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Thread: The Keystone State Debate... Pitt v Penn St

      
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    Default The Keystone State Debate... Pitt v Penn St

    Blogger debate: Penn State vs. Pitt
    October 28, 2009
    Posted by ESPN.com's Brian Bennett and Adam Rittenberg

    It has been nine years since rivals Penn State and Pitt last played, and the debate about the discontinued series still rages in the Keystone State. When will they meet again? Not in the regular season any time soon. But there's a new subplot in the discussion this fall, as the Nittany Lions and Panthers are separated by just three spots in the BCS standings.

    Both teams are playing their best football right now and remain alive in their respective conference title races. And maybe, just maybe, the 12th-ranked Lions and 15th-ranked Panthers will meet in a BCS bowl down the road. The big question: Which has the better team?

    Big Ten blogger Adam Rittenberg and Big East blogger Brian Bennett break it all down.

    Adam Rittenberg: We already debated Iowa and Cincinnati. Now let's get really personal. There are enough fans on both sides who want to see the series resume, but we both know how BCS teams hate to part with home games. Any chance we see Penn State and Pitt meet in a BCS bowl game?

    Brian Bennett: It's certainly possible that both teams get into the BCS. But I see the chances of them meeting in a bowl as slim. Penn State would have to be an at-large pick, since there's no way Pitt is going to the Rose Bowl, and the options are limited elsewhere. Plus, the game wouldn't generate a whole lot of interest outside of Pennsylvania, where it would be enormous.

    The bigger question I have is, why aren't these two teams still playing in the regular season? All indications are that Pitt would welcome the resumption of the series. Panthers fans blame Joe Paterno for killing the rivalry. How much truth do you think there is to that?

    Rittenberg: Paterno wasn't pleased when Pitt joined the Big East, which prevented him from forming a new conference with Eastern schools. Penn State also must play at least seven home games a year. That's non-negotiable. The Lions can't afford to lose revenue from cramming their enormous stadium and continue to play other attractive nonconference opponents (i.e. Alabama) unless Pitt agreed to a 2-for-1 with two games in State College. I know the fans don't like to hear it, but the two schools are in different financial positions, and Pitt plays one more non-league game (5) than Penn State.

    We could talk about this all day, but let's get to the teams. How do you think Pitt matches up against Penn State?

    Bennett: As with all the Big East contenders, you have to start on the offensive side of the ball. Those not playing close attention this year may view Pitt as a typical Dave Wannstedt, defensive-minded team. But the Panthers can really score and are averaging 34 points a game. They've got answers everywhere, from a terrific veteran offensive line, a true freshman back in Dion Lewis who's already gone over 1,000 yards, a stud receiver in Jonathan Baldwin, two top flight tight ends and a fifth-year senior quarterback, Bill Stull, who has made tremendous strides.

    Defensively, Pitt has one of the top defensive front lines anywhere, with sack specialists Greg Romeus and Jabaal Sheard on the outside and bullrushing tackle Mick Williams on the inside. The Panthers have been exploited, however, in the passing game against the outside linebackers and the defensive backs, which is where I would think the Nittany Lions would attack with Daryll Clark.

    But Penn State's offense hasn't been overly impressive this year. Has the Spread HD gone low def?

    Rittenberg: Offense, offense, offense. That's all I hear from you, Bennett. Before getting to the Spread HD, which looks pretty good to me, let's talk a little D (you like my rhymes?).

    Penn State's defense is simply dominant this season. I won't bore you with stats, but Penn State ranks in the top 10 nationally in seven major statistical categories, including No. 1 in points allowed (8.88 ppg). The defensive line is ferocious, led by tackles Jared Odrick and Ollie Ogbu and budding star Jack Crawford at defensive end. Linebacker U. is back as Navorro Bowman and The 'Stache (Josh Hull) have been fabulous and Sean Lee is getting healthier each week. They would digest Lewis.

    The Lions are getting better each week on offense as a new-look line jells. Clark and running back Evan Royster have been fabulous since the Iowa loss, and the new group of wide receivers has seen different stars emerge each week (Chaz Powell, Derek Moye, Graham Zug). Tight end Andrew Quarless is a major matchup problem, and backup running back Stephfon Green can go the distance on any play.

    Penn State might be the most complete team in the Big Ten right now. So what do you think? Who would win if these rivals decided to play this year?

    Bennett: This why I'm glad I cover the Big East and not the Big Ten: I enjoy the forward pass and seeing teams score.

    I'm with you on Penn State's defense -- it's stacked. That would probably be the difference in the Pennsylvania Bowl. Although I think Pitt could still move the ball, it likely wouldn't come anywhere close to its usual points total against the Nittany Lions, while that improving offense behind Clark would get the job done.

    So I give the slight nod to Penn State as remaining the big dog in the state, but the gap is narrowing once again. Now, what can we do to talk these two teams into actually playing one another?

    Rittenberg: I agree that Penn State would win the game, especially with the way the Nittany Lions are playing right now. The Big East doesn't have a defense ranked in the top 20 nationally, and the Nittany Lions' size and speed on that side would pose problems. Pitt's defensive line could hurt Penn State, but Clark still would make plays in the pass game. I've been very impressed with Pitt this year, as much as I'm reluctant to buy into Wanny-coached team (sorry, Bears fan here).

    How do we get these two together again? I wonder if Pitt would be willing to do a 3-for-2. Otherwise, maybe they could meet at a neutral site and split the revenue. Or we could wait for Paterno to retire. On second thought, that'll never happen.

    http://espn.go.com/blog/bigeast/post...-state-vs-pitt
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    Default Re: The Keystone State Debate... Pitt v Penn St

    I remember when this series was cancelled.... I almost cried because it was the best thing going since sliced bread... It was a staple and tradition for the Friday after Thanksgiving for a while....

    ... Rumor has it, and only what I have heard, is that JoePa was ****ed back in the early days when they (Penn St) were asked to join the Big East during the development of the conference.... PSU wanted only fotball at the time, where the conference officials (including reps from Pitt) said; "no, it has to be all sports"... Penn St balked on the invite, and as we know, the series was cancelled... I don't know how much validity this holds, but I don't put it past "Mr. Anti-Christ" to do this.... Hopefully it will change down the road because it is a natural rivalry that is good for everyone involved.... And I don't know anyone that wouldn't like to see it renewed.
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    Default Re: The Keystone State Debate... Pitt v Penn St

    Pitt vs. Penn State? Just a BCS pipe dream
    Thursday, October 29, 2009
    By Gene Collier, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
    Were all of the still-to-be-determined ingredients of still another highly ridiculous college football season mashed into a colossal metaphorical meatball, and were that colossal metaphorical meatball forced through the dubiously hygienic grinder of Bowl Championship Series politics, it is possible -- according to published reports -- that among the tastier byproducts would be a Fiesta Bowl that reunites ancient Keystone rivals Pitt and Penn State.

    Midstate journalist/scientists working separately came up with this plausible scenario over the weekend, and when you look at it, the only real question that leaps off the page is: Isn't it a shame they were too late for this year's Nobel prizes.

    Not only were David Jones of Harrisburg's Patriot-News and Cory Giger of the Altoona Mirror able to make some sense of the BCS At-Large Eligibility and Selection Procedures, but they went on to describe how those procedures might work so that even I could understand it. Almost.

    I know, Nobels for both, 2010.

    The formula for concluding that Pitt and Penn State will play football for the first time in nearly 10 years on Jan. 4 in Arizona is among the most combustible in all of organic chemistry, with any of five billion variable microscopic irritants capable of sending it down in flames, like if either team were to lose between now and Dec. 6, unless it's Notre Dame.

    (The phrase "unless it's Notre Dame," interestingly enough, has almost universal application, dating to the Old Testament.)

    Pitt could lose Nov. 14 to Notre Dame without shorting out this discussion, but it's simpler to assume (assumption being the philosophical bedrock of the entire formula), that Pitt and Penn State win out, or run the table, although neither is preferable to just running out and winning the table.

    As I understand it, which I very likely do not, the formula is essentially this:

    Pitt and Penn State win out, as does Iowa, putting Iowa in the Rose Bowl instead of Penn State, which lost to Iowa. Texas wins out, taking itself out of the Big 12's slot in the Fiesta Bowl and into the national championship game, which will be played in the Rose Bowl but will not be the Rose Bowl. Florida or Alabama win out, removing one from the Southeast Conference's slot in the Sugar Bowl and inserting it into the national championship game against Texas in the Rose Bowl that's not the Rose Bowl.

    If, say, Florida is ranked No. 1 and wins the SEC, and Texas is ranked No. 2 and wins the Big 12, then the Sugar Bowl, because it lost a higher-rated team, picks first. Followed by the Fiesta and then the Orange Bowl, which has a tie-in to take the ACC champion. If Texas is No. 1 and Florida No. 2, then the Fiesta has first pick, followed by the Sugar. The Orange is third because the ACC champion likely would not be in the title game.

    To arrive at this point, you are here cautioned, something like 400 college football games still have to be played, with no results inflaming an extremely flammable process.

    But here's where it gets tricky.

    Yeah.

    The Sugar, if it picks first, likely would take Alabama, assuming it loses an SEC title game to Florida. The Fiesta would be next, as long as Florida stays as No. 1 in the BCS.

    Only Penn State's long and cozy history with the Fiesta (and, OK, its 11-1 record and highly portable fan base) are evidence that the Fiesta will pick the Lions, and even then, the Orange Bowl, which gets the next pick, might well pluck Pitt to match against its ACC champion, eliminating the remote possibility of a Pitt-Penn State duel in the Valley of the Sun (indoors of course).

    What's instructive about all of this is not so much that it's virtually impossible, but it is the best example yet of the ways in which we're willing to torture credulity just to float hope. Virtually impossible as it clearly is, it's the only possible way for the schools to play.

    Pitt-Penn State, once a college football staple that traversed an American century, remains a fantasy stuck in Triple O Limbo.

    Never heard of the Triple O? How could you have? I just made it up.

    Why don't Pitt and Penn State play football?

    Triple O -- Owing to Octogenarian Obstinance.

    Space does not permit (nor does strength, frankly) still another poke through the ashes of Joe Paterno's unfortunate posture on the Pitt series. That history is written, with all its culpabilities where they ought to be. A decade with no Pitt-Penn State game has damaged both programs and soured the football nectar of autumn in every city, village, nook, cranny and Nanty Glo in Pennsylvania. Even bad seasons by one or both teams once were saved by a season-ending collision on whatever stage was available. Even today, kids in Pennsylvania still do not grow up dreaming of helping Pitt beat Cincinnati for the Big East title, or leading Penn State past Michigan State.

    Pitt-Penn State was the stuff of such dreams, of such passions.

    Now it's a fantasy that exists somewhere in the depths of BCS minutia, meaning it's all but down in flames forever.



    Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/09302...#ixzz0VJVfPmB3
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    Default Re: The Keystone State Debate... Pitt v Penn St

    PSU wanted only fotball at the time, where the conference officials (including reps from Pitt) said; "no, it has to be all sports"... Penn St balked on the invite, and as we know, the series was cancelled...
    I heard Pitt just wanted a basketball conference and P.S.U. wanted all sports.Either way,the series was cancelled because Joe was ****ed about something.
    Are these morons getting dumber or just louder-Mayor Quimby

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    Default Re: The Keystone State Debate... Pitt v Penn St

    It was all about the Eastern Sports League Joe wanted to form. If Penn State's BBall team did not completely blow *** in the 80's then they probably would have joined the Big East. But they were not willing to go Football only like Virginia Tech and Miami.

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    Default Re: The Keystone State Debate... Pitt v Penn St

    Clark would find a way to lose the game for PSU.
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    Default Re: The Keystone State Debate... Pitt v Penn St

    Well, I'll admit that the facts from way back then are a bit fuzzy for me...

    ... I think we can all agree that it would be great to see the rivalry renewed... It would instantly be a big game once again... Oh, how I remember those games back in the early 80s where I was pelted with frozen marshmellows while attending the match-up in Happy Valley, and spending the mornings on the campus in Oakland (and a few beverages at Zelda's) before walking "Cardiac Hill" for the games in Pittsburgh.

    As for which is better right now, and who would win, I'd have to give the edge to Penn St (unfortunately) at this point....
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    Default Re: The Keystone State Debate... Pitt v Penn St

    Used to be a great rivalry of sorts. Penn State ****ed that up.

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    Default Re: The Keystone State Debate... Pitt v Penn St

    Quote Originally Posted by Sweetchuck View Post
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    Used to be a great rivalry of sorts. Penn State ****ed that up.
    Hell, it MADE my "Friday after Thanksgiving" back then!..........
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    Default Re: The Keystone State Debate... Pitt v Penn St

    Quote Originally Posted by NKySteeler View Post
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    Hell, it MADE my "Friday after Thanksgiving" back then!..........
    And that's one of the reasons why I'm more of a Pitt fan. I don't want to start a debate between the two fan bases here, but it soured me a little when that all stopped. I'm not sure Pitt isn't partially to blame, but I think the general consensus is that Pitt would like to have the rivalry back on and Penn State is really indifferent to the issue.

    And it's suggested that it's because of ticket sales, but I don't buy it. Penn State regularly sells out over 100k seats each home game and there's no reason to think Pitt playing there would sell out. It's close enough to Pittsburgh that I'm guessing a handful or more of Pitt fans would make the 3 hour drive for the game.

    Penn State would probably sell out Heinz Field no doubt.

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    Default Re: The Keystone State Debate... Pitt v Penn St

    Wonder if there is chance of a re-up of the rivalry once Paterno splits................in the year 4017.

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    Default Re: The Keystone State Debate... Pitt v Penn St

    Quote Originally Posted by Les View Post
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    Wonder if there is chance of a re-up of the rivalry once Paterno splits................in the year 4017.
    Hell, Paterno died 10 years ago. They just dolly his mummified corpse out on to the field each week, nobody knows the difference.


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    Default Re: The Keystone State Debate... Pitt v Penn St

    I wanna see this back in a bad way! I know the bowl game happening is probably a slim chance...But man, that would be sweet! I'm kind of objective to CFB, but I do pull for PITT. Having this rivalry back would definitely give me and a lot of people something to look forward to and get worked up over

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    Default Re: The Keystone State Debate... Pitt v Penn St

    Quote Originally Posted by Sweetchuck View Post
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    Hell, Paterno died 10 years ago. They just dolly his mummified corpse out on to the field each week, nobody knows the difference.

    Hey now.I think his corpse would show more emotion.

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    Default Re: The Keystone State Debate... Pitt v Penn St

    I like most would like to see the rivalry resumed. If it did though,it probably would take place early in the season like it did when they played about 10 years ago,that does seem to take some of the luster off of it. Maybe if it did resume they could still find a way to play it after Thanksgiving.Last season P.S.U. had a long lay off between their last game and their bowl game,plus Florida/Florida St. play late in the season,and they are in different conferences.
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