The following was originally posted at NDNS on October 17, 2006. Given this week’s opponent it seemed like a good time to bring it back. It’s kind of funny to see what a difference six years makes, and what a difference it sometimes doesn’t.
I’ve wanted to write something about this for awhile. Specifically, ever since I made a little trip to Pennsylvania about a year ago. I had one of my Ohio State shirts on – as is my habit, always feeling the need to represent The Ohio State University (est. 1870 in accordance with the Morrill Act of 1862) – and I was really surprised at the amount of vitriol that was slung my way that day.
Apparently Penn State fans think they have some sort of huge rivalry with The Ohio State University (est. 1870 in accordance with the Morrill Act of 1862.)
It’s sad to say, but the feeling is not mutual. Personally I hate Michigan, Iowa, Wisconsin, Notre Dame, Miami (a.k.a. either “The U” or “Thug University” depending on how many were involved in their latest on-field riot,) and even USC more than I hate Penn State. I think most Buckeye fans also feel this way.
As I watched That School Up North dominate Penn State on Saturday, I was reminded of this fact. There was never any question of who I wanted to win that game. That was also true when Notre Dame played the Nittany Lions. You can’t have a serious and heated rivalry with a team if you don’t have to do some serious soul searching when deciding whether or not to root for them.
I think the problem for Penn State is that their football program has been irrelevant for so long – I mean, before last season when was the last time they were really considered good let alone elite? I believe it was probably around 10-12 years ago when they featured the likes of Ki-Jana Carter and Kerry Collins. Discounting last season under the “even a stopped clock is right twice a day” theory, of course.
And it’s really sad news for a football program, if you ask me, that I sat in front of the television Saturday night and openly mocked Joe Paterno as his quarterback was being pummeled time and again, “That ain’t Kerry Collins you’ve got back there.”
I mean, really. Kerry Collins?
When that’s the best quarterback to come out of your football program in the last twenty years, you’ve got problems. And much more serious problems than ol’ JoePa’s inability to control his bodily functions.
Of course, the decline of Penn State probably was set in motion when they left the ranks of the independents and joined the Big Eleven Ten. Once again, outside of last season and the Kerry Collins Era, the sledding got much tougher for them when they started having to play six-to-eight games against quality opponents. No longer could they schedule three-quarters of their games against cupcakes (Indiana, Northwestern, and Illinois not included.) No, they had to play with the big boys, and all of a sudden ten win seasons turned into eight win seasons. And in college football that’s a huge difference.
One of the teams responsible for that extra loss or two per season? None other than the Fightin’ Buckeyes of the Olentangy, representing The Ohio State University (est. 1870 in accordance with the Morrill Act of 1862.) Not to mention That School Up North, with whom I’m sure Nittany Lion fans have also deluded themselves into believing they had a major rivalry.
Long story short, and you’ll have to forgive me for rambling as I haven’t written a substantive blog post in ages, Penn State is – at best -a second-tier rival to the Killer Nuts compared to the really heinous football programs out there.
Plus that little “kitty roar” sound they play in their stadium after big plays is stupid.