Penn State 35, Moo U. 16
Generational quarterback Sean Clifford went out in a Senior Day blaze of glory, leading the Nittany Lions to a halfway decent 35-16 victory over Michigan State. Penn State finishes the season with ten wins, which won’t be good enough to make the playoffs, where they would get killed anyway. However, they will undoubtedly land a decent bowl game. Meanwhile, owing to this loss, Moo U. will spend the holiday season at home with their families.
Clifford was 19-24 for 202 yards and four touchdowns with no interceptions. He added seven carries for a net zero yards but his long run of eleven yards got us a first down. Keandre Lambert-Smith also threw for a 48 yard touchdown to pad the passing numbers. Lambert-Smith was also the leading receiver with 83 yards on five receptions, producing one touchdown on the receiving end.
The active Moo U. defense gave our much maligned offensive line lots of trouble, recording eight TFLs, three sacks, and four hurries. All this with seven members of the squad suspended and under indictment.
Big Al gets a shout-out for his game prediction, which missed the mark by only one point. This Turkey’s pie-in-the-sky predicted blowout never was in the cards, not even on this perfect football day in Central Pennsylvania.
The Land Grant Trophy is Ours for a Year
And P.J. Mustipher was seen carrying the 76-pound behemoth after the game. It is my hope that he will find a sheet big enough to drape over the grotesque beast so no one will be offended by it for the next year.
Other Action with CFP Implications
As meaningful as this game was to us, more important crap was happening elsewhere in college football, crap with playoff implications. #3 Michigan bitch-slapped #2 Ohio State and will play Purdue for the Big Ten Championship next Saturday. (Ya nevah know — anything can happen). #4 TCU easily handled Iowa State. #5 LSU was taken aback by their loss to 5-7 Texas A&M, as was #8 Clemson at the behest of South Carolina (which has beaten two top 10 teams in two weeks). #9 Oregon lost to Oregon State in the Civil War. #1 Georgia, #6 USC, #7 Alabama, and #10 Tennessee all won.
Surely, Penn State, currently #11, will get sucked up into the vacuum created by the luuuuuuuuusahs downward spiral, placing the Nittany Lions in the Top Ten, for what it’s worth. OK, so it’s arguably worth nothing, because they won’t be in the playoffs and they would be destined for a decent bowl game even if they were on the outside looking in with ten wins and a liberally spending fanbase who “travel well”.
Here’s a mythical Top Ten, straight out of my geriatric avian cloaca:
- Georgia (12-0)
- Michigan (12-0)
- TCU (12-0)
- USC (11-1)
- OSU (11-1)
- Alabama (10-2)
- Tennessee (10-2)
- Penn State (10-2)
- Washington (10-2, assuming they win tonight)
- Clemson (10-2)
One more game…
Georgia must still play LSU for the SEC championship; Clemson must play North Carolina for the ACC; and TCU will play Kansas State for the Big Twelve. As I mentioned, Michigan will play Purdue for the Big Ten. The Pac-12, now that’s a little more interesting. USC will play either Oregon (if Washington State wins the Apple Cup later tonight) or Utah, if the Huskies win.
Where’s It Going?
Folks, this could get interesting. Imagine the possibilities! Given all the unexpected losses we’ve seen in the past couple of weeks, it is good that Penn State, OSU, Alabama, and Tennessee are sitting on their collective keisters next week watching the carnage. If you don’t play, you can’t lose. Soooooo, have you dusted off the old abacus to determine how Penn State can still make it into the playoffs, you simple-minded Sanguinarian?
Start with the somewhat unlikely event that Georgia gets knocked off by LSU, then Michigan loses to Purdue, and TCU bows to K-State. Better make sure USC loses, too. That COULD have the effect of sucking OSU, Alabama, Tennessee, and Penn State into the playoffs, couldn’t it? Maybe? Yeah, right. Dream on!
Who, then, already? You’re boring me!
TCU would still have but one loss, so in the stupid scenario described above, they and Michigan would both be 12-1, while USC would be 11-2 and the other, non-playing wannabes are all 10-2. There would be room for just two wannabes, and this Turkey feels that the chosen ones would be either OSU and USC or Alabama and USC. Why not OSU and Alabama? Damned if I know. I’m making this shit up as I go along. And Georgia. Yeah, they would need to be there. Shit!
As I write this, Washington State leads Washington 24-21 in the second quarter of a real barn-burner, for what that’s worth. Lotta football to be played there, yet, still.
Anyway, I’ll shut up now because my predictions always suck and besides, I’m getting bored with this premature postseason speculation. So, I’ll leave it to you scenario-writers for now. I’m happy that Penn State finished the regular season 10-2, but what does it mean when they haven’t beaten a single Top 25 team?
I’ll be back sometime after next weekend’s frivolity. At least I hope so. I’m scheduled for a colonoscopy on Friday, so you never know.