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.
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.