It’s a bye week, so that means a pretty slow Penn State news week, right? Maybe we should have bye weeks more often…
After a self-imposed “bye week,” Adam tossed out a few more questions. Be sure to hit up Black Shoe Diaries for their usual recap yo. In the meantime, pop your head on a turtle and yell, “Hola DEA” at these guys.
Follow the jump to read us doggs’ thoughts…
Question #1 The biggest news of the week has been the amending of the sanctions. What are your thoughts?
The Underdogs: I've already read JSchnauzer's and it has left me wanting for words, but not really much more in the way of relief. I don't care about the wins or the bowls, because while we're talking about scams and injustices.../taps finger on the bowl schedule. BUT WHERE IS OUR STATUE, STRINGER? HUH? WHERE IS OUR STATUE? /ducks
Rowlff Dogg: There’s no sense in recapping the joy I felt at the most critical portion of the sanctions being greatly scaled back. Instead, I want to focus on a few hidden aspects of the sanctions’ reductions.
Think about all the additional time and energy Bill O’Brien can now put into gameplanning, scouting, and recruiting. By all accounts, his persistence played a major role in the reduction. (Picture Andy Dufresne mailing letters to upgrade the Shawshank library). Those hours can now be channeled elsewhere.
Recruiting-wise, it is huge. That goes without saying. The other major bonus is who we recruit. O’Brien no longer has to place such a premium on versatility. He can now narrow his focus and find the best players at specific positions. That’s a luxury he did not have since the hammer was dropped.
Lastly, our “good boy behavior” and subsequent reward has got to piss off Southern Cal. Anything that pisses off Southern Cal makes me happy.
J Schnauzer: Hooray! I'm more interested in the gradual reduction of the sanctions. Here's my theory on how they get reduced:
Step 1: Upping the schollies. (already done)
Step 2: Penn State's record against Indiana and Temple from 1998-2011 is restored. A tacit acknowledgment that those were obvious wins.
Step 3: Penn State allowed to play in a bowl game in 2014, but only at a cold weather site. Boise rejoices.
Step 4: Penn State's is allotted a "Nick Saban Adjustment" to its scholarship numbers, giving them a total of 125 scholarships for the 2015 season.
Step 5: NCAA admits to Penn State, "Hey, we let you down, bro." Penn State's 2012 game against Virginia changed to a win.
Step 6: Everything but the money is restored.
Question #2 Does that make this bye week the first unequivocal bye week victory of the last several years?
The Underdogs: Sure, why not. When can I get to Rowlff's question(s).
Rowlff Dogg: It is hard to top any bye week during the 2003 or 2004 season simply because that meant not watching those teams. However, this is unquestionably the best bye week gift we have ever received.
J Schnauzer: Every week that we don't play Temple is a victory. Even bye weeks.
Question #3 What issues do you believe Bill O'Brien still must resolve before the Nittany Lions enter league play?
The Underdogs: Running back committee and increased production from DEs. If I were king for a day, Zwinak would be short yardage and fullback. Fortunately, we have multiple tools besides just the hammer. Without a line that can creates consistent, predictable holes, the hammer is not the answer. Especially early in the game when we run on early downs and invariably end up in 3rd and longs.
Rowlff Dogg: Fortunately, nothing that isn’t correctible. The lack of production from the defensive ends is puzzling. But we know what Barnes can do. It’s just a matter of time before he breaks out.
J Schnauzer: Nothing too special. This is still a young team adjusting to new schemes and creating separation on the depth chart. Just work on the fundamentals.
Question #4 Predictions the rest of the way?
The Underdogs: I was at 7-5 from the beginning of the season (with an inkling of hope for 8-4) and I'll stick with that. I don't even know the schedule anymore. Or our division.
Rowlff Dogg: Walt is not going to die in the finale. Jesse is going to escape after Walt kills Psycho Todd and his uncle’s posse. Jesse is going to cook enough for Lydia to buy a sit-down with JJ Abrams. Badger pitches his Star Trek pie-eating idea and Abrams passes his director torch to him.
Penn State? I’m feeling optimistic. 9-3.
J Schnauzer: I'll play it safe and say 8-4. Losses at Ohio $tate, Nebraska, and at Wisconsin.
Exclusive JPDH Bonus Question: This Sunday, Breaking Bad comes to an end. What was your favorite episode and/or scene from the series? Alternate question if don't watch Breaking Bad: What's wrong with you?
The Underdogs: Of the big 4, and I'm listing them in order, Wire, Mad Men, BrBa, Sopranos, it is far and away the most cinematic and beautifully shot. What makes them the big 4, is that all of them have a sense of humor, which couldn't be more contrasted by the endless hyping of Low Winter Sun. Low Winter Sun could be amazing. I have no idea. I do know it has no sense of humor. Anything that takes itself too seriously, in all probability will not be great. Asking for a specific favorite scene is too much of an ask for me. However, this is a long winded way of saying I love the moments of humor (particularly in season 1 before everything hopped on the ever accelerating slide to hell) as well as the montages where they blend music and editing of tedious processes into something artful and beautiful.
On the flip side, I also love the airplane crash storyline because it gives a pass to the Wire's serial killer plot. All the best writers need the occasional contrivance and/or discontinuity.
Rowlff Dogg: Jesse is my favorite character, so it should come as no surprise that “Salud” (S4, E10) is my favorite episode. He steps up his game and tells off the Mexican scientists in the process. Heck, that’s just a small part of an action-packed and very influential episode.
There’s no doubt that the show is packed with memorable moments, but the scene that I simply love is when Jesse reluctantly accepts Walt’s insistence to stay for dinner with him and Skyler (“Buyout,” S5.1, E6). Those green beans were choice. Honorable mention to the instant classic quote: “Yeah, bitch! Magnets!”
J Schnauzer: Why don't I watch it? I don't even know if I get AMC network. Also, it's on at the same time as the vastly underrated Copper.