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Football season cometh.

Which conference will have the National Champion?


  • Total voters
    36

nittany03

FUBIJAR
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If you can't tell by my username . . . you need remedial college football.



Who will win it all? Ask me again in mid-September, when we actually see what squads are made of. The gentlemen from central PA are by all accounts a long way from that debate this year; they're way too young, and the program is still getting back up on its feet. I'll be happy to argue the merits of why and how that came to be over PM, but let's keep this about the kids playing the game they love on the field. With the schedule we have, I see 6-0 as a possibility (damn cupcakes). With the opportunity to hose up a should-win situation, because that's what young teams do. After that? Best case is lower Top 25, and probably winning at least one they had absolutely no business winning, because that's what young teams do.

Editorial comments aside, D-I ball is a lot like tailhook aviation. You've got a bunch of guys (and girls in our case) who are the best in the world at what they do. The difference between the hero and the goat on the gridiron is the difference between Top Hook and the person sitting in their Skipper's office pre-FNAEB: a matter of literally seconds and inches. Much as our business, we'll talk about candidates for the Mythical National Championship after we've seen who has the heart to face adversity AND the skill to compete; both are required.

Keep in mind that this is the squad that would have knocked off the defending national champs in regulation, if the refs hadn't utterly screwed the pooch to the tune of 13 free points for the gentlemen in scarlet and gray.
 

insanebikerboy

Internet killed the television star
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I'm pretty sure I win because my wife enjoys watching Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making the Team
Mine too. She was complaining because she got "sucked in" to watching it. I promptly volunteered to watch it with her.
 

Flash

SEVAL/ECMO
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...I'll be happy to argue the merits of why and how that came to be over PM, but let's keep this about the kids playing the game they love on the field...
Not to be a fun killer but I think that is the exact reason your school's program got in such big trouble in the first place, they let what they thought was their singular focus overshadow everything associated with the program. A big factor in the NFL's recent troubles as well.
 

nittany03

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Not to be a fun killer but I think that is the exact reason your school's program got in such big trouble in the first place, they let what they thought was their singular focus overshadow everything associated with the program.
PM inbound. It's a lot easier to say "those other people swept it under the rug because football" than talk about how our society sadly and consistently fucks up dealing with that particular problem. That doesn't mean everyone in State College was blameless. But the media needed a scapegoat, it was us, and that was fucking wrong. Certainly not as wrong as what he got away with for so long, but still wrong.

I'm not derailing this thread any further.
 

Recovering LSO

Suck Less
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Contributor
My school produced a dude who's doing life with no chance of parole for murder so I'm not trying to single PSU out here, but let's not get into a game of calling something other than what it was because, society. They were looking for someone who sexually assaulted children, AND the folks who knew about it (or should have known about it). Big difference.
 
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nittany03

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My school produced a dude who's doing life with no chance of parole for murder so I'm not trying to single PSU out here, but let's not get into a game of calling something other than what it was because, society.
Short version? Knowing what I know about the people involved, my gut feeling us that if anyone committed misconduct, it's the three indicted administrators. To me, based on what I've seen, it's 50/50 at best. They'll have their day in court, and I'll be the last guy to defend them if they're proven to have swept it under the rug. Personally, though, as things come out, I think what the history books will record is that that entire affair was less a deliberate coverup than a complete and utter fuckup. It was a chance to catch a consummate con man who had been duping countless people, probably since puberty. It got fucked away because what actually happened got lost in a bungled game of "telephone" by untrained people. The allegations of what happened that night were so vague and confused that even after a full investigation, when Sandusky finally went to trial, he got acquitted of that charge because trained investigators couldn't even figure out what happened with the eyewitness on the stand.

My problem is with the "culture" argument. PSU didn't have a unique reverence for football any more than any other D1 school. And the over 550,000 people who have a PSU degree send their kids to the same schools, work the same jobs, and fly the same jets as all of you. The amount of cynicism it takes to accuse that entire community of supporting football over the welfare of kids just blows my mind. It literally makes me physically ill that someone could throw that accusation around. But they did. Over and over and over. And every PSU grad out there just had to shut up and take it, because "think of the children." God forbid you disagree or you're supporting child rape. Guess what? PSU grads love their kids too, and they were as sickened as everyone else. I should know; I was raised by two of them. And what I put up with in some quarters for the next two years was borderline harassment. I don't deserve to pay for Jerry Sandusky's sins because of my degree. The authorities were looking for a criminal. The media was just looking for a juicy story. And the Internet Outrage Brigades were looking for ways to prove that they hated child abuse more than you.

I'm sorry, but I refuse to apologize. I believe in my heart of hearts that as horrible as what Jerry Sandusky did was, that the NCAA sanctioning the PSU program over it was the moral equivalent of your homeowner's association investigating and fining a serial murderer. All it did was punish kids who were in middle school when the whole thing went down, and a naive, good-intentioned coach who had the misfortune of having a problem dumped in his lap that he was completely unqualified to deal with. Read Malcolm Gladwell's account if you don't believe me. Then read his son's recollection of when he tried to tell him about the birds and the bees. I believe that more kids will end up abused because rather than learning the lessons of what happened at PSU, that it could happen anywhere, and looking out for the warning signs, people just want to point fingers, blame football, judge those "other people from that cult school" and say "it couldn't happen here." And that makes me more angry than I can put into words, because football pales in comparison to how important that is.
 
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Recovering LSO

Suck Less
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Maybe in time, when you suggest that history will record things differently, you'll come back and re-read that post...

BT BT

This interest in more pro than college, but I'm interested to see who has the better rookie season under center; Mariotta or Winston, or neither.
 
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Treetop Flyer

Well-Known Member
pilot
Short version? Knowing what I know about the people involved, my gut feeling us that if anyone committed misconduct, it's the three indicted administrators. To me, based on what I've seen, it's 50/50 at best. They'll have their day in court, and I'll be the last guy to defend them if they're proven to have swept it under the rug. Personally, though, as things come out, I think what the history books will record is that that entire affair was less a deliberate coverup than a complete and utter fuckup. It was a chance to catch a consummate con man who had been duping countless people, probably since puberty. It got fucked away because what actually happened got lost in a bungled game of "telephone" by untrained people. The allegations of what happened that night were so vague and confused that even after a full investigation, when Sandusky finally went to trial, he got acquitted of that charge because trained investigators couldn't even figure out what happened with the eyewitness on the stand.

My problem is with the "culture" argument. PSU didn't have a unique reverence for football any more than any other D1 school. And the over 550,000 people who have a PSU degree send their kids to the same schools, work the same jobs, and fly the same jets as all of you. The amount of cynicism it takes to accuse that entire community of supporting football over the welfare of kids just blows my mind. It literally makes me physically ill that someone could throw that accusation around. But they did. Over and over and over. And every PSU grad out there just had to shut up and take it, because "think of the children." God forbid you disagree or you're supporting child rape. Guess what? PSU grads love their kids too, and they were as sickened as everyone else. I should know; I was raised by two of them. And what I put up with in some quarters for the next two years was borderline harassment. I don't deserve to pay for Jerry Sandusky's sins because of my degree. The authorities were looking for a criminal. The media was just looking for a juicy story. And the Internet Outrage Brigades were looking for ways to prove that they hated child abuse more than you.

I'm sorry, but I refuse to apologize. I believe in my heart of hearts that as horrible as what Jerry Sandusky did was, that the NCAA sanctioning the PSU program over it was the moral equivalent of your homeowner's association investigating and fining a serial murderer. All it did was punish kids who were in middle school when the whole thing went down, and a naive, good-intentioned coach who had the misfortune of having a problem dumped in his lap that he was completely unqualified to deal with. Read Malcolm Gladwell's account if you don't believe me. Then read his son's recollection of when he tried to tell him about the birds and the bees. I believe that more kids will end up abused because rather than learning the lessons of what happened at PSU, that it could happen anywhere, and looking out for the warning signs, people just want to point fingers, blame football, judge those "other people from that cult school" and say "it couldn't happen here." And that makes me more angry than I can put into words, because football pales in comparison to how important that is.
I'm far from an expert on the case but what rubbed me the wrong way so to speak was the implication that a child rapist was allowed to go on raping rather than tarnish the program and a legendary coach. When Paterno who allegedly knew about what had happened and failed to do the right thing was let go, students rioted. That looked BAD to pretty much the entire country. Thread officially hijacked.
 

Flash

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...Personally, though, as things come out, I think what the history books will record is that that entire affair was less a deliberate coverup than a complete and utter fuckup...It got fucked away because what actually happened got lost in a bungled game of "telephone" by untrained people.

My problem is with the "culture" argument. PSU didn't have a unique reverence for football any more than any other D1 school...And what I put up with in some quarters for the next two years was borderline harassment. I don't deserve to pay for Jerry Sandusky's sins because of my degree...I'm sorry, but I refuse to apologize...the NCAA sanctioning the PSU program over it was the moral equivalent of your homeowner's association investigating and fining a serial murderer. All it did was punish kids who were in middle school when the whole thing went down, and a naive, good-intentioned coach who had the misfortune of having a problem dumped in his lap that he was completely unqualified to deal with...And that makes me more angry than I can put into words, because football pales in comparison to how important that is.
To start off, I don't really care that much about college football, after all I went to a Division I-AA where the quality of football was about the high school level. But having served and worked with folks from all types of schools though I have noticed a few, hard not to in some cases, that take particular pride in their football programs to include; Texas A&M & Texas, Notre Dame, FSU, Auburn & Alabama, Ohio State...sorry, the Ohio State, Nebraska and of course Penn State. Some of the folks took it a bit too seriously and for some that was an extension of how the school's themselves prioritized sports. The impression I got from some Penn Staters was that the football program was central to the school's identity, and from outsiders perspective that seems to have made a bad situation worse.

How did it make things worse? No one questioned the fact that when the legendary head coach did nothing more than report to his boss a horrible crime. Nothing was done by anyone beyond that, no report to the police or anyone else of any legal authority. The equivalent would be a sailor telling their Chief or DivO of a crime and they reported it to the CO, who then did nothing. When nothing happens as a result of the report no one who knew of the crime questions it or has the stones to go to NCIS, JAG's or anyone else who has the official responsibility to handle the crime. That is basically what happened. You can split hairs and say in that particular instance he was acquitted of that charge but against everything else it just plain stinks. It was a moral, ethical and legal failure on the part of multiple personnel in the football and athletic programs as well as the school administration. It is a textbook lesson in ethics and what an individual's moral and legal responsibilities are.

As for the current students paying for past crimes, what else do you expect? A free pass? And to point out the obvious, the current students went to that school knowing it was under sanction, they could have gone elsewhere that isn't under sanction.

I saw a similar corruption of a cherished institution at my own school, a program that was allowed to operate outside normal bounds by multiple student and school leaders in the name of tradition and the group got in trouble many times because of it. After repeated failures the solution was the disbandment of that group and over 20 years later it has yet to be reconstituted. Be grateful that you all still have football.

As for football, 'Hail to the 'skins'! :)
 
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nittany03

FUBIJAR
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To start off, I don't really care that much about college football, after all I went to a Division I-AA where the quality of football was about the high school level. But having served and worked with folks from all types of schools though I have noticed a few, hard not to in some cases, that take particular pride in their football programs to include; Texas A&M & Texas, Notre Dame, FSU, Auburn & Alabama, Ohio State...sorry, the Ohio State, Nebraska and of course Penn State. Some of the folks took it a bit too seriously and for some that was an extension of how the school's themselves prioritized sports. The impression I got from some Penn Staters was that the football program was central to the school's identity, and from outsiders perspective that seems to have made a bad situation worse.
I can't unpack all this in one Internet post, but I'll try and scratch the surface. You first need to understand this about PSU. It's got kind of a schizophrenic identity. It's in some part a Greek school and a jock school. This is why the student riot disgusted but didn't surprise me. They've happened over dumber reasons than that. It doesn't excuse the response, but a board of trustees issuing a decision that controversial on a Friday night at any alcohol-fuelled state school was beyond stupid. So there's that. That said, this is a school with over 40,000 undergrads and over 550,000 living alumni. We come from all walks of life and opinions, and the frat dudebros are a minority, if a significant one.

The football program was central to the school's identity because of the way Joe Paterno ran the program. The mission statement in his own words was "Success with Honor." He preached the same thing from day one, when he didn't know he'd hang around so long, that he did at the end. I know this because my mother was a freshman in 1967 during his first year, when there was no inkling he'd be able to hang around for so long. Joe met with groups of students, including her, in the dorms to introduce himself. And the tune didn't change for his whole time there. This is the guy who, after he won a national championship, excoriated the board of trustees for not building a university that matched his football program, and declared a "Grand Experiment" matching on-field success with success in the classroom. He and his wife donated millions of dollars to scholarships and to fund the library. PSU was one of the few schools where the graduation rate for African-American players matched that of white players. This was "Penn State Culture." And still is to most alums. I don't care if you believe it or laugh at it. What matters is that we believed it, and largely still do. That is why what happened hurt even more. Because we wore the white hats. We were the school that did things right. Never cited for major NCAA violations in ANY sport. But we had a VC inside the wire that we never knew about until it was too late.
No one questioned the fact that when the legendary head coach did nothing more than report to his boss a horrible crime. Nothing was done by anyone beyond that, no report to the police or anyone else of any legal authority. The equivalent would be a sailor telling their Chief or DivO of a crime and they reported it to the CO, who then did nothing. When nothing happens as a result of the report no one who knew of the crime questions it or has the stones to go to NCIS, JAG's or anyone else who has the official responsibility to handle the crime. That is basically what happened. You can split hairs and say in that particular instance he was acquitted of that charge but against everything else it just plain stinks. It was a moral, ethical and legal failure on the part of multiple personnel in the football and athletic programs as well as the school administration. It is a textbook lesson in ethics and what an individual's moral and legal responsibilities are.
First off, one of the people Joe reported it to, though not a sworn law enforcement officer himself, was the direct superior of the Chief of Penn State Police. The PSU Police are not just rent-a-cops, but a fully-sworn municipal law enforcement agency. Yes, this individual is under indictment. The mystery is what happened from there, but even if they had notified Sandusky's charity, that organization would have been required, as the PSU president also was, to notify the cops.

Second, the reason it matters that Sandusky was not convicted of that charge is that it illustrates the murky shit they were faced with. Not a cut-and-dried felony. To them at the time, did Sandusky do something just creepy and inappropriate, or did they understand what he really was? We don't know yet, but we'll probably find out at the trials. That is key. McQueary had himself been molested as a child (by someone else), and so had been re-traumatized seeing whatever it is that he saw, but the problem is that his story has not been consistent, and he was the only witness. Paterno, by all accounts who've mentioned it, was utterly terrified of discussing sex; he was an 80-year-old Jesuit-raised Catholic, and a prude even by those standards. It's easy to sit here and say "it's a textbook case." What actually happened, sadly, was a fucked-up game of "telephone" as to who saw what and heard what from who. To this day we don't know what crime McQueary saw being committed, or if he caught Sandusky that night before a crime had technically been committed, despite what we now know he was capable of. It was a "well, I might have seen this, but I heard that, and it made me uncomfortable, and it was inappropriate." Trouble was, Sandusky was known as a goofball with boundary issues. Turns out that this was part of his shtick to deflect blame if he got caught grooming a kid to abuse later. "Oops, I'm sorry, I just get carried away, it won't happen again." Read the Gladwell article.

And it was an allegation against one of the most respected men in the state. Again, read the Gladwell article. Please. Sandusky set up shop in a town and under a boss who he could play like a fiddle, and did for years. Sandusky was one step down from Mother Teresa in the eyes of Pennsylvania. I know because I was there. His charity was THE authority on helping underprivileged kids. It had a child psychologist on staff, for God's sake. He and his wife had adopted multiple children, being vetted each time by PA Child and Youth Services with no issues. HE FOOLED ALL OF THESE PEOPLE FOR YEARS. You're talking about a con man on the level of Ted Bundy here. Sandusky deliberately set up a situation where his sterling reputation would prevail over some nothing underprivileged kid in a he-said, he-said situation. It's sick. But it's human psychology. Think of the person you most respect as a mentor accused of something like that. Part of you flat-out wouldn't want to believe it.
As for the current students paying for past crimes, what else do you expect? A free pass? And to point out the obvious, the current students went to that school knowing it was under sanction, they could have gone elsewhere that isn't under sanction.
What I expect is for the NCAA to handle matters under its jurisdiction. This was nothing more than grandstanding to get back the reputation they blew in the Miami case and elsewhere. An easy target that's already dodging torches and pitchforks. That's like your HOA fining someone because their ex-wife's brother murdered someone in their living room.
I saw a similar corruption of a cherished institution at my own school, a program that was allowed to operate outside normal bounds but multiple student and school leaders in the name of tradition and the group got in trouble many times because of it. After repeated failures the solution was the disbandment of that group and over 20 years later it has yet to be reconstituted. Be grateful that you all still have football.
I am grateful. But not because the program got away with anything. IMO, "the program" did nothing wrong. Anyone in this sorry saga who was "part of the program" fessed up immediately and reported it to people whose legal duty was to contact the authorities. That is what the law in PA required be done, as written at the time. That is what the NCAA tells coaches to do if they hear about a sexual assault in their facilities today. Did Joe get screwed by the authorities he trusted? Maybe. Did they flat-out screw up? Maybe. But I reiterate: if it can happen there, it can happen anywhere. I'm sorry, I don't believe in collective punishment.
 
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roflsaurus

"Jet" Pilot
pilot
Maybe in time, when you suggest that history will record things differently, you'll come back and re-read that post...

BT BT

This interest in more pro than college, but I'm interested to see who has the better rookie season under center; Mariotta or Winston, or neither.
Same here. The Titans are playing the Bucs week one. It should be fun to watch.
 
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