clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

PSU Mailbag - We Are! Better Than You

New, 127 comments

Welcome to the first All Penn State mailbag. You asked, I answered. Now bask in my blue and white glory.

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

Rob Foldy/Getty Images

Q: What stats would Hackenberg need to achieve in the pros to cause the average PSU fan to break down into the fetal position and admit that Franklin is a terrible coach? How about >15 TD's or just < 35 sacks? -€” Gtom

A: I think Hackenberg's draft started the process. Few of his detractors expected him to go as high as he did. But let's get this straight, I don't think "the average PSU fan" blamed Hackenberg. Many Penn State fans (myself among them) were completely shocked by the offensive ineptitude since Franklin came in.

A big part of that was play calling. Hence the dismissal of Donovan and the hiring of Joe Moorehead.

However, I believe most of Hack's detractors aren't Penn State fans. The constant hammering during the pre-draft period...Pro Football Focus said he didn't have a draftable grade. And CBS Sports cited "personal sources" which claimed Hackenberg blamed his coaches for all the trouble he had.

Those of us who spent the past three years watching this kid knew that he wasn't a whiner, in any sense of the word. He threw a god-awful wide-reciever screen...but he never whined or complained. That kind of kid would've bitched (and probably transferred) when Bill O'Brien left.

I think people hated Hack because of his 5-star status, the constant discussion of his potential, and his underwhelming performance under James Franklin. Just seeing him start for the Jets in a couple years and starts tearing up the NFL, there will be some bitching and moaning.

Q: Why do Penn State fans run around gloating about great records against shit teams that supposedly aren't their rivals? - Thomas Speth

A: What are we supposed to do, sit back and just take shit all the time? When certain fans, ahem, start talking shit, the best defense is the wins and losses.

Imagine if a pack of delusional and loud Purdue fans started talking about Wisconsin. Imagine for a second that they rip on your coach, your mascot, and your football team. The first thing you would do is point out that in the past 12 meetings, they'd lost 10...in a row.

Are you rivals because they are loud mouthed braggarts? Nope. Do you defend your team? Yep.

Q: Fill in the blank: Penn State should fire James Franklin tomorrow if ___________ becomes available. -€”Somedumbguy

A: Nope. Franklin hasn't done anything worth firing him over. No one wants to change yet. And honestly, the administration will give James Franklin a lot of rope before they hang him.

That said, you do bring up an interesting point. Let's say a prominent head coach is available and expresses an interest. I still don't think they fire J.F. for anything less than 4 wins.

Q: Why do Penn State fans think they are relevant? Number of bowl wins since 2000: PSU -€” 5; Rutgers -€” 6  -€” Thomas Speth

A: Look who's talking, Wisconsin. What does your trophy wall look like? Ouch those losses in the Rose Bowl must sting.

Hmm, you won four of your last ten bowl games. Rutgers won six of their ten. Why do you think Wisconsin is relevant?

Q: Will your offensive line be able to stop more than two defensive linemen this year? -€” DJ Carver

A: Well, we stopped you guys with that shitty line, so probably.

In truth, I'm more optimistic this year. We have some young guys that look like they can play with their eyes open. That would be a major improvement.

Q: What's the over/under on total bubble screens this year? -€” DJ Carver

A: Gawd, I hate bubble screens. Although hopefully whichever kid is our quarterback can throw completions. I never could figure out why Hack rifled balls down the field, and skipped screens off the turf. Or sailed them into the fifth row...

Q: Given the state of the B1G East, how patient will PSU be if he keeps middling along at 7-6? -€” LincolnParkWildcat

A: The truth is, I think that would suit our administration just fine. From their point of view, Joe Paterno was a tyrant that ruled Penn State through a cult of personality. There are many academics who dismiss football as useless (regardless of the money it brings in). I'm friends (on facebook) with some big-wigs at the University. I saw a post that disregarded football boosters as "jock sniffs". That's not an uncommon opinion, sadly.

So, if the football team lost some of its luster...and boosters, that would be just fine with a faction of the administration and probably a few of the board of trustees.

Q: Why can't James Franklin beat Pat Fitzgerald? -€” MNWildcat

A: Why is Pat Fitzgerald only 50% against Purdue? And why does Northwestern have such a dismal record against the Boilers? You guys are 29 of 80 against Purdue...PURDUE!

Q: Will Blake Gillikin be good, or will he be another crappy PSU punter? -€” MNWildcat

A: Man, I hope so. Penn State's punting game is so woeful, I used to cringe every time the team came on the field. Missing a third down play meant rolling the dice. How effing hard is it to line up, snap the ball, and kick the damn thing down field 45 yards or so? I mean, really?

And we have a special teams coach now. A guy who only gets paid to coach the special teams. If he doesn't get more effort and more success out of them, I'll be gunning for his job.

Q: How much longer does Pat Chambers get? And what fucking gypsy spell did Ed DeChellis have over Bill Carmody? -€” MNWildcat

A: Pat Chambers is a hero. A fucking HERO! You know why? He "almost" won more games than he lost...in basketball...at Penn State. That's pretty good.

But seriously, people love him. He has a ton of good will at the school. He's growing the program and developing kids, which is great. In March 2015, he got a contract extension through the 2018-2019 season. If he doesn't progress...as in generate more than a .500 win rate, that will likely be the end.

That said, I love our new AD, Sandy Barbour. I think she has us pointed in the right direction and should be able to find us a great basketball coach, if Chambers goes.

Now, as for Bill Carmody...Ha ha ha ha ha ha...aahhh ha ha ha. He sucks.

Q: What is your favorite PSU-related OTE argument? - MNWildcat

1. Sanctionsss

2. Joepa: greatest coach or not as good as [insert coach here]

3. PSU-UNL national championship bullshit

4. Ice cream

5. James Franklin: Coach or Not a Good Coach

6. Arguments with the little brothers (Merryland and rutger)

7. All of the above.

A: To tell you the truth, the fact that there are so many anti-Penn State memes is why some of the good PSU commenters stay away from OTE. The constant inundation of stupidity...the lack of football IQ...and the complete and utter disregard for our obvious superiority, is frankly, off-putting.

Ha! You forgot about the whole "Sanctimonious" argument. Fuck you too.

Now in order...

1.       The whole "sanctions" argument is stupid. The NCAA kicked our teeth down our throats. We still beat Michigan. Fuck you.

2.       Joepa...I really liked this guy. He was a great coach. He donated tons of money to the school. He's ours. Fuck you.

3.       You know why the trees in Colorado lean to the east? Because Nebraska Sucks. Fuck you.

4.       Creamery Ice Cream bitches. Fuck you.

5.       I love the whole James Franklin isn't a good coach argument. This began as sour grapes from Maryland fans. They wanted Franklin. He was actually head coach in waiting. And then the AD screwed the pooch. So instead of coaching Maryland, Franklin went to Vandy and did a good job.

And Maryland? They got...wait for it...Randy Fucking Edsall! Ain't that a Bitch! Still cracks me up. But even better is that OTE picked up on their angst and just ran with it. Now YOU IDIOTS argue a stupid point because Maryland is bitter. Fuck you.

6.       Arguments with little brothers (sisters). Fuuuuuck. You had to let them in, didn't you? You greedy bastards. Well, now we all have shit on our shoes. Fuck you.

7.       That's "essentially" a complete list. Although frankly this one confuses me. Why did "essentially" become a Penn State meme here on OTE? I must not have been here for it. Fuck you.

Q: Thoughts on James Franklin entering his sixth season as a head coach without any wins over a team that finished the season ranked? -€” Bagels are for champions

A: Hmm, don't care. What are your thoughts on Hack getting drafted ahead of Cook? Ouch...stings doesn't it. Wait until McGloin hazes the fuck out of him at camp too.

Q: What's going to happen when you lose to Minnesota, Maryland, Temple, and Pitt this year? -€” GophersinCNY40

A: If that happens, you'll get better at trolling. But seriously, it's not happening.

Q: Also, when are our volleyball fans going to stop acting like everyone cares about volleyball? -€” GophersinCNY40

A: When you get better at this. Seriously though, everyone loves volleyball you pinko.

Q: How many of you will commit seppuku when the kitties lose to Maryland this year? -€” terp_derp

A: Um, well since none (that I know, anyway) are several hundred year old samurai...none?

Q: Why is your administration so incompetent/terrible that they hired a good coach for their transition and then a terrihype coach instead of the other way around? -€” Andy Davis

A: Damn, you cut right to the chase, don't you? First of all, it's not the administration, so much as the Board of Trustees that sucks. Here's why...

We don't elect our BOT...Pennsylvania has a totally fucked up system of appointing them. Automatic members include the state secretaries of education, agriculture, conservation and natural resources; six appointees by the governor, nine elected by alumni, and six elected by Pennsylvania agricultural societies. Another six trustees are selected by a committee representing business and industry. It's fucked up.

That's who threw the school under the bus and set the tone for the administration.

BO'B came in, kept shit together, and unified the team. Then the AD, Joyner, who was appointed by the BOT and following the BOT's lead, screwed the fans and the team. This quote from one of my favorite players, Michael Zordich says it all:

"Who was stepping up and taking it? We were. They never stood up for us. Not the president, not the AD. They were silent. Silent. Thanks. Who was standing up for us? O'Brien -- and that's it."

The team hated Joyner...here's another great story from that period:

After the 2011 team finished 9-3, without a permanent president, athletic director or head coach, the team captains called a players-only meeting to decide whether to accept the bid to the lowly TicketCity Bowl in Dallas. After a civil discussion, they decided if they represented Penn State's values, they had to go.

All seemed settled -- until Dr. Joyner addressed the team after their vote. According to over a dozen players present, he accused them of being "a bunch of children" for declining the bowl invitation, which prompted Gerald Hodges to stand up and demand Dr. Joyner show more respect. The two started walking toward each other, creating a commotion loud enough for assistant coach Larry Johnson Sr., waiting outside, to come into the room, hold Hodges, and literally escort him out.

And the fun continued with Joyner...

After Penn State's 2013 season, according to insiders familiar with the situation, Joyner failed to follow through on his promises to boost O'Brien's budget for assistant coaches' salaries, recruiting and facilities. At the 2013 senior banquet, one witness said, the tension between the two men was "palpable. You couldn't ignore it." After the event, Dr. Joyner waited more than a week to respond to O'Brien's requests to follow up on his promises.

That's why BO'B left. Nobody was happier to see Joyner shit-canned than I was. But it was too late to secure O'Brien. And it's why I continue to wish him well in Houston. It wasn't his fault. They fucked him...and he left.

Since then, we hired Sandy Barbour. We hired her from Cal, where she ran a tremendous program. That's why I'm cool with the next round of coaching changes. If necessary, she'll be on our (the fans/alumni/teams) side.

Q: What is the best meal you can get in State College? -€” SpartanHT

A: Weeeellll, State College isn't exactly a gastronomic destination. It's hard to beat the hot wings at Champs. I used to love the spaghetti puttanesca at Mario and Luigi's, but it's gone down-hill since I waited tables there. Drunk, I used to love the pound o' cheese fries at Ye Olde College Diner.

Q: Who, if he grew an ‘80's mustache, would look more like a porn star: Christian Hackenberg or Anthony Morelli? -€” MNWildcat

A: Christian Hackenberg would look like a 16-year old with a taped on porn-stache. He's the youngest looking dude on the planet. Morelli, on the other hand, would look like a full-on porn star...aka Stone Pounder.

Q: You are picking teams for playground basketball composed of only PSU linebackers. Who's your first pick and why? Show your work. -€” MNWildcat

A: Ding ding ding...best question ever!!! I love my linebackers. The correct answer is Lavar Arrington. We know he can leap! The guy is a stud and I know he can ball. Plus, he'd be a total beast in the paint. My second choice is probably NaVorro Bowman, another stud, who I'd just like to hang out and shoot hoops with.

Q: What is the sack speed velocity of an unprotected quarterback? -€” vaudevillian

A: Well since the sack is center mass, it would probably be slower than head speed velocity.

Q: How many rushers would a pass rush rush if an O-line couldn't block rush? -€” vaudvillain

A: You suck. The answer is all of them...as we saw repeatedly.

Q: If your quarterback is going to give up a score, would you rather it be a pick-six or a strip sack scoop-and score? -€” vaudvillain

A: Ugh. Probably the pick six, so he doesn't get killed in the scrum.

Q: Devil's bargain: you are promised wins against OSU and MSU, but must lose to Rutgers and Maryland. Do you take the deal? -€” vaudvillain

A: Hmm, tempting if only because of the shit rutger fans and terps fans would give to OSU and MSU. But no...it's not worth it. I'm willing to wait and beat everybody.

Q: Why does your mascot look like a rummage store piece of shit? -€” LincolnParkWildcat

A: He's vintage. Our fans love him...oh sorry, you are a Northwestern alum. Fans are the folks who sit in those seats you've covered with tarps.

Q: Will going 7-6 this year feel... -97allstars

1. Better than going 7-6 last year

2. About the same as going 7-6 last year

3. Worse than going 7-6 last year and the year before

A: Worse by far. I'm not a fan of treading water. New coordinators notwithstanding, this team is talented enough to win 8 games with this schedule. We shouldn't have lost to Georgia in the bowl game. This year I expect 8 wins in the regular season and I won't be satisfied with less.

Your Friend,

Townie