One Last Fan Gripe
One issue that has been a pet peeve of mine in recent Penn State history is the mediocrity of our schedule; most pathetically evident in this years OOC gauntlet of anonymity. Now, we’d all agree at the end of the day Penn State Football is still Penn State Football and we are just glad that it’s the fall again so we don’t have to suffer through the summer any longer, gobbling up the latest preseason top 25 released by the ESPN pundits before Nike has even had the chance to stamp their “swoosh” on our practice uniforms.
But ultimately, this poor scheduling does hurt us, in more ways than one. You all know one of the arguments that I’m refering to – poor schedule = no respect, no respect = poor poll positioning, poor poll positioning = no BCS bowl (I’m obviously overlooking the fact that if we win all our games we go to the Rose Bowl anyway, and regardless of our schedule we must win all our games, yada yada yada).
This week however, I’ve discovered a new evil as a result of our schedule. As we just finished trouncing Syracuse, and are preparing to take on the mighty Owls from Temple, there’s one trend apparent in the main stream media: no one cares. Being that it’s football season and I am in my glory, I try to ingest as many Penn State related articles as I can, regardless of the content. I’ll read a 10 page article about Rutgers football if only to read a paragraph saying how they will never compete with Penn State over the top recruits in the tri state area. But this week, there isn’t even a peep. By Monday afternoon I had read just about every substantial article that would be written about Penn State for the entire week. I’ve scoured the blogosphere, looked everywhere I could, but realistically – there’s not much you can say about Penn State right now that hasn’t already been said in week 1. We still don’t know how good our secondary is, we still are concerned about our offensive line, and we still are waiting to see if Jack Crawford is a man-bat from hell.
Simply putting someone like Virginia or Georgia Tech on our schedule, who i’m confident we could handle, would be 100 times better than trying to justify why the Zips might not be a pathetic team. Any middle of the road team from a major conference can do wonders for our national reputation, and for an example of that I ask you to look no further than our game against Oregon State last year. There was about 50 articles last year analyzing USC’s loss to Oregon State, and Penn State found itself as a footnote in every one of those articles. My cup runneth over.
As we wipe the vanilla frosting from our mouths after this week and brush the red velvet crumbs from our uni’s, let’s hope that we’ve learned an important lesson about scheduling this year. Let’s mix it up a bit – get crazy and play non-directional Florida! Let’s give the sports writer’s something juicy to write about! Because we’re not just hurting our national reputation, we’re also hurting my ability to procrastinate at work. And that, my friends, is a sin.