August 26, 2010

Thursday Question: Best Case Scenario 2010

Stephfon Green, Jack Crawford & Andrew Dailey (7)
Can the new starters like DeOn'tae Pannell (50) and
Doug Klopacz (68) on the O-Line
gel in time for Alabama and Iowa?
Penn State has been universally labeled as "down" in 2010. But are the Nittany Lions capable of shocking the talking heads, and pull off another double-digit win season, or more?

In today's Thursday Question--the final TQ of the off-season--we tackle part two to last week's question, which asked what might be the worst case scenario for Penn State football in 2010. As you would expect, this week's question heads to the other end of that spectrum, as we look at how high this team might go over the next few months.

Thursday Question: What's the best case scenario for Penn State in 2010?

Galen 10-2

Realistically speaking there’s no way Penn State goes undefeated; if they do the unthinkable and run the table, I’ll eat my mattress*. Let’s say Penn State beats all the teams they are supposed to and plays well enough to win all their ‘toss-up’ games. That leaves the big three of Alabama, Iowa, and Ohio State. Even if Penn State plays well in all three games I still think they lose two. So let’s say they pull one out, the best case scenario is for them to beat Bama. I know most pundits will tell you that losing early is better than losing late in the season but not in this case. If Penn State pulls off a shocker in Tuscaloosa against the top ranked team in the nation on national TV not only will they get a Colbert-esque bump in the polls but they’ll hold the nation’s attention for a couple weeks which could even help in recruiting. Not only will they beat the #1 team but they beat a team from the OMG!1!!! EESSSSSS EEEEEEEE SEEEEEE!!!! ESPN would be talking about them for weeks. Or until they lose to Iowa.

*I’m tempting fate here, the last time I read this phrase was on a message board and it was “I’ll eat my mattress if Derrick Williams commits to Penn State

Mike 11-1

I'm going to go big. I will say that Penn State can go 11-1 and grab a Big Ten championship. No, I'm not crazy. This is the absolute best case scenario. I truly believe that this team has more raw talent than even the greatest teams Joe Paterno has ever assembled. Are they as good of a team than 2005, 1994, or 1982? No, but that's only because this team doesn't have the overall experience that those senior-laden squads were fortunate enough to possess.

Penn State can beat Alabama. Penn State can beat Iowa. Penn State is 2-3 against Ohio State the last five meetings, including a win in Columbus. They don't play Wisconsin, a Big Ten title contender, or Purdue a probable bowl team. Temple, Michigan, Michigan State and Northwestern are bowl caliber teams, but aren't better than Penn State. If Minnesota, Indiana, or Illinois beat Penn State this year, it would be an earth-shattering upset.

I was going to pick 10-2, but I just can't help thinking that the potential for this team is just too great. Two losses is the safe pick, and will probably be the most realistic. But hell, I'm a hopeless optimist when it comes to Penn State football.

Ryan 10-2

Obviously best case scenario is to win every game, but I don't think that is even in the realm of possibility this year. They will lose two out of the three games to Iowa, Alabama, and Ohio State.

In order to go 10-2 and have a successful season, a couple things have to happen. The offensive line must gel, and gel early. Quinn Barham's transition from guard to tackle must go smoothly, as he protects the new quarterback from opposing pass rushers.

Speaking of the quarterbacks, obviously the starter doesn't need to be the focal point of the offense, but he has to limit turnovers. If he throws ten interceptions or less, than this team will be successful.

And finally, the front seven has to live up to expectations and fill the holes left by the departed seniors and juniors before them. Devon Still needs to be as good as advertised and team up with Ollie Ogbu to stuff the run.

If the team is able to hit on all these points, and is able to stay healthy, than a 10-2 season could be on the horizon. I'm not holding my breath.

Tim 10-2

Penn State goes undefeated, defeats Boise State in the title game. The Blue and White sky opens up with a beautiful rainbow, chocolate-filled river streams flow, and the townsfolk cheer in the streets knowing that it's safe to leave their homes once again...

Barring that scenario of course, a 10-2 record which includes beating one of the three penciled-in losses (i.e. Alabama/Iowa/Ohio State). This would require the offensive line to gel quickly enough, for Robert Bolden to be as talented and poised beyond his years as insiders and media folks make him out to be, and for the defense to hold its own while the offense gets its act together.

Yea, I'll go with the former...

What's your best case scenario for Penn State in 2010?

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  1. 1994 all over again, except w/ a freshman QB and a National Championship this time.

  2. Well Shawn, I guess that WOULD be the best case scenario. Way to be the optimist!

  3. Hey in 1994 we were picked to finish 5th in the Big never know..I agree this team has more talent than some realize!!

  4. these are the teams legends are made from. low expectations, high talent and determination. the defense seems set. the offens has 2 questions, OL and QB. special teams can only get better than last year. and we have Galen Hall. i think he will make the offense work. 11-1. ohpa

  5. what was so shocking about 1994? I mean didn't we enter that season with 5 returning offensive line starters. I think if you go back through PSU history, ANYTIME we return 5 starters on the OL, we have very special teams. I don't think our QBs will hold us back this year, but I think that the OL will cause us some serious issues, especially in game 2.