How da hell did Rutgers get in?
Yes, these past two Covid-19 years have produced very strange bowl seasons, all right. A primo example is Rutgers with a 5-6 record getting into a second-tier bowl game (the 2021 TaxSlayer Gator Bowl in Jacksonville — an offensive name for a city that the woke minions will soon want to rename to Sequoyahville or some such thing). They replaced Texas A & M, who bowed out with Covid concerns. Now, they’re 16-point underdogs against Wake Forest.
However, yet another legendary digression obfuscates the fact that I am here to write about Saturday’s Outback Bowl in Tampa between the Penn State Nittany Lions Junior Varsity and the Arkansas Razorbacks. Or maybe not. I’ll certainly cover some ancillary issues, as per usual.
Penn State (7-5, 4-5 B10) is coming off a heartbreaking loss to Moo U., 30-27 (but the Spartacles got to keep the abominable Land Grant Trophy). That was a week after the Nittany Lions tried, but failed, to deny Rutgers their statutory bowl eligibility via a 28-0 Penn State shutout victory. (What man hath created, let the NCAA gods put asunder, or something like that).
Meanwhile, competing in the tough SEC West, resurgent Arkansas (8-4, 4-4 SEC) beat three ranked teams this year including #7 Texas A&M and lost by only a touchdown to #2 Alabama.
Yeah, that’s what I said. There are so many opt-outs on the Blue and White side of the field that the product you will see on Saturday will barely resemble any recollection you have of the 2021 Nittany Lions. How do I love thee? Let me count the opt-outs: thus far, Derrick Tangelo, Arnold Ebiketie, Jaquan Brisker, Ellis Brooks, and Brandon Smith on defense; Jahan Dotson on offense. James Franklin says he has never seen anything like this in his years as a head coach. Is it a locker room thing? Did James check his deodorant lately?
Oh, we’ll get to see lots of freshmen, but is this really what we want in a bowl game? Doesn’t much matter what we want; this is what we’re going to get. I was really looking forward to playing the revitalized Hogs, but not so much anymore.
Lest anyone misunderstand the importance of this trend, it is not a Covid-19 thing, which we all could easily comprehend. Alas, no, their motivation is pecuniary. The Derrick doesn’t want to risk injury with the NFL draft looming. Neither do The Arnold, The Jaquan, The Ellis, etc. They’ve already put their college days behind them and are marching to the tune of their behind-the-scenes pro sports agents. Penn State was good enough to give them an opportunity to display their talents for the NFL. That’s what CAH-ledge is for, right?
Meanwhile, the Razorbacks bench will be missing wide receiver Treylon Burks and defensive end Tre Williams. Burks is a likely first round pick in the NFL Draft, just so’s you know. Williams, on the other hand, had been arrested after falling asleep at the wheel of a vehicle in the drive-through lane of a Fayetteville Arkansas McDonalds. Kind of embarrassing!
For all but Williams, a gesture of gratitude might be in order as a parting gift. Like playing in a meaningless bowl game for the CAH-ledge that provided the stepping-stone and for the fans who loved and supported them. Whattya think? They wouldn’t have to play hard — many of their peers slack off in these second and third tier bowl games, especially on DEE-fence — but how about JUST SHOWING UP AT LEAST! Blowing off the school and its fans is bad form. I hope it goes on their permanent record.
One guy you will still see on the field for Penn State on Saturday is Sean Clifford. Having signed up for a NCAA Covid-19 Exceptional sixth year, he ain’t backing his ass out of anything. He’ll still be able to throw to Parker Washington and hand the ball off to Keyvon Lee, as far as I know. He’ll still have that crappy offensive line. (I wish those Nuevos Coños de Tráficos* would all opt out, but not much of a chance of them doing so because they have NFL draft hopes). On the other hand, they’ll be playing.
Win or lose, this won’t be a real Penn State game. No Jahan “Explosive Play” Dotson? No Brooks or Brisker? Damn! I suppose we should be happy to kiss this 2021 season goodbye, but I would have liked to have had a final glimpse at the talent we had supported through their CAH-ledge careers. Ain’t no gratitude out there.
Blowing More Wind
If you want some more fan disgruntlement, please read pre-eminent ophthalmic surgeon Dr. Todd Sponsler’s The Backout Bowl post. He beats this dead horse to a pulp and spits out horsemeat.
(This space intentionally left blank).
How long do you think Sandy Barbour will be around?
Last, But Not Least
Happy New Year to all six of my readers! I was remiss in not wishing you all a Merry Christmas, due to self-absorption during the cataract season, but I hope you have all been enjoying the holidays with family and friends. The best of health and happiness in 2022!
(I’ll be back sometime after the game for a recap of the game and some bullshit about my recent cataract surgery, in which I had a pair of Alcon Acrysoft Panoptix IOLs implanted, which have enabled me to see what I’m writing. Clear bullshit is superior to muddy bullshit. And no, Sponsler did not do the surgery. Thanks for asking.).
*Spanish play on words relating to the Five Traffic Cones characterization of the offensive line. Hint: “coño” does not mean “cone”.