Showing posts with label Rants and Ramblings. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Rants and Ramblings. Show all posts

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

So long Bobby & don’t let the door hit you in the ass, Charlie

So the coaching carousel started with a whirl with the not so surprising firing of Notre Dame coach Charlie Weis and the "retirement" of Florida State coach and Paterno win-record nemesis Bobby Bowden.

As I stated last week, Chuck Weis will be missed because watching Notre Dame flounder in mediocrity has been delicious schadenfreude. He was the gift that kept on given, every time he opened his mouth something unbelievably arrogant came out only to have mother universe bitch slap him for it. My favorite comment had to be about Paterno and coaching from the press box. When Chuck injured his knee he was asked by a reporter if he would coach from the press box like Paterno did when he injured his knee much in the same way. Charlie's response was "I'm too important to coach from the press box," as if Paterno isn't an important part of his coaching staff. The sheer joy of seeing ole' fat ass sitting in the press box the next week was something I'll never forget.

Bobby Bowden will be missed but for a much different reason. Yeah, Bowden was just a figurehead and yes he was definitely out next season but the unceremonious shove out the door is sad. Let's be realistic, Bowden wanted to come back next season but the administration had enough. Bowden's ACC record was .500 the last four seasons since the Seminoles won their last conference title. There was a lot of speculation and rumor that FSU was going to allow Bowden to come back for one more year if he was willing to give total control to coach in waiting Jimbo Fisher. Personally I think that's BS, I think the administration wanted a clean start and they weren't waiting another year. Although I've always felt Paterno deserves the win record more, because he coached at the same university his entire career and never coached at a school that is not a Div I school, I was hoping the two would go neck and neck and retire at the same time, but that's not going to happen. Say what you want about Bobby Bowden, it was a fun race and it was something that will never happen again. We will never see two life-long college coaches devote their lives to the school they are coaching, that kind of loyalty no longer exists in our "what have you done for me lately" society. We'll never see two universities put up with their head coaches going through tough years like Florida State and Penn State. No, in the future they will be canned long before they get a chance to redeem themselves. Fired, or as the talking suits like to say in the uncaring business climate of today: "go in a different direction," whatever the hell that means.

So Paterno gets his record and Florida State gets their coach and the lifelong race to the top is over not with the dignified pomp and circumstance it deserves but with a brusque whimper. The only silver lining on this dark cloud is that Bowden gets to ride off into the sun; he will coach his last game in FSU's bowl game. School officials are trying to get the ACC to allow Florida State to play West Virginia (where he coached as an OC and a head coach) in one of the Florida bowls, either the Gator Bowl or the Champs Sports Bowl. I hope for the sake of all that is still good in the world of college football, the ACC and the bowls put aside greed for once and grant Bobby his wish.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

An obligatory look at Michigan State (The Rivalry edition)

About the University

Michigan State University is a public research university in East Lansing, Michigan USA. Founded in 1855, it was the pioneer land-grant institution and served as a model for future land-grant colleges in the United States under the 1862 Morrill Act….February 12, 1855 Michigan Governor Kinsley S. Bingham signed a bill establishing the United States' first agriculture college, the Agricultural College of the State of Michigan…Abraham Lincoln signed the First Morrill Act of 1862, making the Michigan school a national model.
Cool Fact

National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory (NSCL) is located on the campus of Michigan State University and is the leading rare isotope research facility in the United States. Established in 1963, the cyclotron laboratory is the nation's largest nuclear science facility on a university campus.[1] Funded primarily by the National Science Foundation and MSU, the NSCL operates two superconducting cyclotrons. The lab's scientists investigate the properties of rare isotopes and nuclear reactions. In nature, these reactions would take place in stars and exploding stellar environments such as novae and supernovae. The K1200 cyclotron is the highest-energy continuous beam accelerator in the world.

After all that buildup it's rather unimpressive, no?

Football related datum

Current Record: 6 – 5
Last year's Record: 9 – 4: lost to Georgia in the Capital One Bowl

The scary side of things

Time to beat the dead horse!

Special Teams – until the coaches prove they can fix the monumental problems on special teams I'm going to continue to bring this up over and over. Michigan State is the best team in the Big Ten and seventh best in the nation on Kickoff Returns. Be afraid, be very fucking afraid. Keshawn Martin is 5th in the country averaging 31.71 yards per return. Might want to kick it away from him, but you know, not our coaching staff. I'm putting special teams at the top of the list because I think it's the most important thing to worry about if PSU wants to win Saturday. Don't think special teams are that important, check this out:

And the secret to having a national title contender this year is … excellence on kickoff return?

The six unbeaten teams in Division I-A have navigated the first 11 weeks of the season with different strategies and strengths. But they find common ground in gaining good field position after their opponents score. All six squads rank among the top 20 nationally in kickoff return average, with everybody except Alabama (No. 19) squeezing into the top 10.

Yeah, it's that important.

A four man rush isn't going to cut it – like Indiana Sparty is great at protecting the QB, unlike Indiana, Sparty has an offense to take advantage of it. Michigan State is best in the Big Ten and 18th in the nation in sacks allowed. Mark my words here's how things will happen Saturday. Bradley will have the team come out in the Bend and Then Break Our Hearts soft zone defense and bring only the four down lineman. Unless Kirk Cousins implodes he will have all the time in the world and will pick apart the middle just like every other decent passing offense has against this atrocious defensive scheme. Like every other game PSU will come out slow and fall behind by oh… 10 or 14 points before the coaching staff decides: "hey… this crappy defensive scheme isn't working, maybe we should try something else." Mark it down, I'll be happy to eat my words later but I've heard this tune before; many, many times before.

Speaking of passing, might want to be worried about that – MSU has the best offense in the Big Ten because they are the best team in passing offense and passing Efficiency. Kirk Cousins leads the Big Ten with a rating of 149.71 and is completing almost 62% of his passes. Blair White and B.J. Cunningham are his main targets and have caught 61 and 44 catches respectively. That's more than anyone on PSU's roster. Cousins has 17 touchdowns and only 5 picks. If Penn State doesn't pressure him it's going to be a looooooonnnnnnnngggggggg day.

The not-so-scary side of things

Passing Defense – Michigan State has to have a lot of offense because their passing defense suuuuucks. Sparty is giving up 245 yards per game and they don't pressure very well coming in 10th in the conference in tackles for loss. Amazingly they are 2nd in the conference in sacks so go figure. In fact if you take a quick look at their schedule, the least amount of points given up in Big Ten play has been 14 points, and they gave up 30 or more points to Purdue, Minnesota, and Wisconsin (two of them losses).

Turnover Margin – While Sparty takes care of the ball on offense they really don't force anything on D. They only have five picks all year, less than half of Penn State's total. They've put the ball on the ground 14 times and lost 8 which accounts for most of their turnovers. Penn State may get a chance at a fumble, hopefully they can capitalize.

Game Outlook

Hey its rivalry week bitches!! I'm expecting a high paced, hate filled game! Lots of intensity and both teams playing at high levels, Hell we're playing for the magnificent land grant trophy.

I want it so bad I can taste it!

It's a week like this that makes you feel alive going against your bitter rival.

Beat Michigan SCHHHTTTAAAAAAAATTEEE!!

Ok, that's all bullshit. Honestly after watching Penn State play the last two weeks I'm thinking this is a loss. I expect them to come out flat, not give a shit and play from behind all game long. The defensive coaches will use the same shitacular schemes that have frustrated fans for years and it will get ugly. This game will come down to whether or not Daryll Clark can take this offense on his shoulders and after the game last week don't look for that to happen. Michigan State's leading sack man is Greg Jones which means Sparty likes to blitz and we all know how well Penn State's offensive line handles pressure. The same problems Penn State has been having all season will come back to haunt them in this game: special teams, horrible blocking, and a passive defensive. There's really nothing to play for and I don't expect the team to be ready. Why should I, they weren't ready to play Ohio State at home.

TNL's Prediction

Penn State 21
Michigan State 27

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Oh, this will be fun!

Hey, anybody heading over to the game Saturday? Yeah, check this out:

Wanna rethink that?

If you live outside of central PA, I swear to you it is snowing right now, fucking snowing! In the middle of November... wait its October, FUCK!!!

There is nothing , and I mean NOTHING worse than bone-chilling "almost snow," or as you Southerners like to call it rain (around the freezing mark). I would rather sit in a blinding snow storm tied to a chair forced to listen to Miley Cyrus' attempt at a rap song on an endless loop than stand in bone chilling almost snow soaked and cold as Hell. In my youth I was a hunter (its central PA, by law we have to shoot some furry woodland creature to get a driver's license) and I've sat through temperatures so cold that the trees were freezing and cracking open before my eyes and it doesn't compare to being soaked at 32 degrees. Thank God I'm not going into the game, good luck you Nittany Lion faithful with tickets, I pray for you.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Dark Night Of The Soul

*Warning - some profanity, but far less than the initial draft.

Coming off Penn State's worst performance since Ohio State ruined the White Out in 2007, it's time to really assess what this Penn State team is. Sure, they stand at 3-1, but honestly they haven't looked liked they (the offense) cared if they won in any of the games they've played and only through circumstances of playing series of middling to bad competition (and the defense) they've come out the better side. I hate to bring condemnation on the whole squad, because some guys are playing their hearts out, but there hasn't been a concerted 60-minute effort put on the field yet this season. We'll get a handful of series of focused offense and wander aimlessly the rest of the time. Daryll Clark has regressed horribly this year, he's not going through progressions, not squaring up on his throws and often has receivers stretching, diving and twisting to make receptions. This is your second year running this offense, how can you not have better blitz recognition or seemingly have any idea to call a hot route for a quick dump off? (Note to future opponents: when you're on defense, blitz the hell out of us every single down, because apparently we refuse to learn how to adjust.) How do you let the play clock run out in the shadow of your own goal posts to negate one of the few positive plays against Iowa? I'm sorry if it seems like I'm picking on Clark, but he's the fucking captain. You don't get to be the captain simply because you're a senior, or at least you shouldn't, you earn being a captain because you're a leader and this team hasn't shown any leadership on offense. They're rudderless. Furthermore on the play clock, what the fuck is taking so long to get the damn plays called? What are the coaches doing in the booth? Why the hell, haven't we seen more of Newsome and McGloin against Akron, Syracuse and Temple? The reason, we don't have Pat Devlin to fall back on this year, is the coaches refusal to bring Devlin in during Clark's post-concussion games last year, specifically Iowa and Indiana when he clearly wasn't himself. Yet they again refuse to give any substantial meaningful playing time to our back-ups this year to prepare them should the need arise that god forbid they may actually need to play (see: Bradford, Sam). Now comes the first road trip of the year, to Illinois, and unless someone starts putting boot to ass and get this mess straightened out, they'll be anointing the inaugural Little Caesars Pizza Bowl in sunny Detroit this December. WOO!

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Time to press the panic button?

It's been a busy week for me and I just got around to reading Paterno's press conference. Two questions pertaining to the secondary really stood out and scared the bejesus out of me. When asked about the corners without A.J. Wallace playing, because you'll remember Paterno said that he would probably be suspended for a couple games, Paterno had this to say.

I'm not sure what we're going to do with A.J. I had put some rules down that he had to get certain grades, which he got in the summertime. I had to put some other rules down. He's abided by them. He may end up playing some on Saturday.

Side Note: I suggested as such earlier this week when I covered the depth chart. I asked the somewhat rhetorical question why Wallace was listed second string. I knew that meant Wallace was going to play or they would have had someone else listed.

Now Paterno usually plays mind games with his players in press conferences and he usually high-balls the suspensions probably to scare the players straight. Seldom does he suspend someone for the length of time he originally states but that's his prerogative, it's not like the ridiculous court system, there are no mandatory minimum sentences in Paterno's world.

The problem is, Wallace is our best corner in a position that has few experienced options and if Paterno is playing him without much of a suspension it probably means he's really worried about the secondary. In Paterno's world skipping class is a cardinal sin and he's come down heavy on violators in the past so if he's coming down a little on the light side it might be time to worry. If that doesn't scare you then this should:

Q. You haven't put the nickel in yet this week. Who are one or two guys we might see there against Akron?

We don't have a nickel back so far. We really don't. Our linebackers have been good. We'll have to see what happens this week…If our linebackers can play the way we think, and they can be outside linebackers that can walk away from the line of scrimmage and help on the pass game, we may not use a nickel. We'll see. A lot will depend on how a couple kids in the secondary come along.

Dear God we've seen this in the past and it's never been good. Playing a linebacker in space on an obvious passing down has turned into disaster in the past for Penn State. It probably means a lot of passive zone defense so the linebacker tasked with covering the wideout doesn't get burned which means a lot of open space for an experienced wide receiver/quarterback combo. If Akron doesn't exploit it you can be sure the good teams on the schedule will. If Paterno thinks the secondary is so thin that he can't find a nickel back with Wallace in the game we could be in deep trouble. Where did I put that USB panic button?

Monday, August 10, 2009

The lead balloon was also a good idea

I guess when you are ranked as the #1 party school by the 2009 Princeton Review you end up with things like this.

First-year Penn State students will have to take an online alcohol awareness course as part of a new program designed to combat high-risk drinking.

The students would begin taking the preventative course called "AlcoholEdu for College" before arriving on campus. The program created by Boston-based Outside the Classroom is already used at more than 500 colleges around the country.

A friend of mine led me to this because she has to take it as a new student and ironically she has already taken a couple classes like this because she's a part-time bartender. I had to take a similar class recently (for undisclosed reasons) and I have to say, outside of some interesting things about addiction, I really didn't learn much, it was mostly common sense. What little I've seen of this course leads me to believe that it will be the same thing. Online classes are not the answer to binge drinking, if they are really serious about it they would make them take a mandatory class where they actually have instructors and interaction, but knowing Penn State they would just shove everyone into a giant auditorium and play a recorded presentation.

Friday, August 07, 2009

A Final Word on PSU’s Schedule

A lot has been said about Penn State's weak schedule lately because, well, there's nothing to really talk about until practice starts Monday. I've beat on the Athletic department for the weak schedule for some time, you could see it coming, that's why I gave up my season tickets several years ago. I simply wasn't dropping a grand for two tickets to see teams like Akron, Temple, Syracuse and Eastern Illinois (or any directional U for that matter). That money can be well spent elsewhere.

While most people, like me, believe that a wet tissue paper soft schedule is a bad thing, not only for entertainment value but also for PSU's chances to make it to the BCS championship, some think otherwise.

In fact, that crappy schedule of Akron, Temple, Syracuse and Eastern Illinois is more likely to help the Lions secure a Jan. 7 date in the BCS national championship game than hurt.

Computers and schedule strength are not much of a factor in the BCS system anymore. Certainly nowhere near what they are in the NCAA basketball tournament selection process.

The dominant factor is now voters. Where pollsters a few years ago accounted for only 25 percent of the BCS grade, now it's 67 percent.

These pollsters have shown recently that they believe an undefeated team with a sketchy nonconference schedule is still an undefeated team. If Penn State manages to skate through its Big Ten schedule unscathed, it's highly unlikely that any one-loss team will be voted ahead of it. And an unbeaten non-BCS team such as Boise State or Brigham Young? No chance.

Three unbeatens of which Penn State is one? That's a different story.

How can you not love Dave Jones he's not only wrong most of the time but he's usually does it in magnificent fashion.

Let's just say for the sake of argument that Penn State does go undefeated (more on that later). Like Jones says if there are two more undefeated teams Penn State is out. If there is one other undefeated from the ACC, SEC, or Pac 10 and a one loss USC, Florida or team-that-beats-Florida-in-the-SEC-Championship-game, Penn State is also out. The pollsters love, love, love the SEC and USC and they hate everything from the Big Ten right now. So they will most certainly jump a one-loss team over Penn State in that instance (if they're even ranked ahead of them which may not be the case). So basically with PSU's weak schedule if the Nits go undefeated the only way they make it to the championship game is if they are the only undefeated or all non-undefeated teams in the SEC have two losses and USC has two losses. How is the weak schedule helping again? I think that scenario is HIGHLY unlikely to happen.

But again, Dave misses (or chooses to ignore) the most important thing about Penn State's shitty schedule: playing crappy teams doesn't get you ready to play the good teams on your schedule. The Steelers found this out in Super Bowl 30 when they lost to the Cowboys 27-17. Pittsburgh had an unusually soft schedule in a weak AFC that year and only had to beat an overmatched Buffalo team and Indy to make it to the Super Bowl. Not only was the AFC weak in general but Pittsburgh division was specifically feeble.

Before the game I told my Steelers buddies that Pittsburgh had not seen a team as fast and as powerful as the Cowboys and they would have to weather a storm until they adjust. As it turns out I was right, the Cowboys scored on their first three possessions to take a 13 – 0 lead before Pittsburgh finally broke through for a TD right before half. The rest of the game was pretty much a push, the Steelers got acclimated to the Cowboys level of play and the outcome would have been in more doubt had Neil O'Donnell not gift wrapped two game killing interceptions.

Now the Steelers had no choice in the matter they could only play the schedule given to them but Penn State does.

If we take a quick glance at the schedule we see that Penn State starts out with Akron, Syracuse, and Temple right before playing Iowa (the only team to beat PSU last year lest you forget). Do you think any of those three teams will have the skill position players that Iowa has? Temple may actually be somewhat decent-ish but Penn State would be better off playing a scrimmage than the other two. Those Nittany Lion defensive ends that everyone will be raving about after they wiz by the offensive lineman of the Zips, Orange, and Owls will be in for a huge awakening when they run into Bryan Bulaga. The secondary will not face a Ricky Stanzi in those first three games either and we all know the incredible fear Penn State fans feel about our secondary.

I'm not saying that Penn State will lose to Iowa I'm saying that I would feel a FAIL Boat-load better if Penn State actually played a team that had more than 5 wins last year in the first three games. We will have no idea how good Penn State is until the play Iowa, let's just hope we don't set ourselves up for a huge letdown.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Penn State players get their drink on

Penn State is living up to its #1 ranking as the top party school (suck it Florida – you may have SEC speed but we have Big Ten tolerance) as two more players have been cited for alcohol related offenses. First, as reported by FOS and linked by PSU Blog Mafia (would that be a Blogfia?) Black Shoe Diaries Ako Poti was arrested for DUI on July 12th. Originally there were few details just a mention of a traffic violation that led to the DUI arrest. Not to toot my own horn, but I stated in the comment section of BSD that Ako was probably out late at night on his way home and a cop pulled him over solely because it was late and used the bullshit traffic violation as an excuse to nail him for DUI. Well as it turns out I was right.

At about 3 a.m. July 12, police charged senior reserve offensive tackle Isaako "Ako" Poti, 1400 Martin Street, with DUI after he registered a blood-alcohol content (BAC) of .112 percent, the State College Police Department said.

Poti was also charged with driving on roadways laned for traffic, police said. He made a turn onto North Atherton Street without using his turn signals and drifted into the right lane, police said.

First off, let me just state for the record that Ako was driving under the influence and I don't condone that it's wrong and trust me, I'm someone that can attest to that, but don't tell me they pulled him over because he "failed to use his turn signal" they pulled him over because it was 3 a.m. plain and simple. Do you know how many people I see failing to use their turn signal on a daily basis, there isn't a day that goes by that I don't see at least 6 or more people failing to use their turn signal, hell this morning I was behind a local cop that didn't use his turn signal. Actually, although I'm a turn signal zealot, I was once pulled over for the same thing but like this case it had less to do with the turn signal and more to do with me accelerating by a slow car to about 90 on my bike, but I digress. Ako should get the dog house for failing to understand that if you're drinking you shouldn't be driving and for Christ's sake don't be driving at 3 AM.

But Ako wasn't the only Lion to run into trouble:

Glenn A. Carson, 26 Popper Street, Manahawakin, N.J., was charged with public drunkenness and underage drinking in connection with a July 25 incident that occurred at the intersection of Burrowes Road and Pollock Road, Penn State police said.

Carson is an incoming linebacker recruit and I can forgive the "underage drinking – public drunkenness" sort of thing because who among hasn't done either? For those of you that believe in the hardass, nail 'em all to the wall kind of discipline this was in incoming recruit, someone that wasn't even on the team yet, don't get mad at Paterno if he slaps the kid on the wrist.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

And in other shocking news Charlie Weis is overweight

Thank God you are sitting down… Ok, if you're reading this on a mobile device while walking you better find a place to sit down because this will be a shocker, one that will rock the very core of your beliefs. The BCS presidents have…. have…. REJECTED the Mountain West Conference's playoff plan.

The MWC proposed an eight-team playoff system that would allow greater access to the national championship game to teams outside the six most powerful leagues. The BCS presidential oversight committee rejected the concept during a teleconference on Wednesday.

Outgoing committee chairman David Frohnmayer had this to say:

"In the last six years, I've read pundits, heard the pronouncements of broadcasters and collected several cubic feet of e-mail printouts from advocates of an NFL-style playoff system. Even those that go beyond sound bite certitude share two intertwined and fatal deficiencies: They disrespect our academic calendars and they utterly lack a business plan."

Listen jackoff, no one and I mean no one gives a flying rat's ass about a business plan. We just don't care, that's not even a discussion in the circles of football fandom. That's your job to figure out the business end of it. I don't sit around a bar with my friends on a college football Saturday and discuss college football as a business. I don't sit there and say "Hey Brad, I think College Football's business model would serve the system better if we applied some Six Sigma concepts to it." No, instead we sit around and dream about how great it would be if college football wasn't the ONLY SPORT IN THE WORLD whose champion is not determined on the field.

As for the 'academic calendar' bullshit, please, please give me your schedule. Give me two weeks between Thanksgiving and the middle of January and I'll give you an 8 team playoff.

Week 1: 8 teams become 4
Week 2: 4 teams become 2
Championship game is played the same time it always is.

You're telling me your academic schedule can't handle that?! You're telling me you even care about academics in football? I seriously doubt it.

It's funny, these guys are so transparent that it borders on the ridiculous anymore. Every time they open their mouths it just gets more and more perverse. They should just release a statement that says "We have rejected <insert angry team left out of championship game here>'s plan for a playoff because it would deprive us of mounds of cash." At least then they could go home at night without feeling dirty.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The BCS can’t get any worse can it?

Apparently the answer is 'yes.'

For the first time since 2005, the final regular-season ballots for the USA Today coaches' poll will not be disclosed to the public beginning in 2010, the paper reported, citing an anonymous source.

You'll remember that the coaches' poll is one of three polls used to calculate the BCS ratings, the problem is it's been proven that the coaches intentionally rig the poll in their favor so it's unfortunate that it's part of the process in the first place but add in the prospect of anonymity and it just becomes absurd. If you think Steve Spurrier gives himself a big bump in the polls now, just wait till he doesn't have to show his vote. The BCS apologists say that the controversy surrounding the polls is a good thing but controversy like this is just plain silly, the system sucks.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Rose Bowl waves fist in anger at Penn State

Penn State is bad.

Rose Bowl officials say Penn State violated two media access agreements at this year's game.

Bowl officials, who met in Pasadena this week, said in a statement that the first violation occurred when coach Joe Paterno failed to give a pre-game interview to ABC broadcasters.

Yes, Joe is an 85 thousand year old legend and he'll do what he wants news flash to ABC: suck on it!
The second violation was for failing to open the locker room to media after the game. Penn State doesn't open its locker room after games at Beaver Stadium.
Really? REALLY!?!? Penn State made all the important players available after the game they just didn't "open the locker room" to the media. If ever there was a cry of entitlement by the main street media types this is it. So what can dear old PSU expect from these findings?

Bowl officials said "appropriate responsive actions" were approved, but did not release details.

NObody expects the Rose Bowl inquisition!! Give them… the comfy CHAIR!


Update: as is usually the case BSD has a much better take on this here. Like I said:

After the Rose Bowl, Penn State did not open its locker room to media, as per its normal policy for both home and away games. Instead, it brought players to a hallway directly outside the locker room, where they met with reporters.

Bullshit reporter pandering.

Monday, April 13, 2009

President Obama needs bloggers’ help

President Obama learned a very valuable lesson, one that every blogger, no matter how big or small has learned the hard way: No matter how well you manage your online forum it's nearly impossible to keep out the trolls.

President Obama's pledge to open the White House up to the public through online forums faces an irksome challenge: a plague of Internet "trolls" -- troublemakers who work to derail cyber-conversations through harassing and inflammatory posts.

The problem became immediately apparent last month when Obama held an online "town hall" forum on the economy and invited the public to post questions on the hite House Web site.

Those questions, in turn, were voted on by users to determine which ones the president would answer.

Three and a half million people participated in the event, but the "trolls" had their way: Following a coordinated campaign by marijuana advocates to vote their topic to the top of the list, questions on the future of the U.S. dollar and the rising unemployment rate were superseded by questions about legalizing pot as an economic remedy.

Ok, so we PSU bloggers have to deal with angry Pitt fans and Obama and his staff have to deal with a bunch of spaced out potheads waiting for their Pizza to be delivered, it's still a similar problem and unlike bloggers, the White House has to be careful not to sensor free speech. I can delete any lame-ass comment I wish (although I don't). The government is limited to censoring only hateful or bad language, if the comment is on topic there's little they can do and you better believe the ACLU will be watching very carefully.

Oh, and what was Obama's response about legalized Mary Jane?

The president himself had a good laugh about the volume of marijuana-related questions, saying, "I don't know what this says about the online audience -- we want to make sure that it was answered. The answer is, no, I don't think that is a good strategy to grow our economy."

Online audience? Oh you have no idea Mr. President, this just scratches the surface.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Somewhere David Jones cringes

York Daily Record reporter Frank Bodani recently wrote an article on Penn State's recruiting push into southern California where long-time high school football coach Rolando Rivera and his buddy Scott Glasson help steer high school kids to schools of interest, schools not named USC. While Penn State is late getting into the game it appears the effort might be paying off.

So far, the Lions have offered San Diego stud receiver Kenny Stills, who plans on visiting State College on a recruiting trip. And apparently they are seriously interested in a handful of other kids there. They also have offered Long Beach area's Sean Parker, one of the nation's top safety prospects.

"If they can get out here and keep meeting kids, I think they can really pull in some great ones," Glasson said of the Penn State coaches.

One of the points in the article that really caught my eye was this nugget:

"Penn State's real slow. They didn't just talk to us right away," Glasson said. "They're real careful about everything they do, absurdly so.

"When people say they're clean, it's true."

This isn't the first time someone outside the Penn State Athletic department has made a passing comment like this, it's too bad more writers don't pick up on it. But that would go against the negative attack agenda Pennsylvania writers have against Penn State and Paterno in general. In many of their misguided minds negative = paper sales.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Just Because Tis The Season

Penn State is hosting George Mason in the NIT tonight, Happy St. Patrick's Day. Time to get my Irish on. Most have spent the last 2 days bitching why the Nittany Lions aren't in the NCAA Tournament. Granted, Mike Slive gave the most bullshit argument for Arizona's inclusion, possibly the finest work of a talking asshole since Ace Ventura, see Kevin's fine work over at BSD for actual stats and stuff for those that don't really follow the nuances of college basketball and need an explanation as the why. Regardless, from this point on, I'm putting an end to the whining about the schedule. I know, it wasn't great, but it's not what kept the team out of the Tournament. Stop crying the schedule is too weak! The schedule is too weak? The fucking schedule is too weak? You're weak! The season ended up hinging on 2 games and the team didn't come through, that's it, plain and simple. The season slipped away losing to Rhode Island, thus missing an opportunity to play Villanova, and closing out the regular season losing to Iowa. Penn State plays 'Nova instead of Towson, there's your strength of schedule out the window or conversely beats Iowa, locks up number 2 seed in the Big Ten and punches their ticket. Unfortunately, they've been inconsistently great and that's been the problem (that and free throw shooting). Celebrate the year and the team and stop crying.

P.S. ESPN can take ESPNU and shove it up their ass, no one gets your shitty offspring network. Put the worthless play-in game on it. Sláinte!

Friday, February 27, 2009

The Intertubes R weird: Exhibit B: TNL’s official plan to die

At some point in every guy's life one realizes that we aren't going to live forever. Usually this revelation is followed by dumping your girlfriend/wife, buying some completely frivolous toy (like oh, I don't know a motorcycle) and running off to some Caribbean island with someone 10 years younger than you. Hypothetically speaking, of course… that's not really my life. Not at all. *cough*

Anyway… a midlife crisis is just nature's way of dealing with the unknown because none of us really know when or how we are going to die. But if we could choose our final destinations, if we could pick how we go out; I can't think of a better way that this:

A Russian man died after guzzling a bottle of Viagra to keep him going for a 12-hour orgy with two female pals.

The women had bet mechanic Sergey Tuganov $4,300 that he wouldn't be able to follow through with the half-day sex marathon.

But minutes after winning the bet, the 28-year-old died of a heart attack, Moscow police said.

"We called emergency services but it was too late, there was nothing they could do," said one of the female participants who identified herself only as Alina.

Key points: he won the bet and it was with two women. Dying of a massive heart attack after snogging two horny women for 12 hours is tops on TNL's official plan for the end and I can't think of anything that will beat it out at the moment. The fact that this is news proves that men are still in control at the switch at news agencies across the internet.

Now if you'll excuse me, it's a nice day in central PA I'm going to go for a bike ride and then finish packing for my trip to Jamaica in two weeks .

Friday, February 06, 2009

Michael Phelps and Mo Evans have something in common

And it appears to be their love of Mary Jane. The whole deal with Phelps took fire when this photo was revealed by a tabloid.

Now Phelps acted like a man, admitted his mistake, took full responsibility, and apologized. Here at TNL, we fully understand the social pressures that weigh on the decisions of a young man and while we would never, ever, EVER drink too much alcohol or smoke an illegal drug like pot… ever…

*awkward silence*

*sound of crickets chirping*

…we don't judge a man for making a mistake, especially when said person "mans-up" and admits his folly (take notes Barry Bonds). Apparently we're not alone, most of his major sponsors, while not condoning his actions, have stood by him. Companies like Visa Inc., Speedo, luxury Swiss watchmaker Omega and sports beverage PureSport's maker Human Performance Labs. Unfortunately there is one company that just can't forgive our beleaguered friend and that is Michigan-based sugar peddler Kellogg whose official statement is this:

Michael Phelps's behavior is "not consistent with the image of Kellogg."

Ah yes the "image" of Kellogg… do you by chance mean the Enriched Flour, High Fructose Corn Syrup laden sugar blankets you call:

Pop Tarts?

Or maybe the chocolate covered death wafers you call Chips Deluxe Chocolate Chip with Fudge Stripe cookies? You know, the cookies that have 110 calories and 6g of fat per fucking COOKIE*

I see the image you're going after Kellogg, forget the svelte swimming star with the eight gold medals whose prone to make the same mistakes most Americans make, no you apparently would prefer something more this style.


Since you are out a spokesperson, may I suggest something a little more appropriate for your artery clogging snacks, someone that gets your point across but can never die… how about the fat Homer Simpson in a Mu-mu?


Nothing says good eats like Homer in a cape and mu-mu!

Now I'm not saying Phelps should get a pass, another slip-up like this and something should be done but let's give the guy a break, he's only human and it's not like he got caught snorting blow of a dead hookers ass, it was a hit of pot. He made his mistake, apologized and it's time to move on. I'll tell you what, if Kellogg wants to sit on such a high horse… fine… Monday morning lets drug test every Kellogg corporate official. I'm talking every middle manager up to the CEO, let's screen them all for every drug under the sun. If everyone passes then they can pull their sponsorship but if just one fails it sure would look a bit hypocritical now wouldn't it? I'm willing to bet we could find some stuff a lot more interesting then pot in the company pond. What say you Kellogg? Deal?

*don't bother telling me they're good, I know they're good, everything that is bad for you tastes great, I'll bet they would taste especially good when you're high… or so I've heard.


Wednesday, February 04, 2009

LOI day is here: all rejoice at the choices of 18-year old kids

I once tried to cover recruiting here at TNL at least from a birds-eye perspective but found the task a little daunting and quite frankly, the guys over at BSD do a much better job than me so I gave it up altogether. Having said that, it is national signing day and Christmas for adults if you believe some news services. Really, if you want no better example, look at SportingNews.com's college football home page. It's plastered with all kinds of recruiting stories and if you want exhibit A of why recruiting is so dirty and sleazy to me, look no further than the main picture of undecided WR Marlon Brown on the front page. There's something a little… oh… less than straight about having a website geared toward grown men with a picture of an 18-year old football player with his shirt half off. Just sayin'.

While most articles tend to laud the exploits of Team A's talent or Coach B's recruiting prowess, there is one very interesting article that needs our attention.

Scouting services often miss best recruits

The Associated Press reviewed the top 50 recruits as named by Scout.com and Rivals.com from 2002-04, two services that essentially began as start ups but sold in recent years for tens of millions of dollars.

The AP found that when picking the 10 players with the brightest football futures, the services were right a little more than half the time, based on whether a player started 20 games or more in college, his recognition for awards or whether he made it to the NFL.

When it got to picks 11-50, the services were even more hit and miss.

I've been around for the exponential rise of Scout and Rivals and quite frankly I've always looked at them with a skeptical eye, and don't even get me started on sleezemaster Tom Lemming. At any rate though, Penn State is looking to turn in a very good recruiting class and they still have Linebacker Jelani Jenkins, wide receiver Justin Brown and defensive back Jim Noel on the radar screen. Jenkins is one of the best linebackers in the country (if you believe all the recruiting services) and would make a great exclamation point to this class.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Killing time with ESPN

Since college football is all about debate with polls, rankings and such and not in any way shape or form decided decisively on the field (like EVERY OTHER SPORT KNOWN TO MAN), the discussion rages into the offseason long after the last whistle blows. In the case of ESPN, if the debate wanes why not just create your own debate, after all that's what TWWL is all about these days. Enter the Prestige Rankings: ESPN's attempt to rank the prestige of all FBS teams throughout the history of football (ah, to ESPN history starts in 1936 - whatever). The system was devised by Chris Fallica, Nick Loucks and Harold Shelton, the fine men of the "ESPN research" team. Not sure this qualifies as research but, ok, I'll play along. First let's look at what "Prestige" is:
pres·tige
Pronunciation: \pre-stēzh, -stēj\
Function: noun
Usage: often attributive
1: standing or estimation in the eyes of people: weight or credit in general opinion
2: commanding position in people's minds

So from the start this is an exercise in futility because you and I will have a completely different idea of what makes a prestigious team then say someone on the "ESPN research" team but, then again, that's what college football is all about: debate. So let's look at what weighs heavy in the minds of The World Wide Leader.

  • National title: 25 points
  • Berth in one of the major bowls: 10

Major bowls were defined as every Rose, Orange and Sugar Bowl since '36; every Cotton Bowl from 1940-94 (when it started taking the SWC champ until it was booted from the Bowl Alliance); and every Fiesta Bowl since the '86 season when the historic No. 1 Miami-vs.-No. 2 Penn State game changed the landscape of college football.

  • Major bowl win: 10
  • Best win/loss record in conference regular season: 10

These points were awarded to every team that had at least a share of the best overall record in a major football conference, regardless of divisional alignment. Independent schools were awarded the bonus if they were ranked ahead of at least three of the big six conference champions in a final regular-season poll that season.

  • Final AP top-5 finish: 10
  • Heisman winner: 8
  • Final AP top 6-10 finish: 6
  • Conference title championship-game bonus: 5
  • Final AP top 11-25 finish: 4
  • Bowl appearance: 3
  • Bowl win: 3
  • 10-win season: 2
  • Week as AP No. 1: 2
  • Win over AP No. 1: 1
  • Each consensus All-American: 1
  • First-round NFL draft pick (since '70): 1
  • Losing season: minus-2
  • Each year of television ban: minus-1
  • Each year of postseason ban: minus-2
  • Each year of overall probation: minus-1
  • Each year of financial-aid penalty: minus-1
  • Each year of recruiting penalties: minus-1
  • Each penalty of "show cause action:" minus-2

Side note: I was completely shocked to read that someone working for ESPN would write that a game played by Penn State "changed the landscape of college football" – I'm sure their pink slips are already printed.

So in the minds of ESPN the most important thing in college football is winning a MNC. Ok, I can except that for some that's all that matters *cough SEC* but for some of us getting banned by the NCAA is a little more of a negative than what ESPN thinks. A postseason ban only draws a negative 2?!?! WTF?? Getting banned from postseason play is a tad more important than that! I would most definitely rank that a minus 8 or at least a 5, you've done something pretty bad if you can't even participate in the postseason. In fact they rank that as egregious as getting a "show cause action" which is more of a self-discipline issue and not a total ban. A school that hires a coach or an AD that is tagged with the "show cause" on their record can still participate as long as the coach or AD in question keeps his nose clean.

I believe All-Americans and 1st-round NFL picks are weighted too low and Heisman winners are weighted to high. Getting a Heisman is almost as important as major bowl win or a conference championship? I don't think so, how many Heisman's have been complete busts in bowl games and in the NFL? Independents get screwed in this system because they have to finish with a better record than three of the big six conference champions to get the 10-point bonus and they don't even get a shot at the 5-point bonus for making it to a Conference title championship-game, they aren't in a conference.

All in all though, I would think with the Paterno era Penn State is going to finish pretty high in these rankings, and in fact they've already listed Nos. 21-119 here and Nos. 16-20 here and no PSU yet. Nos. 11-15 are due out today with the top ten coming out Thursday and Friday. Stay tuned.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

The BCS Championship game: still irrelevant after all these years

So it comes down to Florida and Oklahoma for the BCS Championship game tonight at 8:00 PM. Supposedly this is "the" national championship game but, once again, there will be much debate over who the real champ is. Very strong arguments can be made for Utah, USC, and the winner of tonight's game. Texas has no argument in my mind; they needed a last second touchdown to sneak by an Ohio State team that didn't even make the Rose Bowl.

USC pounded the #6 team (yes I refuse to write it) 38-24 and will end the season with only one loss, the same number as the winner of the Championship game. Then there's Utah. In my mind the game tonight means absolutely nothing because Utah should be the national champ. Utah crushed a powerful Alabama team 31-17 and the score is deceiving, the game wasn't even that close. Not only did Utah beat the #4 team in the nation but it was one of them teams with that "SEC speed." Teams from the Mountain West don't beat them there southern teams with all their speed. That's bullshit bubby, what's goin' on?

Think about this for one moment: if the SEC didn't have a championship game Alabama, not Florida, would be playing in the Championship game. Alabama was undefeated and held the top position in the BCS poll for five weeks before losing to Florida in the SEC championship game. Had there been no SEC championship Utah would have got the chance to crush Florida. I'm not saying Utah would beat any team on any given day but on that day, in the Sugar Bowl, Utah would have beat anybody, they were near perfect. Had there been a playoff they probably wouldn't have won, but that's not an argument we don't have a playoff. Utah is the only undefeated team left and they beat an all-powerful SEC team that was previously ranked #1 and currently #4; in my book they are the champs. So sit back tonight with your favorite adult beverage and take in a great matchup between two very good teams, but keep in mind that this decides nothing. The debate will rage on long after the confetti is swept off the field and the BCS trophy is safely locked away in the winner's trophy case. I for one would like to thank Utah for busting up the BCS party, they may just be the impetus that starts college football down the path towards deciding the championship on the field.

Monday, January 05, 2009

The aftermath


I gave it a couple days off before writing anything about the Rose Bowl simply because I didn't want to write something that had less thinking and more emotion (who am I kidding I don't think hard about anything). After watching that effort I really had my fill of football, it just drained me. I've only caught a couple minutes here and there of the other games but I just am done with it for this year. I haven't read any articles on the intertubes because I don't want to read the lazy, rubber-stamped crap that the local beat reporters write. If we take a step back and look at this season and the end to it a couple things stand out to me.

-without a doubt this was a very good year for Penn State. 11-2 and a Big Ten championship is absolutely nothing to sneeze at, this team overachieved no matter what anyone says, they weren't even picked to finish in the top three in the Big Ten.

-the Big Ten was down this season and Penn State took advantage of it. I'm certainly not going to apologize for that nor should anyone else.

-Ohio State really screwed the Big Ten when they got their at-large bowl berth. That moved all the middle mush of the Big Ten up a bowl and put them in much more difficult games. This will only help to perpetrate the "Big Ten is weak" talk from the national media next season. Get ready for it.

-I picked my brain the day after the Rose Bowl but I cannot for the life of me remember a Joe Paterno-coached team that made as many mistakes as this team did. Crushing penalties at the most inopportune times and turnovers when they needed to hold onto the ball the most. I simply don't have an answer at all.

-there is no way I want Tom Bradley as the next head coach at Penn State. I cannot take the 'Bend and then Break our Hearts' defense he plays. The head coach sets the offensive and defensive philosophies and that is one I do not care to see anymore. Bradley relies on a good pass rush from his down four linemen to pressure quarterbacks into mistakes, when Penn State takes on a very good offensive line things break down really fast. Bradley doesn't blitz much and when he does it's painfully obvious he's going to before the ball is snapped. The moment that ended it for me was on a 3-2 with USC up 17-7. Penn State didn't blitz and their cornerbacks were 8 yards off the line of scrimmage and started backpedaling on the snap. Of course USC completed a 14-yard pass for a first down and scored later in the drive. A fellow Penn State fan argued with me (because I was hopelessly yelling at the TV), why would you want the corners to play up? Do you want them to get burned deep? My response was Hell Yes, I'd rather take a freakin' chance than let them sit there and methodically gash the defense with short passes. I just can't take that defense anymore.

So there you have it in a nutshell. Speaking of nuts, it's probably going to be the first time ever but I'm actually going to be rooting for Ohio State tonight because they need to salvage something for the Big Ten. That most definitely means they will lose badly because the universe hates me.