BTB Roundtable (Week 12, Return From Hibernation)

November 13, 2008
Were back...Albeit, a bit rusty.

We're back...Albeit, a bit rusty.

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.

melanie-collins

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.

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BTB Roundtable (Week 9)

October 22, 2008

Come...Make yourself comfy.  The bullshitting session will begin shortly.Come…Make yourself comfy. The bullshitting session will begin shortly.

After a one-week hiatus, fellow PSU blogger Nittany White Out has stepped up to provide questions for a Big Ten Blogger Roundtable this week

1.  We’re approaching week 9 now, are you pleasantly surprised or already waiting for basketball season?

While I am one of the 50 PSU hoops fans on the planet (currently working on my annual basketball preview which should be up in the next couple of weeks), basketball season is an afterthought, thanks to our unprecedented undefeated record which will hopefully remain intact after a visit to Columbus this weekend.

So, to answer your question: “Pleasantly surprised” is the understatement of the year.  Before the season began, I had practically nixed Wisconsin and Ohio State as “sure-fire losses” and figured we would blow another Big Ten game on the road like we usually do because nobody in their rights minds would’ve thought Wisconsin would end up being one of the most overrated teams in Big Ten football history and still be searching for a conference win in the last week of October, let alone us being favored against Ohio State in Columbus.

2. Describe one specific play from this season you would alter for a different outcome if you had the chance to.

Easy to answer after this past weekend:  Sam McGuffie’s fumbled kickoff return right after we scored our first points of the game to cut the deficit to 10-7 would be recovered by us instead of McGuffie falling back on his own fumble.  Had that been the case, we would’ve taken advantage of the short field/momentum and scored the go-ahead TD in the first quarter, Michigan would’ve began to wilt even earlier than they did, and we likely would’ve sported a double-digit halftime lead which we would’ve continued to expand upon in the second half.

3.  How could it (#2) possibly impact the way your season is going?

To be honest, I think it was somewhat of a blessing that Michigan went up on us early and even led at the half.  JoePa had been telling the media all season long that we have yet to face “adversity.”  Well, we certainly got a good dose of adversity last Saturday and the fact that we fought back from all the numerous miscues/bad luck that plagued us says a lot about the type of guys we have wearing the Blue and White (see: Motha effin’ soldiers).

So basically, my alteration of the McGuffie kickoff fumble would’ve left PSU less tested than would they have been this season..not necessarily a good thing considering what we face in Columbus this upcoming weekend.

4.  Big Ten player you just can’t stand, why?

The douchebag from Michigan who shoved Derrick Williams to the ground long after a punt had been whistled dead, though I should thank the douche because his costly penalty allowed Daryll Clark and Company to start their drive near midfield which ended up in us scoring a TD right before halftime to cut the Michigan lead down to 3.

5. Boo’ing your own team (we’ve seen quite a lot of this across the Big Ten this season), your feelings on this.

It’s only warranted if your team is just playing with a flat-out uninspired, “I don’t give a crap” type of attitude combined with lousy playcalling (NOTE: these two usually go hand-in-hand) and you end up losing by 40 or more points, or give up 60+ points…Especially if it’s a home game.

*BONUS ROUND*

1. Number of beers or alcoholic drinks consumed by week 8 (or a good estimate)

I honestly lost count after the first few morning brewskies…Safe estimate would be around 10

2. Most annoying commercial seen this season

I wish somebody would have uploaded it to YouTube so I could paste it here and annoy the living hell out of you, but it’s a local commercial for an online Penn State clothing shop and the only lyrics are “Putyourputyourputyour hands in the air, put your hands in the air, say PENN STATE!” which get repeated at least 10 times (by which after 5 times, you’re ready to put a hole through your television).

I dunno who the hell comes up with such jingles, let alone thinks they’re actually going to make somebody want to use their product…

3. Your prediction for the next coaching change in the Big Ten (Joe Tiller exempt)

I want to say JoePa, but everytime the collective bunch predicts his retirement, he comes back.  Therefore, I’m going to go with Bill Lynch at Indiana.   Undoubtedly he’s a great guy and the players seem to like him, but he appears to be in over his head because of IU’s rapid decline as that 2007 bowl-bound season seems like it happened a decade ago.

IU really seems to be losing the momentum that Terry Hoeppner built up for the program before his untimely death last year and if things continue to go south next season, there will likely be a coaching change in Bloomington for 2010.


Big Ten Blogger Roundtable (Celebrity Jeopardy Edition)

October 8, 2008
You didn't really think this roundtable would be devoid of "Celebrity Jeopardy" references, did you?

Looks like I picked the right week to jump back on the BTB Roundtable bandwagon as The Only Game That Matters (aka, the only Big Ten blogger without a favorite team who takes the easy way out and embraces them all) has come up with answers that we must address in the form of a question, much like “Jeopardy.”

Such a momentous occassion also gives Yours Truly free reign to squeeze in “SNL Celebrity Jeopardy” references wherever it might possibly fit.  You have been warned.

1)  Jay Paterno and the Spread HD

Q:  What is the latest sexual position done with Trebek’s mother?

2)  Joe Tiller’s Mustache

Q:  What is “BITCHIN’ TECHNOLOGY?”

Nicolas Cage is amused with Joe Tillers stache

Nicolas Cage is amused with Joe Tiller's 'stache

3)  The Color Purple

Q: What is a part of Lake The Post’s wet dreams?

4)  Brains

Q:  What is something Kirk Ferentz’s head should be checked for?

5)  Hawkeye State

Q:  What is a ‘state of panic?’

6)  Rudy

Q:  Who is a giant douche that managed to be the subject of an “inspiring film” about his lame-ass story of walking on to America’s most hated college football team and going from towel boy to getting a sack in his final home game despite being offsides?

7)  Knee Ligaments

Q:  What is something Joe Paterno lacks nowadays?

8 )  Terrelle Pryor

Q: Who is the only thing bigger than Turd Ferguson’s “oversized hat?”

Sorry Turd Ferguson, you’ve finally been “one-upped”

9)  Mark May

Q:  Who is ‘eating crow?’ (i.e. begrudgingly ranking Penn State in his Top 5)

Hows it taste, Mark?

How's it taste, Mark?

10)  Rich Rodriguez

Q: Who just invented the “Penis Mightier” and is sitting on a gold mine?

Dick Rod inventing the "Penis Mightier" who woulda thunk it?

Dick Rod inventing the"Penis Mightier." Who would've thought?

BONUS ANSWER:  11) Anal Bum Cover.

Q:  What is the next project Rich Rodriguez is working on?


Big Ten Blogger Roundtable (Week 5)

September 26, 2008

Boiled Sports has this week’s questions, and in a deliberate attempt at lameness has decided to name it the BTB “Squaretable” instead.

Well, to that I say: FUCK…YO…SQUARETABLE!

Alright, on to the good part:

1) We’re all car guys here at BS. So your task is to assign your own program a vehicle. Is Purdue an all-terrain vehicle like a Jeep or a Hummer? Something befitting a brawny Boilermaker? Is Ohio State a slow, conversion van being passed by Corvettes with USC markings? Is IU a John Deere tractor with a hillbilly riding on it? Get creative and let us know both what your school is if it’s a car as well as assigning a vehicle to as many of the other Big Ten schools as you like. (I’d require you to do them all but I know attention spans are short and counting to 11 is hard.)

Unfortunately, I couldn’t come up with a car for each Big Ten school.  You can blame it on my busy schedule/lack of car knowledge/laziness.

Penn State – 1968 Pontiac Firebird.

Sure, it’s old and outdated and probably should’ve been scrapped years ago but there’s still an attractiveness to it after all these years that makes one extremely reluctant to let it go.

Ohio State (Before Terrelle Pryor) – Ford Pinto

Things were going alright for the Buckeyes until they got severely rear-ended by USC and exploded in flames.

Ohio State (After Terrelle Pryor) – Knight Rider

Hasselhoff's 'fro sold seperately...

Hasselhoff's 'fro sold separately.

Michigan – Gob’s segway on Arrested Development.

Until Dick Rod’s finished product comes off the assembly lines, this will be their only means of going anywhere.

2) In Week 1 in the NFL, the New England Patriots learned how precious things can be when Tom Brady had his knee blown out by a former Boilermaker. Let’s say your team wins out from here to the end and is in a BCS bowl game with a chance to do the school and conference proud – what ONE player on your squad would you most likely cry about having his knee blown out in the first quarter? That is, who is truly indispensable?

We have so many weapons offensively that it’s hard to pinpoint one guy whose injury would cripple our attack, so we’re going to look towards the defense on this one:

I’d have to go with Navorro Bowman, he is establishing himself as clearly the best healthy linebacker we have right now.  Look no further than last week’s 11 tackle/3 sack/1 INT game against Temple as evidence of that.

3) Purdue plays Notre Dame this week and, well, we detest Notre Dame like probably no other program. Let’s say I have the power to force you (maybe you lost a bet to me) to wear another Big Ten school’s colors to an away game for that team. That is, you’re wearing OSU colors to a game being played at Michigan, or something like that. And I’m talking, dorky, head-to-toe… goofy-ass sweatshirts and flat-brimmed, ridiculous-looking hats. If you have to choose, which program would you be able to stomach wearing? (Remember, you’re going to an away game, so people won’t like you and accept you and you’ll be taking this abuse for a school you’re not even affiliated with.) And by the same token, what program could you absolutely not EVER stomach wearing, under any circumstances?

This one’s rather easy for me: I’d dress up in full-on Ohio State garb, being that my mom’s from Columbus and an OSU grad (though not a sports fan, so she likes PSU) and I was born in Columbus myself, I have a small place in my heart for the Buckeyes and they’re the only non-PSU team I can genuinely root for.

And if you need me to write out which school’s clothing I would refuse to dress up in (except in dire circumstances such as being held at gunpoint being forced to choose between wearing said hated team’s colors or participating in a “lemon party”), then perhaps you should stop calling yourself a “Big Ten Guy.”

4) I like big butts and I can not lie. Share your embarrassing guilty pleasure music selection that you know other people might laugh at. Bonus points if you can send a YouTube video of an awful music video with it. Many/most of us grew up and/or went to college in the ‘80s and ‘90s so I know you’ve all got some Nelson After The Rain on the iPod.

I’m likely one of the young-uns in the BTB community, being that I only graduated high school in 2002..but I digress.

My most recent guilty pleasure has been the song “Cannonball” by The Breeders.  I’m not a fan of “angry white girl rock” but goddamn, that bass intro..so simplistic, yet so catchy and so 90’s…


BTB Roundtable (Week 4)

September 17, 2008

Well, I finally found time to post again and after a one week-hiatus I’ve decided to hop back on the Big Ten Blogger Roundtable bandwagon.

Northwestern’s “Lone Ranger” of the blogosphere, Lake The Posts has this week’s questions:

Helping the BTB community, one roundtable at a time.

Lake The Posts: Helping the BTB community, one roundtable at a time.

1)The national media is using the Big Ten Conference as a punching bag in 2008 ranking us somewhere between the Big East and the MAC.  Based on Ohio State’s no-show, Purdue’s “APPLE!!!” and Michigan’s debacle, it is redemption week in Big Ten Country.  However, several teams have very respectable, yet no-name teams (ie. Troy, Central Michigan, Ball State). Tell us how the Big Ten will respond this week in the final week before
conference play.

Ohio State will take their anger out on Troy but they won’t beat the 21.5 point spread without a healthy Beanie Wells, Purdue knows from its Motor City Bowl appearance last winter that Central Mich is no pushover and will be ready for them, and only the geekiest of college football geeks (which may or may not include myself) know how potent Ball State’s offense is and would tell you that Indiana will be in for a dogfight this weekend against Ball State.

I would tell you who else I like amongst the Big Ten teams in action, but I’ll save that for my Friday Pick ‘Em post.

2)The conference standings look like someone took the 2007 results and flipped it upside down. Which of the undefeated teams are contenders and which are pretenders (another way of saying which teams have put lipstick on a pig)? Recalibrate your preseason rankings and tell us who the conference favorites are now.

Ohio State is still the favorite until further notice (i.e. dropping more than one Big Ten game or losing at home to Penn State).  Wisconsin and Penn State though are breathing right down the Buckeyes’ neck and collectively make up the undisputed top three in the Big Ten right now.  I’d put Wisconsin ahead of PSU right now for the sole reason that the Badgers survived a cross-country road trip at Top 25 Fresno State.

As for the “Sarah Palins” of the conference: Look no further than Northwestern and Minnesota.  Granted, Northwestern hasn’t played any FCS teams like Minny has (hello, Montana State?), but Syracuse may very well be an FCS team the way they’ve played like putrid ass thus far.  Come to think of it, we’ll get a clear indication of just how FCS the ‘Cuse truly are when they host Northeastern this weekend.

3)Javon Ringer has emerged as the early season best-bet Heisman hopeful from the Big Ten. Real deal or non-conference smoke screen? Does anyone from the Big Ten have a prayer for the Heisman, or is it too late?

With all due respect to Ringer, he needs to lead his team to some victories against legit opponents.  Michigan State doesn’t have to win the Big Ten but Ringer needs to come up huge against the current “Top 3” in the Big Ten that I previously mentioned.  It’s also imperative that Ringer lights up a Michigan team that’s in a “kick ‘em while they’re down” state.  Otherwise, all bets are off.

As for Beanie: The longer he sits out, the dimmer his Heisman hopes get.  Whenever he does come back, he’s going to have to average around 200 yards a game on the ground the rest of the season in order to even get an invite from the Downtown Athletic Club.

4)After three weeks it is time to give your team a new slogan. What is it and why is it what it is?

Penn State: Where Every Game is in HD…After all, we’re not the NFL.

Seriously, that’s the best I can come up with.

5)By now, you’ve likely adopted a favorite non Big Ten team to watch. Flex your football worldliness by convincing your fellow Big Ten kool-aid drinkers to watch your “other” team.

Well, it pains me to admit it but…USC football makes for good TV viewing.  The defense is tenacious and their QB, Mark Sanchez is following in the footsteps of Matt Leinart and Carson Palmer with his brilliantly accurate passing game, which brings me to my next point: Not only are the Trojan Men talent-rich but they also seem to execute with near perfection.

Oh yeah, and Rey Maualuga should be given a chance to pull a Charles Woodson and get an invite to the Heisman Trophy ceremony.  There, I said it…