Penn State Will Face USC in 103rd Rose Bowl
Our astute College Football Playoff selection committee has done its thing. Penn State (11-2) will face the University of Southern California (9-3) in the 103rd Rose Bowl Game on Monday, January 2 at 2200Z in Pasadena. Why are so many Nittany Lions fans so disappointed? Huh?
The Rose Bowl, nicknamed “The Granddaddy of them All” by Keith Jackson, longtime ABC Sports commentator, is an amazing venue. I’ve been to Pasadena for just one Rose Bowl, in 1995, but it turned out to be the best bowl experience of my life. In my not-so-humble opinion, it basically blows that people are treating this great, traditional game as if it is some kind of consolation prize.
You ain’t happy? WTF?!
People will never be satisfied. It goes along with the whole “If you ain’t #1, you ain’t shit!” philosophy that has emerged in the past half-century or so. Let’s make Penn State great again — and make that with extra cheese, please. Like it can be ordered and tossed out the drive-through window or something.
Sorry, it ain’t that easy.
I’m happy with roses. Not that I wouldn’t like to see these Penn State overachievers play Alabama, but I do think they’ve come too far, too fast for even the “blind squirrel occasionally finds a nut” theory to hold much longer. All the breaks have gone Penn State’s way thus far. A blowout loss to Alabama would have been an ugly end to a Cinderella season, while participation in the Rose Bowl is a loftier achievement than anyone would have thought possible a few weeks ago.
And yeah, I know that you can’t hit a home run if you don’t step up to the plate. The meanies of the CFP have denied “us” that possibility. But every fucking team that got left out of the final four has their own arguments for why they should have been in it. Michigan does, Oklahoma does, Penn State does, and so forth. It’s all counterproductive whining that won’t change anything now or in the future. But fans will whine.
We did good, homeys!
A shootout against USC in the Rose Bowl would have been an unreachable pipe dream at any point in the season prior to week 12, so why are so many homeys suddenly like a kid in a candy store about what we “could have had.” A taste of the playoff selection committee and they’re suddenly drunk with the possibilities denied. Why the sour grapes? They’re damn lucky that happenstance went their way and that angel stayed perched on Franklin’s shoulder as long as it did. The Rose Bowl is no booby prize, damnit!
Penn State was unranked at the beginning of the season and 2-2 after the first four games, with a loss to Pitt and an extremely humiliation blowout at the behest of Michigan in its (2016 sportswriter vogue word alert) résumé. Even Maryland was favored over the Nittany Lions, ferchrissakes. Penn State got better, way better. I ain’t denyin’ that, just sayin’ be grateful for what you got!
I’ll agree that Washington is a weak choice for the fourth slot, but I don’t doubt that the decision was a closely considered one. Every other contender for that slot had similar flaws. You could make arguments for any one of them and some of what you say would hold water, while someone with opposing views could shoot you down with equally compelling arguments.
The selection process boils down to human decisions, which are subject to human error. Moreover, unless 128 teams play each other three times each, an impossibility (I’m too lazy to do the combinatorial mathematics), no precise, mathematical method exists to rank the teams. Too many complexities enter the picture to build a mathematical model, anyway. What is the metric for “We wouldn’t have been blown out by Michigan in Week 4 if we Jason Cabinda was healthy”? Selection will inevitably boil down to subjectivity and human judgment.
The committee decided that Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State, and Washington were better than Penn State. That’s all it amounts to. All subjective. That’s the process — more art than science.
I like what ESPN’s Heather Dinich, who some of us still consider to be “our own Heather Dinich of the Centre Daily Times”, wrote on the subject.
Conspiracy theories inevitably pop up.
You might be reading the drivel advanced by the virologists of social media, and if so, you’ve read that the Committee probably based its decision on TV revenue. These theories are just more sour grapes (about what? going to the Rose Bowl?), but if they give you comfort, cling to them. I defy you to find any proof at all that this entered the selection process. I have seen none, and I’m not going to buy into this crap.
The inevitable defense: They’ll never tell anyone, but that’s the way they do it. LOL.
Every damn time there’s a seven-game final series in baseball, basketball, or hockey, one hears the same thing: The league wanted it to go seven games for the TV revenue. Yeah, right.
There is a counter-argument for just about any assertion. Some are better than others, but none are so cheap as those which cannot be supported by facts.
The beauty of fandom: the barroom argument.
People would have been pissed off any way the final four had been decided, even if the conspiracy theories are correct, which they’re not. That’s the vicissitudinous beauty of college football. It will never be cut-and-dried, and hallelujah to that. People will bitch if they are denied, whether they are worthy or not. They’ll always provide contrived arguments to support their own team. That is the nature of the beast, and it changes nothing.
You who read my crap are aware that the national championship, in this Turkey’s humble opinion, is still somewhat mythical (SSM).
For those of you who think the solution is to add more teams to the playoff mix, a six- or eight-team playoff would change nothing. Look at the “Big Dance” in basketball. Sixty-five teams compete in that annual tournament and there’s always bitching about who gets in and who doesn’t. Similarly, expansion of the CFP to six or eight won’t end the fights. It’ll just displace the bitching to a lower level — to whomever feels left out.
Why not just give everyone a participation trophy and we’ll all go home happy?
They keep dicking with the formula, but they’ll never get it right. That’s because there is no “right”. It is all a beautiful, imprecise mess!
The agony of de feet!
Ahh, but the sting of rejection is sooooo good when it means that we have to “settle” for the Granddaddy of them All. I am happy for the team and happy for me. I love the sound of it: Penn State is in the Rose Bowl.
I have to ask you a question, which you don’t have to answer here. You can do it in the privacy of your bathroom while you’re taking a crap or something. No one will ever know how you answered it except those four bathroom walls and the plumbing. Here is the question: Without respect to being more or less “worthy” than anyone else, is Penn State one of the four best college football teams in the FBS?
I am proud of what these Penn State players and coaches have put together this year. This is a team we’ll remember for a long, long time. Let’s not spoil that by tacitly diminishing their accomplishment. They’ve done damn well!
The Nittany Lions are Rose Bowl bound, baby! Quit yer bitchin!
I’ll be back with more of my inflammatory bullshit between now and the big consolation game. Don’t cry too many crocodile tears in your beer in the meanwhile.
I am one of those people that was whining/conjecturing about the committee using tv revenue as their basis for making their decision to send Washington instead of PSU, but by no means am I upset about their going to the “GrandDaddy of Them All”. In fact I’m so excited about their making it into the national championship conversation and playing in a meaningful bowl game this year that I still have to sit down to pee. I also think that USC may be the second best team in the FBS right now, especially after recently dismantling Washington in their home stadium. So if Franklin and the rest of the team want to prove to the Committee that they sent the wrong team into the playoffs then what better way to tell them to shove it up their proverbial asses than to kick the shit out of USC.
The Nittany Turkey says
Exactly! Money talks and bullshit walks, as we used to say in da Burgh (and probably everywhere else). A big win over USC will prove a lot, although it will fuel some more whining about what could have been; however, a loss to USC will shut everyone up except for those who will blame the SEC officials favoring USC because they hate Penn State.
There will always be conspiracy theories. It just seems as if a number of Penn State fans minds gravitate in that direction and linger there. At our gathering for the B10 championship, I even heard “That is like the two seconds they added for Lloyd Carr!” LOL
I just don’t want sour grapes about being left out of the final four to overshadow the extent of the Nittany Lions’ excellent comeback season. Think of how great they will be next year if they can figure out how to actually play in the first half!
Honestly, although I feel a conference championship should count for something – why bother with them otherwise? – I can’t help but feel Penn State would have gotten shelled against Alabama if they had gotten in as the fourth seed. Alabama should have been left out as a semi-pro team.
The Nittany Turkey says
Alabama will be favored by two touchdowns over whomever they face. Kind of blows.
early line is PSU +7.
Where’s the respect, Vegas?
The Nittany Turkey says
And Alabama is presently -16 over Washington. They’ll win that one and then they’ll be at least a 10 point favorite over the winner of Clemson-tOSU. Ain’t no respect anywhere. Might as well crown Alabama now and let the rest of ’em have fun with the $4,000,000 bowls. Those who are getting $6 million for participating in the coronation won’t be having much fun eliminating each other, only to be eliminated by the big Elephant of Tusk-are-looser. That’s why unlike my buddy Todd, I’M HAPPY WITH THE ROSE BOWL.
Why should a Cinderella season end with an almost certain beheading? Nahhhhhhhh, let’s have some fun with USC. There’s always a chance there. After all, ‘Bama beat them 52-6 and “we” are almost as good as ‘Bama, right?
I would have liked to play Bama just to see what we could do. But I am completely fine with the Rose Bowl.
The Nittany Turkey says
No doubt, and you’re probably in the majority.
However, you’d have to go to Atlanta in late December to see that game, and if you ask me, I’d rather be in Pasadena. Having been to both cities multiple times, I have enough empirical evidence to arrive at that conclusion. Couple that with my strong conjecture that PSU ain’t got a politically incorrect Chinaman’s chance against Alabama, but will still have its hands full with USC. I think we’ll have lots of fun in the Rose Bowl.
USC ain’t no slouch just because they lost the first game of the season to ‘Bama. After all, they didn’t lose to Pitt!
Big Al says
Penn State is a team that is currently playing better than he sum of its individual parts fueled by momentum and belief in the coaching staff and Franklin’s “process.” The last thing a group of “true believers” needs is confrontation with a harsh reality that makes them realize they are not immortal after all. A reality that would become apparent with a 4 touchdown ass kicking from Nick Satan’s minions in a location that could pass for purgatory.
So, I’m glad State didn’t get the 4th spot in the playoffs. The players get to go to bowl in a much nicer location and get a game against a team that is beatable or likely to curb stomp them. And their belief can be sustained for a while longer, at least, until JoMo’s bag of tricks is exhausted and the B1G defensive coordinators figure out how to stop it.
IMO Both Michigan State’s and Iowa’s worse than expected (and worse than their returning talent would suggest) seasons were caused, in part, by the beatings they took in their bowl games last year. Confidence can be a fragile thing and I’m glad State won’t risk losing it on a lottery ticket.
And speaking of questionable choices for the playoffs, why is everybody focusing on Washington. Its true they played a lousy out of conference schedule. , But the PAC 12 is a better conference than the ACC and Washington was pretty impressive in most of their PAC 12 games. Clemson, on the other hand, barely beat the three decent teams they played (Auburn, Louisville, FSU) and lost at home to Pitt. They also should have lost to NC State at home, but lucked out when NC State’s kicker missed a chip shot field goal at the end of the game. Giving Clemson the number 2 seed is a total joke. I guess everybody’s either rating them based on last year’s results or is in love with Dabo’s schtick.
The Nittany Turkey says
Good point regarding Clemson and the remains of the ACC. I know a rabid Clemson alum who is quite football savvy, but who is completely blinded by the orange light. (Or it might be because he’s married to one of the McCabe Sisters, who have inextricable ties to once proud Notre Dame. But I digress.) The ACC is a bunch of mediocre teams who have been in a down cycle of late, such that even Duke and Wake have been duking it out and waking up. I think that’s why Louisville has been getting so much attention in the past couple of years. I don’t even know where I’m going with this, so I’ll shift gears.
I believe that the Trojans will give “us” all we can handle. All of USC’s three losses, early in the season, were to teams whose combined W/L is 30-7. After getting blown out by ‘Bama, they lost to then #7 Stanford by 17 in week 3 and by 4 to then #24 Utah in Week 4. Since then, aside from a four-point win over Colorado, the Trojans have blown out their remaining opponents, including #4 Washington (26-13). If PSU homeys (yeah, YOU, Todd) think they’re getting “an inferior opponent” and would rather have a shot at Alabama, then they’re deliriously delusional. Empowered by a slim victory over tOSU, the “anything is possible” Sanguinarianalistical spirit displaces cognitive functionality. It can happen again, they think. They must be descendents of the Romans who believed that the gladiators had a chance against the lions (with a small “L”).
Back to the ACC, I seldom root for FSU, but the Orange Bowl will be one of those times.