18. Fair, unfair, or about right?

Galen: Every damn year Penn State is ranked they come in somewhere around #17… every time. I think they're a top 15 team but I'm a shameless homer. Let's look at it this way, Phil Steele, who the blogsphere seems to have a man-crush on, has PSU listed in his top 10. Take that for what it's worth but I think PSU could have a great season if they get a little luck.

Nick: Meh, its probably about right for a preseason poll, but why the strange fascination with Ohio State and UCLA? Oddly, Penn State is always one of those teams that the pollsters seem to say “prove it” year after year.

How much value do you put in preseason polls?

Galen: A preseason poll and 39 41 cents will get you a first class postage stamp.

Nick: Absolutely none, if you’re in the top 5 preseason and don’t shoot yourself in the foot, you’re clearly positioned for playing for a championship. In those cases it’s a slanted playing field for everyone else and exactly when polls are at their most worthless. Everyone ends up hoping others teams falter instead of being judged on their own merits.

Lightning Round

What are the odds Penn State beats Michigan?

Galen: It doesn't look good but as Han Solo once said while careening through an asteroid field at breakneck speed – "Never tell me the odds" (how's THAT for a geeky reference?).

Nick: 50% - they either win or lose, but they’re going to win again sometime.

What are the odds Penn State wins the Big Ten?

Galen: Something a little less than the odds of them beating Michigan.

Nick: I would be surprised if the Big Ten champ was anyone besides Michigan, Wisconsin, Penn State, or possibly Ohio State sneaking in for a share with one of the other three. 3:1 that Penn State wins at least a share of the Big Ten title.

What are the odds Jay Paterno calls a slant pass this year?

Galen: Million to 1 – Jay doesn't like slanty things he likes his routes with a box shape; he's the Frank Lloyd Wright of coordinators.

Jay Paterno approved home

Nick: You’ll find more walls in Globex Corporation than slants in Jay’s playbook.

There you go, leave your thoughts in the comment section and check out the rest of the B & W Roundtable syndicate.



Anonymous said...

Isn't postage now 41 cents

PSUgirl said...

I was thinking that the pre-season poll must be worth $.02

but I'm not sure that the USPS will accept it as legal tender.

Galen said...

Oooppss, that shows you how much I use snail mail.