Penn State (3-5) vs. Illinois (2-5)
I’m late in writing this because apathy rules supreme here. If there is anything worse than two five-loss teams “battling it out” during Champions Week, please let me know. I want to get off that train, too.
We had hoped that the blizzard would do this game in, but it looks like Happy Valley lucked out, getting only a foot of snow. They were determined to play this one, so I don’t think it would have mattered if they got the originally expected two feet. Unlike the prior Snowbowl, the 1995 Michigan game, there would be no fans in the stands to worry about. Thus, no need for inmates from Rockview shoveling snow or ROTC students marching it down.
OMG OMG WTF We Could Go to a Bowl!!!
Shut your mouth! I could “break down” this game, but I’d rather bitch about it. Why is it necessary? Some say that PSU would need four wins to qualify for a pedestrian, money-losing bowl game such as the Duke’s Mayonnaise Bowl or the Guaranteed Rate Dot Com Bowl. Those would be a booby prize worth skipping, in my most humble opinion. Send the kids home for Christmas! They’ve had enough marshalling and quarantining this year. Reward them with some quality time, not with fan appeasement.
It’s not like there would be any great benefit to Penn State, who would have to pay for the trip, lodging, etc. Certainly not to the kids, who typically regard a bowl bid as party time. Ain’t no partying opportunity in this weird year, though. For the Athletic Department, bowls mean exposure for potential recruits, but get real — nobody is attending these things, especially the garbage bowls, which enjoy sparse attendance even in the absence of a pandemic. Who the hell will be watching?
Accordingly, I’m lobbying strongly for a no-bowl season. It is ridiculous to think that a negative record should be rewarded by postseason play. This year, it is not a reward. It’s more like continued punishment. You’ve got a shitload of Facebook keyboard warriors saying it is what the kids want, and the kids should have the opportunity, and the kids this, and the kids that. It ain’t about the kids. It’s about the damn keyboard warriors’ wishes. THEY want football. Doesn’t matter what the kids want.
I say, forget what the PSU Administration wants, forget what the keyboard warriors want, and forget what YOU want, then leave it up to the kids. Set your vanity aside. Upon receipt of a crappy bowl bid conduct a team-only vote with no outside pressure. If the kids want it, that’s cool; if they don’t, respect their wishes and give them Christmas with their families.
It’s gonna be cloudy and cold, with a high of 32° and a low of 26°. Snow is expected after midnight, with less than an inch accumulation. Kickoff is at 5:30, so they’ll be freezing their balls by the time this thing ends.
Da Bottom Line
I tell you, I hope this is the final Official Turkey Poop Prediction for 2020. It’s a halfhearted one at that. Can’t gin up much excitement for this game here in the Turkey Coop. Nevertheless, I’ll go through the motions. Gamblers are working on the current premise of a 15-point spread favoring Penn State at home over the FFFI, with an over/under of 52. That works out to PSU kicking ass to the tune of 35-17.
You have to ask some questions. Do they really want to be there playing this thing? Do they care about a postseason boal? Does the 5:30 kickoff make any difference in whether the Nittany Lions will play a crappy first half? Will Illinois’ opportunistic defense, what little there is of it, send us back to the turnover woes of the first half of the season? Will the FFFI even want to be there after losing their head coach? Don’t answer. Those are rhetorical questions designed to give me time to think about this thing. I’m saying the answers will be no, no, no, yes, and oh hell no. That was more answers than questions. All right. Spit it out! Penn State 29, Illinois 23. (Pulled that one right out of my cloaca). The over/under? I don’t give a rat’s ass. I wouldn’t bet on this one if you gave me the money!
I’ll be back after the game to wish you all a Merry Christmas and recap this meaningless game, which I’ll watch like the rest of you.