Let's be honest. We're in for the worst week of self-immolation, naval gazing, and disoriented manic depression in recent memory as a Penn State fan. This game could not have sucked any worse, but we do have to take something from this game and learn how to cope as fans.
1) This game was an alpaca out of nowhere. It's what happens when you're a die-hard fan: you focus on the past, you look for the intangibles and statistics that prove that your team isn't as bad as it seems, and then a team coached by Ron Zook throws your team around like a bag of bad garbage. Think we're the only ones? Try looking at the Wolverines some time. Sometimes we have to take the smirk off our face and realize that some of the other guys might be right about our team--perhaps we can learn from them.
2) There are no untouchables anymore. The good graces that were brought on by back-to-back Top 10 seasons and two Big Ten conference co-championships in four years has evaporated. There will be calls for everyone in the program to be thrown out. Don't get mad if your sacred cow is now on someone's hit list. On the flip side, don't get angry if everyone doesn't agree with your assertions that two months ago would have sounded foolish. The plain fact is that it's an ugly time to be a Penn State fan, and we won't all be singing from the same songbook. Deal with it.
3) Rumors are flying all over the place. I would wait for some credible evidence before you wander down a path of speculation that is unfounded. It's harder to "unbelieve" something that's untrue than it is to do some fact-checking. If nothing's concrete, don't believe it. There's no OJ prize for being the first person to be pissed at something that's true.
4) Remember what a game like this can do for ramifications in the off-season. You may get all you want and more, only AFTER January. Remember what I said about the Temple 2010 game possibly being one of the most important games of the decade? This could also be one of those games as well.
5) One thing that is beneficial to the bye week: there are approximately 3,498 injuries on the starting roster at Penn State, particularly at defense. In the third quarter there were ten defensive starters that were injured or otherwise unable to play. I take some comfort in knowing that we'll at least have a physically improved team in two weeks against the Gophers.
6) This is the hardest one: hold on, take a deep breath, and realize it's a game. I'm just as bad as most at getting overly worked up about this, but if you were at State College and you couldn't enjoy the incredible homecoming weather at least a bit, then you should really stop and look around. Coping is another way of saying, "get on with life even when sh*t falls on your face."
But never, ever let your guard down, and keep on with the HATE!