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Predicting Penn State’s 2017 Record, Talkin’ #unrivaled

Will Penn State win the Big Ten in 2017? Pitt really the best non-conference opponent for the Nittany Lions, or are they truly #unrivaled?

Penn State v Pittsburgh Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

Writing for Penn State Week is tiring. I don’t know how 87townie and Aaron Yorke have done it; then again, they’re probably not worried about being branded a “hater” or emailed by psuunrivaled69 or any of those idiots who created accounts for Michigan Week.

Anyways, I don’t know what food to tell you about today. I’m sure people have come up with good shit in the comments, but I prepped these on Sunday and there’s a good chance I didn’t bother to go back and edit the intros on Thursday. #lazyangryblogyeller, sorry.

First, I’d like to address the FUCKING STUPID TWEET that I came across on the Penn State Football Twitter account:

This is so incredibly stupid. I at least scanned Northwestern’s football twitter to see if they did some dipshit poster with some “House Lancaster” (for Tyler Lancaster, you see) fuckery or any other stupid spinoff, and I didn’t see it, but I could be wrong. Probably still trying to dump off the 7-pound Persastrong dumbbells.

Either way, this is incredibly, incredibly dumb. Looking like Avatar and Twilight fucked and lazily slapped on a tagline from Harry Potter snuff porn. Up your damn game, PSU.

All that stupidity wore me out, so imagine I said something about shoofly pie. Here, I’ll even post a picture:

I think Food Network?

With that all taken care of, let’s look ahead to 2017’s schedule, once again courtesy of Bill Connelly:

There’s not much there in the non-conference, unless we’re taking Pitt seriously as a rival of Penn State. (I can never remember; Penn State fans will have to fill me in.) And with Pat Narduzzi seemingly bringing Pitt back, that September 9th game in Happy Valley could be a little more exciting than a projected 16-point margin gives it credit for.

Hit the Big Ten, though, and we’ve got the usual landmines galore: an early trip to Iowa with no bye preceding it, followed by the a deadly three-game slate of Michigan, @OSU, and @Michigan State before East, West, and East also-rans on the trot.

And it’s that time of the potluck, OTE writers, so I ask you:

How well will Penn State do in 2017? Give us a record, some notable wins/losses, and a bowl game prediction if you feel up to the task.

But while we’re talking Penn State’s non-conference, too, I’d ask you: If we’re locking in one Penn State “rivalry” per year, who should it be: Pitt? (Assume we're in a world where this is a straight home-and-home; no JoePa two-for-ones.) And who would be your team’s one “locked-in” non-conference rival, if you were given the choice?

(O/U on "Notre Dame" set at 4.5.)

WSR: 8-4, with losses to Pitt and Iowa because why the hell not? I’m sure James Franklin could prove me wrong and lose even more, but that’s just an off-the-cuff guess based on my 0.75 cups of coffee here this morning.

Penn State’s only rival is HATERZ! That’s right, PSU. We’re all jealous of your legendary program and it’s culture. And Minnesota’s new rival would have to be one of the teams teams they’ve played more than any other. Nebraska used to be the obvious answer since we’ve played them more than we’ve played Michigan State or Ohio State, but Delanybot went and ruined that one. Two of the four others are already paired up with B1G teams as opponents that they’re forced to play and are in no way rivals in Iowa State and Pitt. And North Dakota? Cool, right? No. (Get out of here and take your asses back to Wall Drug. Yes, we’re all jealous of your hockey program funded by certain Trump peer Ralph Englestad’s estate and your football team that beat us and Iowa. I’m also in awe of your amazing Mount Rushmore. North Dakota is amazing and worthy of us caring about them.) That leaves one: Washington. Minnesota and Washington played every few years between 1936 and 1958, met in the 1961 Rose Bowl, had a home-and-home in the late 70’s, and have some shared misery though the years and beautiful campuses. Let’s do this, Huskies.

BRT: I see them losing three games at minimum: Pitt, OSU, and Michigan. I think they'll beat Iowa because they play early in the season, and Iowa should still be in their post-ISU slump of suck at that point. Anyway, three losses will be a challenge for this fanbase, but happily, the Rutgers game comes a few weeks after the third loss, and history has taught us that the PSU fan is only too happy to believe in any magnitude of greatness following a Rutgers evisceration, so they'll have their loud, cawing groove back by the end of the season. Because Trace is here! And he's #unrivaled.

I don't really care who PSU's Grand Rival should be. Sure Pitt is fine. Makes sense. They seem to like each other. For Nebraska, I'm sure I should say something like Oklahoma as a good Husker fan, but let's face it, Nebraska doesn't need an annual OU loss right now. I'd prefer to use the Iowa model: a usually grossly outmatched opponent who we can almost always beat and then proclaim we car nothing about and give our coach more money. So...Kansas? I'd say Kansas State, but we already play a non-flagship school with the color purple, a shitty stadium, and a mangy wildcat creatively named "Willie," and one school meeting those parameters is enough.

LPW: 8-4. they lose to Michigan, OSU, Pitt and Northwestern.

I want Northwestern to play Notre Dame every year.

DJ: 8-4, they lose to Pitt, OSU, Michigan, and one of Nebraska or Sparty. Akron and Georgia State...I see Penn State is trying hard there.

Stew: I think 9-3 or 10-2 are probably the 2 most likely outcomes. 10-2 if they continues having good luck, 9-3 if they regress a bit. I’ll say 9-3, with losses to Iowa, OSU, and, uh, Pitt, just to dig in the knife a bit.

Also, fuck this stupid fucking second question. Goddammit. I hate playing Iowa State every fucking year. It’s the worst. I think I’d rather play Mizzou every year. That damn sheriff had no right to cut down those beehives. That was our damn honey, even if it was Keokuk.

Townie: I’ll answer the questions in order. I think Penn State should go 10-2 at worst. I won’t be surprised if they go 11-1. I will be truly disappointed if they lose some dumb games and win 9 games or fewer.

As for rivalries, we’ve had a few fun ones over the years. Pitt was so bad, for so long, they were rutgers before rutgers was rutgers. If Pitt commits to playing good football going forward, I wouldn’t mind having a long-lived home and home with them.

From 1904 to 1992, we had a great rivalry with West Virginia. We played every year from 1940 to 1992, with the exception of 1945 and 1946. I enjoyed those games in the 1980’s, but again it was lopsided. I think PSU leads the series 48-9, but I remember the WVU wins in 1984 and 1988 being crazy and fun.

Truth be told, I like far more WVU alums than I do Pitt alums, so I’d prefer we renew that series.

MNW: Somehow 9-3 feels too low, while 10-2 feels too high for this Penn State team. I really am convinced there’s going to be a two-part effect that leads to an extra loss or two: the defense will continue to find itself in weird shootouts with Indiana and Pitt and Northwestern, and finally the offense won’t hold up its big-play end of the bargain. So give me 9-3 with losses to OSU, Michigan, and [pick a Big Ten team or Pitt]. Commence wailing and gnashing of teeth, along with a nice trip to Orlando around New Year’s.

I asked the second question in part because I love seeing Stew get mad about Iowa State, Iowa’s One True Rival. But I also asked it because I think it’s a marker of Penn State more broadly in college football—while the Pitt series is only going through 2019, the home-and-home nature (along with the usual “too good for Pitt”/”unrivaled” whatever) and competitiveness signals State’s regression from the elite of college football to “another good P5 school.” Along with that, yeah, I consider Pitt to be the long-unplayed “rivalry” game for Penn State, but I realize their non-conference P5 slot is filled through 2025 by VaTech, Auburn, and West-by-God.

I also love Townie’s benevolent sneering of “If Pitt commits to playing good football” as if (1) that’s stopping things like El Assico, and (2) that’s why this rivalry wasn’t played. No, it was the 2-for-1/3-for-2 nonsense. You’re ducking an in-state rival. Good try.

I really like the Northwestern-Cal or Northwestern-Stanford thing, and if we couldn’t continue the Notre Dame series, I would love if it continued to revolve between a couple West Coast smart P5ers. No Duke, please, unless the others don’t return our calls.

Thanks to both our writers and readers for following along and commenting on this week’s slate of potlucks. We really couldn’t do it without those of you reading, and (I’m guessing this on Sunday) our writers even came up with a few semi-sincere thoughts about Penn State’s fortunes in 2017.

Vote in the poll and, like I’m sure you’ve been doing, hit the comments to give us your piping-hot PSU takes!


Penn State’s 2017 (pre-bowl game) record will be...

This poll is closed

  • 19%
    (74 votes)
  • 14%
    12-1, possibly still B1G champs
    (55 votes)
  • 10%
    11-2, probably not B1G champs
    (41 votes)
  • 16%
    10-2, remember when we were B1G champs
    (62 votes)
  • 16%
    9-3, bet Jim Harbaugh hasn’t been a B1G champ
    (62 votes)
  • 17%
    8-4, remember when we beat Ohio State
    (66 votes)
  • 3%
    7-5, we beat Ohio State in 2016 though
    (14 votes)
  • 3%
    6-6 or worse, but you’re a hater for voting this anyways
    (13 votes)
387 votes total Vote Now

Potluck Schedule:

Monday: Penn State, National Titles, and Big Ten Expansion
Tuesday: Tempo, YOLO, and Moorhead for all!
Wednesday: Is there any escaping Linebacker U?
Thursday: In-State Rivals, Non-Conference Schedules, and Predictions