We’re just a month away from the big App State game, and here I am, tickling mein Das Keyboard with some out-of-left-field bullshit about Penn State Football — and even a little bit about the beleaguered Urban Meyer, over at tOSU.
Will I be commenting on the season ahead? Yeah, a little, but I’m not going to do a game-by-game rundown this year. Time just isn’t available for it. (Like a lot of other retired people, I’ve found that I’m busier now than I was before I retired. I want to do lots of things I didn’t have time to do when I was working, so I wind up over-committing my time).
Will I be commenting on Urban Meyer’s plight over there at tOSU? Yeah, a little, but I’ve learned not to speculate on what university administrations will do. They love to insulate outsiders from the truth, so we’re probably getting only half a story. I have one though for those of you who think tOSU would never fire Urbz — this is the organization that fired all-time coaching legend Woody Hayes and that kicked Jim Tressel upstairs. Just because a head coach has a winning record does not guarantee safe conduct through the ivory tower in Columbus.
Will I be commenting about Christian Hackenberg? Yeah, a little, but I’ll do that after I make a few comments about the season ahead.
Concerns about the Season Ahead
Back to the season ahead, while the seemingly perennial concern over a sucky offensive line may have abated, those concerns have shifted to the other side of the ball. The defensive front seven are going to be a work in process, and we won’t know whether they’re any good or they suck until probably the Meyerless tOSU game on September 29.
The loss of Mike Gesicki at tight end gives me concerns. If there was a plan for filling the void left by his departure for the Miami Dolphins, it isn’t apparent to me. (St. Joe used to call me to discuss these things, but James Franklin does not, and I lied about Paterno, anyhow. But I digress.) Tight end will be another wait-and-see position. I hope there are some answers.
The good news, however, is that Trace McSorley — a quarterback who has exceeded by far the early book on him — will be back on the field for another season, barring injury. This is a guy who has the potential to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat as he did in the Iowa game last year, stunning a Kinnick Stadium loaded with disbelieving Hawkeyes fans. McSorley is something special.
Are McSorley, a semi-solid O-line, and a few excellent returning starters good enough to produce the 10-2 season many pundits are predicting? I kind of doubt it. Although the schedule is somewhat kind to PSU this year — tOSU, Moo U., Iowa, and Wisconsin are home games at St. Joe Memorial Stadium at Beaver for the Lions — I believe I can see three regular season losses. You all know I err on the conservative side, so take my prediction with a grain of salt.
The Sad Tale of Christian Hackenberg
You all know that the New York Jets wasted a second-round draft pick on former Penn State quarterback Christian Hackenberg, who never played a single regular season snap for the NFL franchise. In fact, he was the first second-rounder in thirty-five years who never played a snap in two years. The Jets, reluctant to admit Hack was a failed experiment, hung on too long. Finally, they traded Hack to Oakland during the off-season, for a mere conditional seventh-round draft pick in 2019. Will Hack’s be like the sad tale of Anthony Morelli, who kidded himself into believing he was pro material? Or will Hack quickly realize he doesn’t have NFL talent and find another career selling insurance or something? No one knows, but I can tell you that he visited with the New England Patriots the day after he was cut in Oakland.
Yep, the Turkey Is Back!
Anyhow, I’m back for another fun-filled season of Penn State football if you’ll have me. I hope my six readers will eventually check in and let me know you’re all alive and kicking. I have a road trip coming up for a couple of weeks in August, which will keep me from filling up these pages with my drivel until we are just about on the cusp of the big App State game. In the meanwhile, I hope all of you are enjoying your summer!