Category Archives: Beano Watch

R.I.P. Beano Cook

I think it was 1997 when I first became aware of college football commentator Beano Cook. ESPN chats were how I was introduced to the historian and his histrionics. I suppose in a sense, he was a little refreshing from the cocoon of Penn State coverage. He was actually critical of Penn State and Joe Paterno from time to time, (which wasn’t the norm in the late 90s, though I’m sure some will protest that observation) not overly so, but generally fair. As I followed him, I learned of his prediction of Ron Powlus winning two Heisman Trophies (Beano overestimated by two) and some of his other witticisms, such as reacting to MLB’s giving hostages free lifetime passes to games with “haven’t they suffered enough.”

Beano was a publicist at Pitt, his alma mater, in the 1950s and 1960s and then most prominently a television executive before turning analyst. The rise of college football on TV is due in part to Beano.

Overall, I think I respected Beano because he realized the history of college football was more than the current top 25. He even talked about the Ivy League from time to time.

Years later, with what started out as a Tailgate Advisory and Newsletter, I started a feature called “Beano Watch.” Basically, I grabbed what ever he said about the Nittany Lions and usually included some mock outrage and the observation that the opposite of his prediction always came true. I even got the ESPN Insider subscription so that I could read his chat. It later became part of my blogging. The Beano schtick became part of tailgates with friends.

I was following Beano as closely over the last couple of years because the joke went about as far as I could go and there weren’t too many times we all tailgated together to tell them. After last November, I pretty much tuned out college football in general too (I might address that this week), but I’d occasionally listen to his podcast. He was more fair about Penn State than most and I appreciated it. His podcasts with Ivan Maisel were some of the few I listened to over the years.

TRIBUTES AND OBITUARIES

Obituary: Carroll H. ‘Beano’ Cook / Legendary local college football analyst | Pitt legend ‘Beano’ Cook diesPost-Gazette

Former Pitt official, ESPN analyst Beano Cook diesTribune-Review

IVAN MAISEL: Beano was an expert in friendshipESPN







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Beano Watch: Penn State vs. Alabama

It has been a while since I checked in with Carroll H. Cook (’54 Pitt), but I figured long-time readers would find this interesting:

Jake (Lincoln, NE)

Any chance Penn St can somehow beat Alabama and stop the SEC dominance over the BIG and maybe get the BIG into being the second best conference?

Beano Cook (3:53 PM)

If you had the misfortune of reading this chat every Wednesday for the last number of years, you should know that this is the game for my pick of the week. Last year I picked Penn State and was wrong. I think penn State will make it close, Alabama 27, Penn State 24. If Penn State wins then you could see the Nittany Lions at 9-0 later this season. Good chat, see you next Wednesday.

I feel better about this game already.

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Beano Cook Watch 11.04.2009

Carroll H. Cook (“54 Pitt) chatted again this past Wednesday and Penn State was mentioned a few times.

Matt (Philadelphia): Beano, need a clarification on something from your podcast a couple weeks back. In 1969, did Penn State simply choose not to play the Texas-Arkansas winner in the Cotton Bowl? If so why was Paterno so mad?

beano cook: The players voted 33-30 to play Missouri. Penn State turned down the bid to play the highest ranked team available. The following year Notre Dame did not. For the millionth time, Penn State has a complaint about 1994, but none whatsoever about 1969.

It is worth noting that the players voted on what bowl they would attend and the vote was for the Orange Bowl. In short, black players were concerned about the treatment they would received in Dallas at the Cotton Bowl. It is also worth noting that the team Richard Nixon proclaimed as national champion, the Texas Longhorns were not integrated at the time.

Wayne (Carlisle, PA): Beano, OSU or PENN STATE? and why?

beano cook: I think Penn State will win.

BEANOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

We’re doomed, the Beano reverse lock has been set. DAMN DAMN DAMN

Also see:

Penn State vs. Ohio preview and prediction

Coverage Map: Penn State vs. Ohio State

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Beano Watch 09.09.2009

Carroll H. Cook (’54 Pitt) continues to focus on the Nittany Lions and even reveals some possibly shocking information about his feelings about Penn State.

Aaron King (Memphis,TN): Safe to say, Mike Floyd is the best sophomore reciever in college football, if not all of college football?

Beano Cook: It’s one game. He is very good, but it is one game. All of a sudden Notre Dame is back on top of the world after one win. If Texas and Florida are both undefeated, and the Irish is undefeated, Notre Dame will not play for the national title. The Irish has to root for those teams to lose. Don’t be shocked if Notre Dame and Penn State play for the national title. Penn State’s schedule is the easiest of any of the top-rated teams.

Wow, a Penn State vs. Notre Dame BCS Championship game – I don’t think Northeast Pennsylvania could survive it. Hard to argue with his schedule theory though.

Steve (Harriburg): Do I have to pray for 2 undefeated teams to keep PSU (and their pathetic schedule) out of the National Title game?

Beano Cook: Yes, I think so. You could see others like BYU run the table too. Penn State will finish ahead of BYU regardless. The Big Ten doesn’t want the plus-one for obvious reasons. The Big Ten is outsmarting all of the other conferences by playing just eight league games. Other big leagues play eight conference games. The Big Ten knows it is not as good as other conferences, but playing soft non-league games, plus eight league contests, it helps. Penn State would have played for the national title if it beat Iowa last year. By the way, Penn State could be worth taking with the points in a title game with Paterno having time to prepare.

There goes Beano bashing the Big Ten and damning Penn State with feint praise. Oddly, enough Beano correctly predicted Penn State would beat Miami.

J.B. (Dunmore, PA): Mr. Cook: I’d be surprised if Penn State ran the table this season. The O-Line struggled with its run blocking Saturday and I’m a bit concerned that the kicking game won’t be there when needed. The secondary is also suspect (gave up a long TD pass Saturday). I see them winning nine or ten games but someone will beat them.

Beano Cook: They play in the Big Ten, not the SEC, Big 12 or Pac-10. The non-conference schedule is a breeze. If the Nittany Lions played in the SEC, it would be 3-4 losses. Remember that Paterno is still involved and he makes the tough calls.

Again, he underestimates the Big Ten. I don’t see Penn State running the table and I doubt he does to, but needs to put in the jinx just to be sure.

Rodney (NYC): Hi Beano, love the Pod-Cast with Ivan and a big fan. But why the Penn State/Joe Paterno hate? Granted this year PSU out of conference schedule, which was made years ago, is not great. But PSU has Alabama next year, and have played Nebraska, ND and other top programs. Look at Florida’s out of conference schedule? As Ivan has pointed out, Florida has not played an opponent from outside of Florida since 1991. You always defend them by saying that they play in the SEC, but the Big 10-SEC bowl game record is more even than you think. Again, why the hate on PSU and not more skepticism of the mighty Gators?

Beano Cook: There is no hate for Paterno or Penn State. I disagree with some of the policies. I disagreed with my parents, but I still loved them. It was no fun being grounded on weekends.

What a minute, is Beano saying he loves Penn State? That’s such a mind-eff.

The podcast is pretty good though.

Cam (Utah): Why would Penn State get in over BYU if they were both undefeated? BYU would have wins over OU, Florida State, TCU and Utah!

Beano Cook: That is a good point. You might be right. It would depend on the pollsters.

What pollster is going to say no to Paterno over my ex-neighbor’s relative, Bronco Mendenhall? I don’t see that happening.

I chat too, but without jinxes!

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