Capital punishment

Posted by mmq on December 8, 2009 

Good morning, fellow PSU fans.

The shock wave must be over by now, shouldn't it? Well, maybe not.
The Orange Bowl selected Iowa unanimously over PSU. Rightfully so, MMQ might add. See Sept. 26 for evidence.
I know it's hard to believe: A bowl passed over PSU for Iowa. Yes, PSU would've brought more fans. Yes, it would've had better ratings. Yes, that's how the bowls have operated for centuries. Yes, that's why most PSU fans thought the Lions deserved it over the Hawkeyes.
And that's today's rant: Why have PSU fans become such an entitled bunch?
Is it the success of the 80's and 90's? Is it the Big Beav? (Our stadium's bigger than yours?) Is it the whole tailgating thing?
If you've read your PSU history, or live it like some, the Lions were outsiders looking in until the late 70's/early 80's. Despite having undefeated seasons in 68, 69, 73, PSU didn't get a sniff of a title game. Thus, PSU fans had chips on their shoulders like Robert Conrad carried batteries on his shoulders. (Late 70's TV commercial reference lost on younger viewers.) There was a definite inferiority complex. Fans didn't buy into it, per se, but it became accepted as true: Eastern football was weak, PSU didn't play a tough schedule, etc.
So what happened? PSU and its dashing young head coach (if you're still coaching at 83, then 53 qualifies as dashing and young) went out and found the toughest schedule they could find. Alabama, ND, Pitt, Nebraska. All regular top 5/10/20 teams, plus the usual old pals who occasionally would get ranked, like Cuse, BC and WVU, plus toss in the NC States of the ACC and the occasional service academy and maybe a few tomato cans. Is it any wonder PSU was so very tough in bowl games in the 80s? They only lost to Clemson in the Citrus because Blair Thomas got hurt and the offense was built around him and to Oklahoma in a winnable national title game. PSU had played so many tough games and tough teams that they were prepared for anything and could handle anything.
Then the dashing middle aged coach (if you're still coaching at 83, 67 is middle aged) joined the Big 10. Ohio State, Michigan and a resurgent Wisky were on the schedule. Plus there still were the USCs, the Miamis, but those opponents were fewer and farther between. And then the down years. Now, PSU is lucky to have one marquee OOC opponent. Originally, the excuse was that the B10 was tough enough. Then it was money. Well, that scheme is coming home to roost. PSU wasn't prepared to play Iowa. The OOC schedule was the 4TH WORST OF ALL BCS TEAMS!!! If Bama hadn't rescheduled the 2010-11 series, what would the OOC slate look like next year? And don't forget 2008 was originally Arkansas St. before Oregon St. fired their hoops coach and needed money fast. PSU needed credibility, so it made the deal.
So now we've become fat and happy on pathetic OOC schedules and bottom-dwelling B10 teams. Our marquee win this year is officially Northwestern. Can anyone ever envision thinking or saying that out loud? We've gone from hungry to ... satisfied (?) with 10-2 when 10-2 IS THE WORST THIS TEAM COULD'VE POSSIBLY DONE? Entitled enough to think PSU deserved a BCS bowl over a team that beat PSU at home? (Honest aside: PSU has had horrific weather conditions to contend with the last two years vs. Iowa and a high-powered attack was neutralized. Good weather, or even average, probably tips the scales.) PSU used to be substance over symbolism, and now it's 10-2 and BE HAPPY?
What would MMQ like to see? Since Boise is looking for opponents, and they are the spitting image of PSU 40 years ago (looking to prove themselves against the big boys, I'd say let's honor and remember our past by playing them. While Boise is willing to do one and dones (reportedly), I'd say offer a 2 for 1 and take the Blue and White out to the Smurf Turf. I don't like saying this, but Pitt should be back on the sched. I know all the reasons against, and I'd make it real clear that PSU fans are NOT to be hijacked into buying Furman tickets or hell will be paid.
The upgrade to the schedules needs to happen, ASAP. PSU probably thinks, rightfully so, that fans will STEP up in 2011. But the 2012 schedule, and the home slate, are utter embarrassments to PSU. It's going to take a magic carpet for people to put up big bucks for that joke of a schedule.
When PSU looks to its roots, it rich history, the answers are clear. And as fans we have to regain that shoulder chip, and dare others to knock it off, before some go around feeling entitled to BCS games the team didn't earn just because of our name and coach.
Let's be honest, if the situations were reversed, we'd howl until the moon fell if PSU was passed over. Personally, I thought PSU might get the BCS spot because the BCS is so crooked and about cash and cash only. I thought PSU, after getting shafted so many times by the college football process, might get a gift. But then the BCS did something smart: It took the top 10 BCS teams in the rankings and selected those 10 teams for the spots. Furthermore, it probably colluded to put TCU and Boise in the Fiesta for two reasons: 1) Giving Boise a spot buys a couple of years of peace with the smaller conferences and, more importantly, Congress; and 2) Neither the Horned Frogs or the Broncos can embarrass Choklahoma or Bama the way the were by Boise and Utah previously. The BCS is getting smarted under Ari Fleischer's hand. It helped Bush, didn't it?

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