JoePa's Doghouse

Thank You, Sandy!!!

Sandy Barbour has done the unthinkable.  Her actions have inspired me to write something positive about the Penn State Athletic Department.  Hold on to your hats because it’s about our football non-conference scheduling.  In other words, it’s the post I never thought I would be lucky enough to write.

Ever since the news of Penn State’s home/home with Auburn broke this morning, I’ve been checking calendars to make sure it’s not somehow April 1st.  For decades, I have begged our incompetent Athletic Directors to give us a unique and intriguing non-conference opponent.  For decades, we’ve been stuck with retreads of our Independent days.  In fact, after we play West Virginia in 2023, we will have played our ENTIRE 1988 schedule as non-conference games since joining the Big Ten.  Have I mentioned how much I hate Tim Curley and Dave Joyner???

Auburn checks all the boxes I have wished for in a non-conference foe.  They’re a traditional power.  They’re from a part of the country we rarely visit (although we have played Alabama quite often).  They’re very likely to be a Top 25 team when we meet.  Most important, they’re a NEW opponent.  Barbour finally broke the Miami-Notre Dame-Alabama cycle of “marquee” games.  Those teams are much more appealing than our undercard match-ups (Pitt, Boston College, Virginia, Syracuse…), but the frequency with which we played them was frustrating, considering how often they were on our Independent schedules.  Auburn represents a significant change in scheduling philosophy and I couldn’t be happier.

Well, I could be, but I won’t let that get in the way of heaping praise on my favorite Penn State Athletic Director of my lifetime.

I don’t have a concrete Top Ten list of Wishful Opponents.  I would consider it more of a fluid list in which 4 permanently reside.

1.  LSU

2.  Oregon

3.  Tennessee

4.  Boise State

Next Bunch (No Order)

North Carolina



Ole Miss




These teams fall into the “Next Bunch” category, but are relegated to a second tier because I have been to these campuses before.  I have to give a slight edge to new places.





Final Group (No Order)



Air Force

South Carolina


Idaho (I have a Kibbie Dome fetish)

At the absolute worst, Auburn rates as the #15 team I want Penn State to have a home/home with.  Admittedly, they would probably be several spots higher had I not been on their campus before and if we hadn’t just played at Alabama.  The bottom line is this: Sandy Barbour did a fantastic job of shutting me up with this scheduling announcement.

I cannot wait to take on the Plainsmen

War Eagles

Bama’s Little Brother



The Beginning of the End


Here is something I want "Dunaway" with...

After a few years on life support, the doggs are finally being put down.  Much like the optimism that accompanies an upcoming football season, every August I believe that this is the year we start writing the blog again.  Every September, I realize that August Rowlff was dumb.  Every November, I get annoyed by how bad we are.  Then basketball season starts and…well…

The bottom line is this- no more JoePa’s Doghouse.  So, I’m going out like Howard Beale.  In the next few weeks, I’m going to tell you what about college football I’m mad as Hell about.

Goddamn Neutral Site Games

College football has the greatest pageantry and the widest array of traditions of any sport.  Why deny opposing fans the opportunity to experience what makes your school/campus/town unique?  Wisconsin-LSU should have been a special exchange of two of the best venues the sport has to offer.  Instead, fans got treated to a corporate mega dome in Arlington and a wannabe college stadium/town.

What do places like Atlanta, DC, or Charlotte have in common with most ACC or SEC schools?  Very little.  So why would their fans want to travel there?  Why would fans of northern teams want to travel to places that they frequent for business or layovers on said business trips?  Bigger cities may be easier to get to, but they’re NFL cities, not college towns.  What place do they have in college football?  You can keep those venues.  Give me a reason to travel to Athens, Chapel Hill, or Norman and I’ll find a way to get there.

My doggs and I have been to many away games, both Big Ten and non-conference (although we’re running out of unique non-cons, you piece of crap PSU Athletic Department!!!).  Everywhere we’ve been***, we’ve been welcomed with open arms.  Fans have invited us to tailgates, gone out of their way to drive us around town, bought us drinks, and shown us a tremendous time.  Pellagate has always made it a point to return the favor as best we can.  Do you think that kind of congeniality exists in bars and tailgates at a neutral site game?

(***- everywhere but Notre Dame.  Those assholes vandalized our rental car.  They also flooded their town with beat women and douchebags while we were there.  Unless that’s how South Bend normally looks…)

The next time I have the desire to tailgate in asphalt as far as the eye can see, pay outrageous ticket prices for a sterile dome, and vacate everything that makes college football so special, I’m going to attend a neutral site game.

Sadly, that might be my only chance to see Penn State play a decent non-conference opponent.


Prediction Time!

It's that wonderful time of the year when footballs are in the air, Oktoberfests are in the hand, and deli meats are in the other hand.  Normally I try to inject some humor to these posts, but this is going to be of the slow burn variety.  In other words, check back in December when all my predictions look ridiculous.

Playoff Teams

Ohio State


Arizona State


National Champion


Am I Doing This To Jinx the SEC?



Deshaun Watson

Penn State

9-4 with losses to Ohio State, Michigan State, Northwestern, and San Diego State

Gator Bowl win over Arkansas

Am I Predicting This To Reverse-Jinx Us Into a Better Record?


Overrated teams (besides the entire SEC)

Baylor will have 3 or more regular season losses

Stanford will finish 7-5

As will Wisconsin

Underrated teams

NC State


Oklahoma State

Other Predictions

ESPN falls over itself talking up a 2-loss SEC West team.

The Pac 12 South will be a better division than the SEC West, but no one will hear anyone say it on tv.

Tennessee gets its 38th verbal before October 1st

Brian Kelly continues to get away with murdering a kid.

Cody Kessler throws for 400 yards on Tom Bradley’s defense.

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Apathy Week: Temple

The last time Temple beat us, this guy was a decent human being.

It’s truly sad when you play a team that is so lousy, so irrelevant, that you can’t even muster hatred.  That’s right, the Temple Owls have single-handedly sapped me of all my usual opening game enthusiasm.  There is one thing that is worse than HATE, and that’s APATHY.


Non-Conference Scheduling Rant Part 2 (or We’re So Much Better Than This, You Guys)

Much like instant replay, soccer, and Pirates first basemen, the topic of non-conference scheduling really riles me up.  In the words of Dennis Miller, “I don’t want to get off on a rant here, but…”


Blue-White Roundtable: That Team

penn state

Thanks for a heck of a ride, Buccos

I’ve got to take a moment to praise my Pirates for having such a great season. It’s not often that us doggs (Buccos fan, Royals fan, Orioles fan) get to see good baseball. Losing after leading the series 2-1 hurts, but the Pirates have a great young nucleus and also some great prospects coming up. This is just the beginning. Anyway, onto football.

Guess who struck back? Adam wasted no time in wresting control of his own roundtable from the greedy doggs that reside in JoePa’s Doghouse. You know the routine, hit up Black Shoe Diaries for their usual Friday recap. Also, be sure to drop by these folks.

Victory Bell Rings
Nittany Lions Den
Black Shoe Diaries
The 50-Yard Lion

Follow the jump to read us doggs’ thoughts…


Blue-White Roguetable: Indiana

penn state

What a surprise, Penn State opens B1G play on the road?

What better way to battle the Bucco Blues than answering some football questions. I have no doubt the Pirates will come back and house the Cardinals, and I am equally certain that you’ll enjoy this week’s installment of the roundtable.

Yet again, we decided to give our boy Adam a rest and turn this into the Blue-White Rouge-table. Despite our coup, make sure to hit up Black Shoe Diaries for their usual Friday recap. Also, take a gander what these peeps think about my questions.

Victory Bell Rings
Nittany Lions Den
Black Shoe Diaries
The 50-Yard Lion

Follow the jump to read us doggs’ thoughts…


Blue-White Roundtable: Who We Playin?

penn state

So, anything happen this week?

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.

Victory Bell Rings
Nittany Lions Den
Black Shoe Diaries
The 50-Yard Lion

Follow the jump to read us doggs’ thoughts…


Blue-White Roundtable: Goin Rogue

central florida

Well, at least you’re not Temple

Why not mix things up a bit after that tough loss. This week, the doggs went rogue and made up their own questions.

So, screw the good folks at Black Shoe Diaries. Some of these chickenheads might have answered these questions. Who knows? Check em out anyway!

Victory Bell Rings
Nittany Lions Den
Black Shoe Diaries
The 50-Yard Lion

Follow the jump to read us doggs’ thoughts…


Blue-White Roundtable: Central Florida

central florida

You may be from Florida, but you’re still a directional school

An almost night game against an almost real Florida opponent. No really, all kidding aside, it should be a good game in a fun atmosphere.

Someone who’s always fun, Adam from Black Shoe Diaries has some more questions for us peeps. Be sure to head on over to BSD later this week for a “greatest hits” of sorts. In the meantime, check out what these peeps are saying:

Victory Bell Rings
Nittany Lions Den
Black Shoe Diaries
The 50-Yard Lion

Follow the jump to read us doggs’ thoughts…