This Turkey had to lay low around Thanksgiving for fear he would wind up on someone’s table. However, he’s back now with a vengeance, knowing that a month from now this sorry-ass season will be over for Penn State (8–4) after playing the #17 Tennessee Vols (9–3) at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa on New Years’ Morning.
It was basically down to Auburn and Tennessee, but we wound up with the one we probably cannot beat. I would have preferred Auburn’s running game (which our front seven can stop) to Uncle Danny’s favorite Ainge nephew peppering our secondary. We could have probably kept it close with Auburn before we lost it in the fourth quarter 10–3. But I digress. Facing Tennessee, this will be a “battle” of two teams that disappointed their fan base this year.
PSU will try to establish the running game and will be half-assed successful while Tennessee will try to beat us with the pass, which also will be half-assed successful. Tennessee puts a lot of points on the board and they actually managed to battle ranked opponents and stay in the game! Early on, they beat Cal, and they lost to #2 Florida by a single point. In fact, their three SEC losses were to BCS Championship Game bound Florida, Sugar Bowl bound LSU, and Capital One Bowl bound SEC runner-up Arkansas. They killed Georgia 51–33.
It’ll be up to the defense to tame Tennessee, but they won’t be able to. Need I say anything at all about our offense, or lack of same? I don’t want you all to jump on my ass for abandoning ship, but this was not the match-up I wanted and we wouldn’t have won the other one, anyway. Let’s face it, there were two good teams in the Big Ten this season (the usual ones) and the rest of us sucked. (Wisconsin’s record looks better than it should, because of the damn easy-ass schedule they created for this year.) The SEC’s talent is a lot less concentrated and the opposition is at a consistently high level. Tough conference, man! I think you’ll see the SEC doing very well throughout in their bowl games. That includes the Outback Bowl, alas.
Nittany Lions head coach Joseph Vincent Paterno has declared that he will coach this game from the sideline. He also stated in a teleconference from his house that he will coach next year because he won’t let a little thing like his recent injury knock him out of coaching. Joe will be 80 on December 20. If age brings wisdom, it would behove the old coach to seriously consider some staff changes over the off-season.
So, yeah, this turncoat Turkey sees the Outback Bowl as a loss—most likely a thorough ass-kicking—but he’ll be headed over to Tampa anyway because—what the hell—it’s the last game of the year and I might even have club seats for it. (I’ve never plunked my fat ass into one of the club seats at Raymond James, so I’ll get to see what this $130 experience is all about—Lord knows it wouldn’t be worth it for the Bucs!) I didn’t go to the Orange Bowl last year because I didn’t want to listen to that damn Seminole war chant for four hours. I hope I can stand listening to the equally insipid Rocky Top at 11 AM New Year’s Morning.
I’ll be back with a closer look at the opponent and a dire prediction as the month of December progresses. Santa Claus does not bring presents to bad little lions.