Blue White Roundtable: Alabama Week Edition
September 7, 2011 – | 1 Comment

Once again, it’s Adam Collyer over at BlackShoeDiaries providing the questions, and we, your humble bloggers, providing the answers. Mine are below, and you can venture off to the remote areas of the blogosphere that …

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Blue/White Roundup

Submitted by on September 24, 2010No Comment

If you periodically checked quebecpenspinning this week, you may have wondered why we weren’t taking part in the weekly tradition that is the Blue/White Roundtable. Indeed, our lack of participation probably threw you off your game. You were incensed, you were depressed. You couldn’t eat, or drink, or sleep.  You slowly shriveled away into Christian Bale from the Machinist.  You shouted onto the heavens “Why, dear god why?”

Well, fear not good reader, for our absence is indeed explainable.  ‘Twas I who asked the questions, and it would simply be self-indulgent to provide an answer for my own queries, no?

However, our fine colleagues across the Penn State blogosphere took the bait, and offered up their thoughts on my provocative, captivating, riveting prompts.  For the sake of time, we’ll summarize them here, but if brevity isn’t your thing, you can read their full responses over at their respective websites.

Onto the questions!

We’re a quarter of the way into the season, and at this point we’re starting to see how Penn State stacks up this year. What’s the biggest positive and negative you’ve seen so far?

Everybody but Trader Kevin mentioned Rob Bolden as the biggest plus, but they just have to be contrarian over at Penn State Clips:

The biggest positive has been the backup tailbacks, Stephfon Green and Silas Redd. The latter, especially, looks like a player.

Then again, the venerable Rowlff Dogg over at JoePa’s Doghouse had an interesting take on the matter as well:

As a team, I think the biggest positive/negative is one in the same.  The perceived “weak” units have all exceeded expectations, while the perceived “strong” units have been a disappointment.  It’s a strange phenomenon.

You may be on to something, Rowlff. Remember that senior running back who was supposed to carry this team?  Linebacker U’s Galen does:

This was supposed to be Royster’s year, he was plastered all over preseason magazines and there was even Heisman talk. That’s all gone and now pundits are debating about other options in the running game. Sure you can point a finger at the offensive line but at the end of the day Royster has done nothing on his own and we knew the line was going to be somewhat suspect coming in to the season.

Other than bashing Evan Royster, most everyone complained about a lack of leadership or fire coming from this team.

The Big Ten has had mixed success this first month–Ohio State beat Miami, but Iowa lost to Arizona.
Balls of steel. Heart of...darkness.
Michigan and Michigan State have been better than advertised, but Penn State and Wisconsin have underperformed. As a conference, how do you think the Big Ten stacks up?

This is an SEC world and we’re all just livin’ in it. Right? Take it away, Will:

I think the Big Ten is in the middle of the road. Losses like Iowa’s to Arizona hurt. Minnesota losing to South Dakota is just embarrassing. I don’t think that anybody had any delusions about Penn State beating Alabama. The wins over Notre Dame by Michigan and Michigan State probably make the conference look better than they should.

Meanwhile, J. Schnauzer takes a wider look at the state of college football:

Depends on how you look at it, but I think we’re way above the ACC and Big East, below the SEC, and on par with the Pac-10 and Big XII.

It was recently announced that Penn State had extended the Temple series for another three years. How do you feel about playing the Owls on a regular basis?

I guess that when Penn State fans were begging Tim Curley to restart the rivalry with the second-best team in the state, they should’ve picked their words more carefully. [See what I did there? Anyone? Yeah, there it is. High five!]

Anyone, the responses to this one ran the gamut of emotion. Maddy at 2 The Lion is a little conflicted, since Temple is her alma mater. Which reminds me: did they have free jello pudding pops in the cafeteria?

I’m old so I like playing Temple – it reminds me of my childhood. I’m also a Temple grad – so I like it that they get a chance to play a team like PSU and be on TV, and, every 4 years or so, raise their attendance numbers.

That was actually a fairly typical response–there’s little enmity, and, now that Temple’s a respectable opponent, they’re a decent enough warm-up for the Big Ten slate.  Only Rowlff Dogg had to go and ruin everybody’s fun:

Knowing full well that Temple isn’t taking the spot of some marquee BCS opponent, I’m still upset about it.  I want to experience new things, and our OOC scheduling does not allow for that.  I’d much prefer finding other lower level schools willing to do a 2 or 3-for-1.  If that means Louisiana-Monroe, Utah State, or Idaho, so be it.  I’d be thrilled to travel to Monroe, Logan, or Moscow to watch Penn State play.

Temple’s Al Golden seems to be a popular choice to replace Joe Paterno, whenever it is that JoePa decides to call it quits. How would you feel about Golden taking over as the head coach of Penn State?

When I asked this question, I certainly did not expect the answers to be one-sided.  But apparently, Temple’s stunning turnaround from national punchline to competitive team in the past few years has really made an impression on us. Especially Kevin:

We really like Tom Bradley, but the next coach should be someone with head coaching experience. (Also known as The Charlie Weis Rule.  Al Golden has done a remarkable job at Temple and MUST be on the short list when the time comes.

Maddy was even more effusive:

I’m on the Golden bandwagon right now. I’ll admit that this is a new vehicle for me, but, so far, I’m really enjoying the ride. I’m proud of what Golden has done at Temple – on the field, but, more importantly, in the locker room, classroom and community. He has Temple players, fans, and admin believing that they can win – it’s a big change.

And Galen’s riding shotgun (though his point about Golden choosing his own staff was echoed by the entire team over at JoePa’s Doghouse:

I have no problems with Al Golden as the next head coach at Penn State as long as he’s allowed to pick his own staff. Penn State has gone against conventional Nittany wisdom lately (read: Cael Sanderson) so I’m hopeful they actually do a national search the day Joe retires dies on the sideline. But if they must go with a guy that “has ties” to Penn State Golden is probably tops on my list.

Extra Points:

How many times will the BTN announcers mention that Al Golden played and coached at Penn State?

The spread on this one ranged from one to, um, 1,325. Since the average is totally screwed thanks to Galen, the median should be more to our liking. It’s 3.

Which of the embattled starters is most likely to have a breakthrough game on Saturday?

2 votes for Graham Zug, 2 for Nick Sukay (didn’t even realize he was embattled!), and one apiece for Eric Latimore, Evan Royster, and, um, Ki-Jana Carter (Kevin, see me in my office after class).

Who finishes with more rushing yardage: the entire Penn State backfield or Bernard Pierce?

In a 5-2 majority decision, the winner is…Penn State.

Temple has scored 9 points total in the last four meetings between these teams. Do they surpass that in this game alone?

5 for yes, 1 for no, 1 maybe. Damn it, Maddy, make up your mind.

This was fun. We’ll do it again sometime real soon.

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