The Fast and the Furious Nittany Lions

Pete DymeckAnalyst ISeptember 5, 2009

The Big Ten Conference has a reputation for big and slow offenses focused on pounding the pigskin.

This reputation alone is why most of America agrees that the Big Ten is a second-rate conference as compared to the SEC, Big 12, and Pac-10.

The court of public opinion rules but it seems that Penn State is the only team in the Big Ten that gets "it."

Penn State understands that speed kills.

The faster that gameplay, the more furious the outcome.

As we seen earlier today, against the lowly Akron Zips though, is that Penn State's new crop of playmakers have already made the fans in Happy Valley forget about Derrick Williams, Deon Butler, and Jordan Norwood.

Wide receiver Derek Moye, a state champion track star in high school, caved the chest of the Akron defense in by half-time when he caught six passes for 138 yards and one touchdown.

The most exciting player, from the crowd's consensus though, was wide receiver Chaz "The Happy Valley Wowie" Powell.

He reeled in seven receptions for 65 yards and one score.

More impressive was his speed.

Powell, considered by most to be one of the fastest players in all of college football, looked like he was on skates against the Akron defense.

Of course, things are expected to slow down for him when they play the upper-tier teams in the Big Ten, but Powell's speed and the possibility of a more open playbook for the young wide receiver seams the lining for a future of nothing being impossible for this Dexter McCluster-clone.

Usually, there is a noticeable difference between the speed of teams in the Big Ten and say, the SEC.

Today, Penn State looked like it was ready to dispel the notion that the Big Ten is slow.

Will the rest of the conference catch on?

Rich Rodriguez, the head coach of the Michigan Wolverines seems to think that speed over raw power will change the course of planning for the Big Ten, and it shows already today with his tandem of quarterbacks, Tate Forcier and Denard Robinson.

The "Spread HD" offense, in its second year, looks as strong as any offense ever at Penn State with even faster playmakers split out wide.

Even head coach Joe Paterno, who returned to the sidelines at Penn State for the first time since undergoing surgery last November, joked about running onto the field and his speed.

In the postgame conference, coach Paterno asked, "Did you clock me in the 100 meters?"

Ironically enough, Joe Paterno probably realizes that they faster you are, the more furious you become, even if it took him 44 years to realize so.

While this was just one game, against a mid-level MAC opponent, the season is Penn State's to lose.

I am not ready to say that the Big Ten is a one-horse race but after witnessing the speed on the gridiron at Beaver Stadium today, the rest of the Big Ten is eating Penn State's dust after one week of play.