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Roses are Red, Penn State will be Black and Blue…

Tradition defined

Tradition defined

The Granddaddy of Them All features two traditional powerhouses who missed out on playing in the national title game because of narrow conference losses. Penn State rolls into Pasadena with their high-octane spread offense which averages 452 yards and 40.2 points per game (USC at 452 and 37.5), while the Trojans bring in the nation’s top D allowing 7.8 points a contest (PSU at 12.4). The line dropped from -10 to -9 in the last few days, while the total also dropped from the opening 46.5 to 45. The line movement makes it look like folks expect a tightly contested, defensive struggle.

Another great Samoan Trojan Defender

Another great Samoan Trojan Defender

USC’s defense features several All-Americans and sure 1st rounders led by the talented trio of Brian Cushing, Rey Maualuga and Taylor Mays. Look for them to make it a long day against PSU QB Daryll Clark. The focus intially will be to stuff the run by locking down RB Evan Royster, then follow by heavy blitzing. Penn State faces a USC offense that has not been as dynamic as usual (see O-line) with dinged up QB Mark Sanchez and an RB-by-committee of Joe McKnight, Stafon Johnson and CJ Gable. PSU will focus on locking up the short dumps and dinks and test Sanchez’ deep reads.

This game will be tight early, but I see the Trojans pulling away in the second half, forcing a turnover or two and McKnight busting a Reggie-like big play. What jumps out to me is the following numbers: 0/0/6/0/0/0/7/0/0/6/3/0. Those are the points allowed in the second half of all 12 games for the Trojans this year, that is an astounding 1.83 points average allowed! And that, my friends, will be the difference in this game. This defense is very fast, opportunistic, and most importantly wears down opposing lines.

Watch out Pete, you can't be having anymore of these 1-loss seasons

Watch out Pete, you can't be having anymore of these 1-loss seasons

Joe Pa's been at Penn State since Truman was President ... Truman!!

Joe Pa's been at Penn State since Truman was President ... Truman!!

Even though Cushing and Maualuga will be playing on Sundays, they leave USC without ever tasting national title glory. This is their last time (and Mays too if he declares for the Draft) to wear the cardinal and gold. This is their version of the BCS championship and they’ll lay it all on the line.

The pick: USC -9.

Went a modest 89-74-5 in 2008. Nothing to write home about, but at least up a couple of units. Let’s start the year off right.

Straight Cash … Homey.

January 1, 2009 Posted by | College Football, General, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Joe Paterno Just Won’t Go

Coaching Til 90?

Coaching Til 90?

Penn State extended Joe Paterno’s contract for another three years for some odd reason.  If Joe Pa fulfills the contract he will have spent 62 years on Penn State’s staff and an amazing 46 years as head coach.  That’s all fine and dandy if you’re into lore and legend, but the FlyMaster is about reality.  Sure, Paterno’s record speaks for itself and his impact on college football cannot be denied, but are we really to believe that a man in his mid-eighties is in the prime of his coaching career?  Look around your office.  If your boss went to elementary school with Moses and Methusalah would you really think the business was in the best hands? 

The problem Penn State faces is understandable.  Nobody wants to be the guy who denied Joe Pa leaving on his own terms, but extending his contract wasn’t the answer.   The team has won 40 games over the past 4 seasons, which is completely respectable.  Once again, is the future of your program secure in the hands of a man who’s been in control since the Johnson Administration? 

The decision to extend Joe Pa, coupled with Florida State’s continual support of Bobby Bowden brings up another troubling trend in college football.   When the 2009 season kicks off there will be almost as many octegenarian coaches (2) as there are African-American coaches (3).  That is ridiculously inappropriate and unacceptable.  Once again, I’m all for giving everyone the right to work, but when a disproportionate percentage of players are African-American there should be a higher number of coaches, athletic directors, and staff members.  Again, remind me…how many 80 year old players are there on the field.  Oh yeah…none.

Back to Joe Pa.  We complain when players hold on to long, ie Michael Jordan and any boxer, but we won’t say no to a coach who holds on to long?  When will the public say, “ok Joe thanks, but enough is enough”?  Will it be when Joe Pa and Bobby B meet on the field riding their Rascal Scooters after a game is finished?  Will it be when Joe Pa’s halftime speeches refer to “The Great War” and the brilliance Jim Thorpe displayed when they lined up against each other.  Will it be when he gets doused in Metamucil and ovaltine after defeating Ohio State.  When will the end come?  Obviously, Penn State doesn’t see the end anywhere in the near future.  Good luck Joe Pa.

FlyMaster Signing Off…For Now!

December 17, 2008 Posted by | College Football, Features & Opinions, General | , , , , , | Leave a comment