Blue White Roundtable has risen from the dead! Devon Edwards of Nittany Whiteout provided the main questions. I asked the primary BCS one. Frankly, I think it should have been Zombie Nation, given the “hiatus.”
1. Penn State finished off this season with 10 wins, but lost the only two games that were really in question. What will your lasting memory of the 2009 season be?
I am afraid my lasting memory of the 2009 season will be the Iowa game. It was so dispiriting to see the Nittany Lions lose to them again and in the fashion they did with the offensive line completely submitting to Iowa’s d-line.
2. Though they miss out on a BCS Bowl, the Nittany Lions will face off with a highly ranked SEC opponent in a New Year’s Day bowl. What are your initial thoughts about the matchup with LSU in the Capital One Bowl?
It seems like a good matchup, two big name programs in slightly down years. LSU has lost three games, but two of them were to Florida and Alabama who were #1 and #2 in the BCS they played each other. This is an opportunity for a quality win to validate the season and Daryll Clark’s legacy.
Plus LSU coach Les Miles is ballsy/batsh*t crazy enough to possibly give Penn State the game on a bizarre coaching decision. Of course, it could go the other way too, but the possibility of a entertaining, chaotic game is very high with LSU.
3. When it’s all said and done, where will Daryll Clark rank among Penn State QBs? What will you remember about Clark thinking back on the 2008 and 2009 seasons a few years from now?
I really cannot say how Clark will rank, since he still has one game to play. At the beginning of the year, I was thinking a great Penn State quarterback, but I think he’s been downgraded to very good. He needs a win on Jan 1. if he is to truly be considered a great QB. Still, he is only the third Penn State QB to win a Big Ten title and that counts for a lot. He was certainly hampered by a bad offensive line this year and he gets too fired up sometimes. Overall, I’ve enjoyed his tenure at QB and hope he elevates himself to great status again.
4. Which seniors are you most sad to see go? If you could bring one of them back in 2010, who would it be?
I am saddest to see OLB Sean Lee go because I don’t think he was able to maximize his potential due to injuries. A healthy Sean Lee probably would have been greater than Dan Connor and not far behind Paul Posluszny. By the way, I think if Navarro Bowman comes back he could exceed Connor and Lee, but that seems unlikely.
I wouldn’t mind having Clark back next year since his understudy has no experience. I’ll also miss MLB Josh Hull, who exceeded all expectations. DT Jared Odrick was a beast whose value we’ll probably appreciate even more next year after he is gone. P Jeremy Boone will also be missed.
5. What are your feelings on the Fiesta Bowl matching up the two undefeated mid-majors, instead of setting up Iowa-Boise State and Georgia Tech-TCU matchups? Does it support a playoff argument?
I think the Fiesta Bowl is setting up for sending the message of “we tried having mid-majors and the TV ratings were terrible and the stadium didn’t sell out, so we won’t do it again” but we’ll see what happens.
This season, with five undefeated teams going into bowl season, is the strongest argument for a playoff yet. I just wonder how long until the backlash really starts hurting college football. This might be the year.
1. Do either Bowman or Royster (or both!) skip their senior seasons and enter the NFL Draft?
I wouldn’t be surprised if OLB Navarro Bowman doesn’t return to Happy Valley after the bowl game, he’s gone. Though another year would do him a lot of good as a player, I can’t argue a decision to follow the money.
I think RB Evan Royster sticks around, even though the offensive line next year won’t be great on paper.
2. Who wins the MNC Game, Alabama or Texas?
3. Will you be heading down to Orlando to watch the Capital One Bowl live? Who wins?
I will not be in Orlando, I’ll be at work. I think Penn State pulls it out, despite a 1-3 record in Orlando.
4. Predict the draft stock of the following Nittany Lion seniors:
- [Bowman/Royster] –Bowman 1st Royster (stays at Penn State)
- Jared Odrick — late 1st
- Sean Lee — 3rd
- Andrew Quarless — 4th
- Dennis Landolt — undrafted
- Daryll Clark — 5th
- Mickey Shuler — undrafted
- A.J. Wallace — undrafted
Bonus question: How does the BCS work?
The Bowl Championship Series was created to maintain the status quo for the four major bowls, the Rose, Orange, Sugar and Fiesta and keep the major conferences; Big Ten, SEC, Big XII, Pac-10, ACC and Big East plus Notre Dame (when they win enough games) in contention for the mythical national championship. Basically, it freezes out smaller conference teams and keeps the power and money with the big teams/conferences. Essentially, those four bowls and six conferences created a cartel that other conferences have trouble breaking through. Some say simply “It doesn’t work.”