Tag Archives: Beano Cook

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 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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Beano Watch: 09.02.2009

Carroll H. Cook (’54 Pitt) celebrated his 78th birthday a day late by throwing Penn State under the bus with his predictions of success which means doom — or does it?

michael (deployed military): how does Ohio State fair this year? 10 or less? BCS bowl? NC possibility?

Beano Cook: The key game for them as far as national rankings is USC. I think Penn State is going to win the Big Ten. OSU has a chance to be a wild card team. The Buckeyes should be at least 3-1 in non conference play and the conference isn’t that tough. If the Buckeyes beat USC then they become a serious contender to play for the national title.

There he goes again, saying Penn State is going to win the Big Ten. We’re doomed!

James (Detroit): Beano, please explain why you think Notre Dame will play for the national championship? I know they return a lot of starters and that they have an easy schedule, but come on man! They were only 7-6 last year, didn’t beat one quality opponent, and had some bad losses!

Beano Cook: You’re right. Everything you say is correct. But I look at the schedule and I’ve been told by Notre Dame people that they have players who are very good that no one has heard about. If they play Florida’s schedule, I don’t pick them. The schedule is the key. If I had to pick another title game, it would be Texas to beat Penn State. If PSU plays in the Big 12, they lost 3 games. But they play in the Big Ten, they’ll go 8-0 in the Big Ten.

Beano Cook: Incidently, I think Mel Kiper picks Oklahoma and Penn State to play for the national title.

Ah yes, we’re title game #2! That is a pick I actually feel good about because if Beano is always wrong, does that mean we be in the actual title game? Also, who cares what some slicky boy, draft nerd from Dundalk thinks about college football?

Jim (Columbus): Again, why Penn State over the Buckeyes?

Beano Cook (4:20 PM: Home field. It’s a night game. But it’s a home field pick. I think OSU is a better team, but not at night at PSU.

It’s not a night game Beano, the Big Ten banned them in November. In all likelihood, 3:30 p.m. kickoff, maybe 4:30 p.m.

Does Beano having his facts wrong negate the reverse-lock?

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2009 Penn State football predictions

Once again, Penn State football season is upon us and it is time to see what predictions are being made by the media that covers the Nittany Lions. The predictions come via the Altoona Mirror and Town & Gown’s Football Annual.

12-1

Brian Cox, Lewistown Sentinel
Sean Fitz, Blue White Illustrated
Frank Bodani, YDR

11-2

Philip Cmor, Altoona Mirror
Cory Giger, Altoona Mirror
Neil Rudel, Altoona Mirror
Mark Brennan, FightOnState.com
Ben Brigandi, Williamsport Sun-Gazette
Todd Brown, WPHB-AM 1260
Neil Corbett, Wilkes-Barre Citizen’s Voice
Kim Moerschbacher, Lock Haven Express
Walt Moody, CDT
Rich Murawski, The (Clearfield) Progress
Mark Wogenrich, Allentown Morning Call
Andy Elder, Blue White Illustrated
Neil Geoghegan, Journal Register News Service
David Pencek, Football Annual
Rob Schmidt, Football Annual

10-3

Todd Irwin, Altoona Mirror
Jon Christoff, The (Clearfield) Progress
Tom Elling, Pennsylvania Football News
Chris Morelli, Blue White Illustrated
Ron Musselman, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Mark Brennan, FightOnState.com
Bob Flounders, Patriot-News
Matt Herb, Football Annual
Derek Levarse, The Times Leader

Not including a bowl game

10-2

Rich Scarcella, Reading Eagle

9-3

David Jones, Patriot-News

My prediction

11-2

I just don’t see them getting through the Big Ten unscathed this season. The only games I’m fairly positive Penn State will win in the conference schedule are Iowa, Indiana and Minnesota. Illinois, Michigan, Ohio State, Northwestern and Michigan State all have a shot at the Lions with the Illini being the biggest trap of the season, followed by Northwestern. Penn State can beat any team on the schedule, but doing it week after week is probably too hard. Plus, Beano Cook jinxed us.

What is your prediction? Post it here and I’ll add it to the list.

Don’t forget, Penn State football chat tomorrow at noon!

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Beano Watch 08.26.2009

Carroll H. Cook (’54 Pitt) has set off alarms already, making Penn State his #2A to play for the national title. In his recent chat, he seemed to link Notre Dame (his #2 pick for the title game) and Penn State over and over again, something that can only be of interest to certain pockets of fandom in Northeastern and western Pennsylvania.

Beano Cook: Personally, I think the two best teams are Florida and Texas. But I think Notre Dame wins 11 or 12. They might have to win 12 to make it. If Florida, Texas, Oklahoma and Notre Dame have one loss, Notre Dame has no shot. A team after Notre Dame that might sneak in is Penn State, because of the schedule. I will not pick PSU next year, because they play Alabama. But the Big Ten is not tough, their out of conference schedule is easy. They have a better chance of going undefeated than Texas, Florida, Oklahoma or USC. I think PSU would have to go undefeated to play for the national title. If they had beaten Iowa last year, they would have played Florida and lost by 3 TDs.

I can’t argue with him calling out the BigTen schedule. Syracuse wasn’t a bad pick when the contract was signed though and they are long-standing rivals. Temple is acceptable since they are in-state. Penn State did Temple a huge favor when they signed on for an extended series, at the time Temple had been kicked out of the Big East. Akron would be fine if Penn State had a heavyweight in the OOC schedule. Eastern Illinois is inexcusable.

I am relieved he is not picking Penn State next year though.

J.B. (Dunmore, PA): With the loss of arguably the best WR trio in school history, how can Penn State win 10-11 games? Let’s not forget that they’ve recently lost one of their LBs for the season and the secondary is highly suspect as well.

Beano Cook: Their schedule my man, their schedule! They’re 4-0 after non-conference games. Indiana is on their schedule. Iowa is at PSU. Now, let me say this, if Michigan beats ND, then PSU will have problems at Michigan.

Beano ignores the trap games at Illinois and Northwestern, but importantly ignores that they gain LB Sean Lee, who is returning after missing last season.

Beano, how many more years can JoePa actually coach? I love him but at 82, he has me worried.

Beano Cook: I would say at least three more. My friends tell me that he is in the best shape he’s been in for the last few years. The accident in the Wisconsin game took a lot out of him a few years ago. But he’s in great shape. People want to cast Joe Paterno aside. I think he’s one of the most fascinating sports figures today. He has the enthusiasm, the know-how. People think he’s too old. They said that about Ronald Reagan. He was a pretty good president.

I am actually in agreement with the Paterno part and well, I don’t talk politics on this blog, so I’ll leave it at that.

Chad (Las Vegas): Beano, your ND prediction makes no sense. Even a 1 loss ND team would have NO SHOT at the BCS Champ game due to computer rankings and SOS. A 1 loss SEC, BIG 10, Big 12, PAC 10, ACC woudl all have the advantage over ND.

Beano Cook: I disagree with you on that. But you might be right. You might be right. I think ND would get it over Penn State. ND has a much tougher schedule than PSU. I said earlier in this chat, Florida, Texas, Oklahoma, Penn State, ND all finish the same, ND, PSU are out.

More schedule bashing from Beano. Notre Dame’s schedule isn’t too hot right now either.

Errata
Beano Cook: For the record, I think the best college town in America is Chapel Hill.

It didn’t look too impressive when I drove through it

Beano Cook: The best place to go to summer school, from all the reports I’ve heard for the last 50 years, is Wisconsin.

Based on what I have heard from Badgers I know, he’s probably right. It was good enough for Thornton Mellon too.

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Beano Watch on Red Alert

The Maryland Bureau Chief is reporting very troubling news from Carroll H. Cook (’54 Pitt):

I listen to the weekly ESPNU College football podcast. It is a chat between Ivan Maisel and Beano Cook. In this week’s podcast, they made their 2009 championship games predictions. Beano made this entirely TERRIFYING, ANNOYING, and TRAGIC statement. I am transcribing this word for word:

“I think the two best teams right now are probably Florida and Texas……But I’m picking the two best teams who I think will play, there’s a difference. So I have Florida over Notre Dame. But if Notre Dame doesn’t make it……. because of the schedule, and the non-conference schedule which is a joke, and the Big Ten isn’t that tough, if it isn’t Notre Dame, it will be Penn State.”

You heard it folks. Season over! Oh the humanity?!?!? You should know that the only reason he picked Florida vs. Notre Dame, is due to a prediction he made in 2004, stating that within 5 years, Florida would play ND for the national title.

How do we make sense of this??????

While this is a scary Beano Cook prediction, we must acknowledge that he is hedging on this one. You could argue he is saying Penn State is #3. Nevertheless it is troubling, but I’m glad I was warned because I sometimes listen to that podcast.

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Beano Watch 07.29.2009

After a long hiatus, ESPN football commentator Carroll H. Cook (’54 Pitt) returned for a chat. His comments about Penn State are highlighted.

Ed (PA): Cookin’ with Beano!! The old man in State College seems to have some added jump in his step since getting the hip replaced. Recruiting is up, the wins are up… Any chance you see PSU winning or playing for a national championship before Joe decided to hang them up?

Beano: Penn State could play for the national title this year because of an easy non-conference schedule and a favorable league schedule, compared with the Big 12, ACC and Pac-10. Non-conference games are Akron, Syracuse, Temple, Eastern Illinois — not exactly an SEC schedule, is it? So the answer is yes, the Nittany Lions could play for the national title this season. Remember, Iowa knocked Penn State off last season or we could have seen Paterno and company playing for the title a year ago.

Before you have heart palpitations, keep in mind that Beano merely said that Penn State could compete for the national title. He then brings up a painful memory. Jerk.

Tommy (Lion fan): What did you think of Penn State being named best party school in America?

Beano Cook: When I was an undergraduate and visiting two friends, I thought it was a good party school then. Maybe they redshirted a few party kids last year to be number one this year. Some of the best college parties I went to were at the Phi Delt house.

Beano offers very little, other than the information that Penn State knew how to party back when the world was still in black and white. Frankly, the #1 party school ranking is not something to hang your hat on when it is strongly based on things like “lots of beer” when the beer is at best, Yuengling, but often Natty and Beast, respectively, and “Major Frat and Sorority Scene” just means people like buying their friends. I had a good time there though, despite these things, I promise!

Now, something that is not Penn State related:

WFY (BeltwayLand): We’re still waiting for “Haven’t They Suffered Enough: The Autobiography of Carroll H. Cook.” When will our patience be rewarded?

Beano Cook: I am working on a book. Four chapters are done. We are looking for a publisher. Very good.

I’m hoping one of the chapters reveals that he and George Paterno used to go trolling for babes on bowl game trips or something.

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Beano Watch 11.05.08

Carroll H. Cook (’54 Pitt) has not lost any determination to jinx Penn State’s 2008 season.

Matt (Miami, FL): Beano, give me YOUR top 3 teams and why you ranked them up there.

SportsNation Beano Cook:
Well, Alabama-1, Texas Tech-2, Penn State-3. They are all undefeated. In the old days, we would say untied. Texas Tech over Penn State because of schedule.

What is so great about Texas Tech’s schedule? They play in a conference that does not believe in defense.

Adam (pittsburgh, pa): The big ten looks pretty weak and PSU scheduled an absolutely awful non-con schedule, so do you see a big ten or SEC champ with one loss both passing PSU? I know the nation is scared PSU may be another Ohio State from the last two years, and people tend to think Florida, Texas, and Oklahoma are all more deserving than PSU.

SportsNation Beano Cook: You mean Big 12 or SEC? If there are two teams with 12-0 records they will play for the national title among the BCS schools. Alabama and/or Texas Tech will have to lose.

I think he is right.

Paul (Iowa): Tell me Iowa has a chance against Penn State this weekend.

SportsNation Beano Cook:
I said that Penn State has to be alert. This could be a very tough game. I still feel Penn State will win. Let em say it one more time, Penn State will play for the national title. Let me say it one more time…Penn State will play for the national title.

Beano saying that is like being stabbed…twice. With his track record, you almost wonder if he cases Dixie and Pixie around the hosue all day.

jb (suwanee ga): Beano, Soup or Salad (must have been bad Clam Chowder) – how can you say TT over Penn St because of schedule. The big ten is down and maybe even worse than bad briscut BUT TT playing Mass, W Washington, Nevada, (I know must be the daunted SMU mustangs) – that schedule in the end might be better – BUT not now.Eric, Baltimore: JoePa: a) Retire if you win the Ntl Championship b) Retire if you make it to the Title Game c) Retire Regardless d) Return Next Year (Regardless of this season)

SportsNation Beano Cook: I think he will be the coach next year unless he retires due to physical problems.

SportsNation Beano Cook: Soup today for lunch. I know that is an important question.

ACtually, not you skipped the important part of the question. Saying Texas Tech has a better schedule does not look so bright now, does it?

Of course, all of this Penn State BCS talk makes me uncomfortable since they still have to win three more times. Those three games will not just be handed to Penn State like a number of people assume.

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Beano Watch: 10.22.2008

As alluded to by the Maryland Bureau Chief, Carroll H. Cook (’54 Pitt) wants to ruin my weekend, season.

Tyler (Columbus Ohio): Hey Beano, what is your prediction on the Ohio State vs. Penn State game this weekend? Will the winner be in the BCS championship if they win out?

SportsNation Beano Cook: I think if the winner is PSU, Penn State will play for the national title. I think it’s unlikely that if OSU wins that they will play for the national title. They will play in the Rose Bowl. My feeling here is that PSU will win.

Beano picked Penn State last week too and shockingly, the Nittany Lions won. Can he be accurate two weeks in a row or will he regress to the mean (i.e. reverse lock)?

joE long island ny: Beano- Is Terrelle Pryor really ready to beat a top team like PSU? His passing skills are clearly not fully developed and while his last minute drive against Wiscy was super impressive-that Defense does not compare to what he will be facing Saturday night.

SportsNation Beano Cook: I don’t think OSU will beat PSU, but I don’t think he will be the reason. I think PSU is a better team. They have an outstanding OL and plays defense well enough to win.

Ohio State looked pretty good last week though, crushing Michigan State by about 40 points. OSU knows how to create turnovers and frankly, Penn State is putting the ball on the ground too much.

Isaiah (Denver, CO): Yo Beans, who are you top 3 for the Heisman so far?

SportsNation Beano Cook: I would say Colt McCoy, Tim Tebow, Darryl Clark.

Really? I am impressed with Clark but he is not in the same league as those other two.

kelly highland, ca.: Whose your pick for the BCS title game?

SportsNation Beano Cook: Well, before the season began, I said USC against Florida. That was my original pick. Let’s get that straight. If you asked me right now, I would say Penn State against Texas.

Ugh.

Tim (happy valley, PA): How will the game go for psu on saturday? are they gonna start out on fire or is it going to take a quarter or so to loosen up?

SportsNation Beano Cook: No, I think PSU will win 31-14.

SportsNation Beano Cook: I picked Penn State to play for the national title last year, it was one year too early. Everyone thought Joe Paterno was washed up, but I never felt that way and still don’t.

That is a good question because the Lions have not started out well a few times this year and being on the road at night suggests it could happen again.

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