After a few weeks’ hiatus, Maize and Blue Nation has stepped up to the plate to come up with some questions for the BTB Roundtable. Needless to say, a lot of crazy shit has gone down in the Big Ten since then and for the protection of my own sanity, I’ll leave it at that.
On to the questions:
1) With two weeks left in the season, it’s safe to say that most schools have reached the point where the year has been a success or a disappointment. How has your school fared this year in your opinion? Or, is the jury still out?
The easy answer would be to say this year has been a disappointment. However, if you had told me back in August that Penn State would go into November controlling its own destiny for the Big Ten title and subsequent Rose Bowl bid, I would’ve taken it in a heartbeat.
Obviously, expectations changed once we actually exorciiiised the demons in Columbus and everyone started “OMFG!” rioting, ordering hotel and plane tickets to Miami, and talking non-stop about the BCS title, only to have it all snatched away by Ray Finkle in Iowa City two weeks later.
So right now, the Nittany Nation is disappointed about what could’ve been but in retrospect, winning the Big Ten title would still be flippin’ sweet if we can pull it off.
2) Is your school heading to a bowl? If so, which one? And if not, WTF?
If it wasn’t obvious from what I wrote in response to Question #1 then I’ll spell it out for you: Y-E-S. The possibilities range from the Outback Bowl (should we do the unthinkable and lose both our remaining games, in which case Yours Truly will crawl into a bunker with Paint The Town Orange) to the BCS Championship…Hey, quit snickering! It was around this time last year that Ohio State was coming off a similar shocking, BCS title hopes-ending loss to Illinois before Lady Parity went ape shit.
3) The Big Ten has recently had a hard time getting respect among the national media as a top conference. Has the Big Ten taken a step forward or a step backward in this debate this season?
Riddle me this, riddle me that: How do you explain a “Triple MAC Attack” (I’m talking of course about Indiana, Michigan, and most recently Illinois’ defeats) as anything but a slap in the face to the Big Ten and three giant steps backward?
Not that Penn State helped the cause either by making “The Stanz” look like Dan Marino…
4) Would the Big Ten benefit from adding another school to create two divisions like the SEC, Big 12, ACC and MAC? And if so, which school should be added? Or, should we drop one school?
The obvious answer would be Notre Dame, but we all know there’s a better chance that Charlie Weis will shed 100 pounds in the offseason by using Hydroxycut. They’re too full themselves with their NBC contract and their flexibility in scheduling (even though it includes at least three Big Ten teams a year). If anyone is going to drop out of the conference it would be PSU, who would jump to the Big East or perhaps the ACC but I don’t see that happening either.
5) Do you agree with President-elect Obama that college football should have an 8 school post-season playoff?
Yes, so long as the format goes like this: Six auto bids go to the champions of each of the BCS conferences, while the remaining two “at-large” bids would either be filled by either a one-loss or even two-loss team from a BCS conference or by an undefeated team from a non-BCS conference ranked in the Top 10 (i.e. Utah in 2004, Boise State in 2006).
One can only imagine the amount of hype that would’ve surrounded the Boise State bandwagon two years ago had my proposed system been in place.
6a) Who is your favorite network television play-by-play announcer/color commentator/sideline reporter?
Play-by-Play announcer: Gus Johnson – The Big Ten Network committed highway robbery by snatching him for their upcoming basketball broadcasts. Now, I get to hear him say things like: “Battle driving to the BUCKET…HELL YES!”
I also think BTN should allow him to announce this year’s Indiana-Purdue football matchup in an effort to make it sound like the Big Ten title is at stake.
Color commentator: Kirk Herbstreit – Easily the most unbiased analyst out there, which is saying a lot considering his staunch Buckeye roots. We also suspect he may be a closet Penn State fan ever since he was in Happy Valley for the magical victory over OSU in 2005 and was hypnotized by the student section.
Sideline reporter: Melanie Collins (See 6b for further details)
6b) If you listed Erin Andrews Melanie Collins, please provide a photo/video to back up your pick.
What’s that? You’ve never heard of Melanie Collins? Well, you will soon enough. She’s a Penn State grad who currently works with the Big Ten Network and does some work with PSU sports shows as well. She’s also a native of State College, PA (my hometown) and an alum of my high school which gets her 10x bonus points in my book.
Did I also mention she doubles as a bikini model?
Unless Erin Andrews gets invited by Sports Illustrated to pose for their celebrity section of the annual “Swimsuit Edition” then it looks like Melanie’s got her one-upped in that department. Sorry Erin, but your time is running short..Look for the Worldwide Leader to pick up Melanie within the next few years.