I’m eating Thanksgiving leftovers and I think I had too much wine. Still, even. I hope you all had a very happy and non-dysfunctional Thanksgiving with your families.
So, I’m thinking: Why do we now start and end spoken sentences with “so”? So there’s no good reason for it and I don’t like it, so… It serves no actual purpose to interject “so” at the beginning or end of a sentence and you’re only doing it because you heard someone else do it, so cut it the hell out! So, chupacabras don’t need hair and your stupid sentences don’t need superfluous non-functional words. So, sue me.
When I get that sentence starting with “so” crap flung at me, I’m thinking that a long, boring story is about to be launched. “So, a guy walks into a bar…” But these days, it doesn’t imply a segue or a consequent or a verbal change of pace. It’s just something to say. It doesn’t have to make sense. It’s vogue. It suuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuucks.
So the Wisconsin game is upon us and so this turkey — who miraculously escaped the Thanksgiving butcher block once again — is full of shit as usual, so…
The Nittany Lions (6-5, 3-4 B1G) travel to Madison to meet the #15 Wisconsin Badgers (9-2, 6-1 B1G) for a chance to repeat last year’s miraculous victory that warmed our hearts with an improbable 8-4 season that will always be known because it was accomplished by a “bunch of fuckers.” What lies in store this year, however, might create only heartburn.
The Nittany Lions remain mired in mediocrity while the Badgers have made Thanksgiving mincemeat of the Big Ten, with the exception of Ohio State, to whom they lost by a single touchdown. Their only other loss was broadly acknowledged to be the result of a bad call that allowed Arizona State to prevail 32-30. The Badgers are coming off a 20-7 victory over Minnesota, while the Lions, well, you know what happened last week against Nebraska.
The sad fact for Wisconsin is that they’re in the wrong Big Ten division. They’re probably good enough to give tOSU a good run for their money in a second encounter, but they won’t get that opportunity. Rose Bowl hopes are still marginally alive, but Capital One might be their fate, especially if Moo U. has something to say about it.
Penn State, of course, has nowhere to go after this game, and they’re squawking big time about it being “their bowl game.” Yeah, right. I’ll give you their bowl game, already. In the head, I’ll give you.
The Badgers like to run the football. They’ve always liked to run. See Wisconsin run. Run run run. Their offensive line is huge, as usual. Two guys carry the load running the football, James White and Melvin Gordon to produce the second best rushing attack in the Big Ten and the eighth best in the country.
However, don’t write off Wisconsin’s ability to go to the air, which they do do occasionally and they do do that voodoo that you do so well, so… In spite of their 95th overall ranking in passing yards, they have weapons. Jared Abbrederis is a threat and he must be contained. So he averages over 15 yards per catch and has seven touchdowns. So redshirt sophomore quarterback Joel Stave has completed 63% of his passes with 17 touchdowns and only nine interceptions. A problem exists in that Adrian Amos hurt his foot against Nebraska, which means that an already suuuuuuuuuuuuuuuugalicious Penn State secondary might possibly be hurting even more.
Wisconsin allows only 13.4 points per game. Mighty Indiana scored only a field goal on ’em. Of course, two patsies who were shut out early in the season, UMass and TTU, skewed that average downward. But hell, we all have our patsies, so…
Can Penn State employ its resurgent running game to advantage against the Badgers? Well, We’re dealing with the 7th overall ranked rushing defense (3rd in the B1G), which allows only 99.1 yards per game. I suspect that rushing yardage totals will be somewhat demure in the final stats, as it were. We’ll probably get to see the entire Nittsky Lion troika of runners in this game, as it is this turkey’s fervent hope and dream that Bill “I Sick” Belton has recovered.
Wisconsin ranks 10th nationally in passing yards allowed. So, opponents have thrown only eight touchdown passes against them. It will be interesting to see what gives with Christian Hackenberg and Allen “Gimme da Damn Ball” Robinson when Penn State’s run is shut down and they’re forced to pass.
So the one team that should clean Penn State’s clock quite thoroughly is suckier than even Sam Ficken at kicking field goals — employing a place kicker by committee approach, they miss a third of them. However, on the other hand, so they have a great return unit that leads the B1G while their coverage unit is competent. I wouldn’t be surprised to see another coverage breakdown leading to a score against the Nittaroos.
And speaking of breakdowns, how’s PSU doing with respect to its season-long third down conversion suckage? Last week was yet another abortion, meaning that the Lions didn’t crack the top 100 in that category. They’re safely ensconced at #104, with a 34% completion rate. That suuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuucks!
And how about turnovers? They’ve actually improved to a -5, good for a tie for 89th.
Distinguished Opponent’s Alumnus of the Week
So, where would we be without William Sylvester Harley? I’ll tell you where we wouldn’t be: hog heaven! Why? Because William S. Harley, along with Arthur Davidson, founded the Harley-Davidson Motor Company (NYSE stock symbol HOG) in 1903 and was its chief engineer until he died in 1943.
Harley received a degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1907.
A veritable legend who founded a legendary company.
You should know better than to ask me about Wisconsin weather in late November? Why? Because you know it suuuuuuuuuuuuucks! Kickoff will be at 3:30, just as the temperature begins to fall from its daytime high of 36° on the way to its overnight low of 20° — a warm, balmy late fall day at Camp Randall. The weatherman says “some sun”, whatever the hell that means. (Today, he said “partly sunny” and Sunday, he’s forecasting “partial sunshine”, so I guess “some sun” is somewhere in-between.) Winds will be negligible. Humidity is 7%, something a Floridian would kill for until he or she realizes that it means getting jolted repeatedly by static electricity when touching metal objects. No preciptation is forecast. Global warming? Harrumpph!
So, Predict Already!
So we’ve reached that part of the post in which your fearless forecaster (not the AccuWeather guy) takes a shot at predicting the game at hand, so…
Nobody particularly cares about this game except for partisans of the two schools. Why? The Iron Bowl, Alabama vs Auburn, kicks off at the same time. (So does Purdue at Indiana, but I digress).
So even so, the gamblers have established a 24.5 spread (you can guess in whose favor) with an over/under of 49.5. This suggests a Wisconsin win with a score of about 37-13. The money is pretty lopsided in favor of Wisconsin, but there is a sizable contingent of PSU homeys who cannot resist getting what they think is an overlay.
It isn’t. Wisconsin is that much better. Sue me if I’m wrong, but I think the Lions will have a hard time getting their asses out of the blocks for this one. (If you want to use sportspeak to murder the preceding sentence as is the present vogue in sports talking and sports writing, you couch it like this: “Sue me if I’m wrong, but the Lions have a hard time getting out of the blocks for this one.” Huh? People are actually not only speaking like that, but are also writing that way, too. Is nothing sacred? Oh, hell, I’ll use that abominable technique in my prediction just to get it the hell out of my system.)
Wisconsin has something to play for — a better bowl. Penn State has to play for — the seniors. [Begin abominable ESPN sportspeak vogue grammar.] If Penn State plays this at home as it did last year, if Penn State has the senior leadership it had last year, and if Penn State isn’t bitten by the injury bug [that expression makes me puke, too — LOL :D], that bunch of Penn State fuckers win in a heartbeat. WTF did that mean? So none of those conditions are true, meaning PSU goes down in flames. Wisconsin 42, Penn State 6. Take the under.
I’ll be back after the game with a recap and the usual bullshit. As for now, I’ve got a hockey game to watch.