Penn State Fans Love Cupcakes Just As Much As Joe Paterno

Pete Dymeck@PeteDymeckAnalyst INovember 8, 2009

STATE COLLEGE, PA - NOVEMBER 7: Head coach Joe Paterno of the Penn State Nittany Lions stands on the field during warm-ups before a game against the Ohio State Buckeyes on November 7, 2009 at Beaver Stadium in State College, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images)
Hunter Martin/Getty Images

Penn State was not ready for the physicality that Ohio State brought to the table tonight. Even with a beat up offensive line, the Buckeyes punched Penn State in the mouth and told them to go sit in the corner.

Even with the statistical anomalies favoring Penn State, Ohio State stood on the chest of the Nittany Lion and proclaimed Beaver Stadium as conquered land.

Terrelle Pryor brought with him some cages of crow for every Penn State fan that shut him out for choosing Columbus over State College. He declared "Eat up folks, it only gets worse!"

Meanwhile, Joe Paterno and his staff are hobbling off of the gridiron. They are hobbling not because of the beat down layed upon them by Ohio State, but because their stomach's are full from all of the cupcakes they have eaten... And it showed.

The old motto "to be the best, you have to beat the best" still prevails in college football.

How can any Penn State fan or supporter seriously state that they are as good as Georgia Tech, Miami Fl., Pittsburgh, or Brigham Young? While the cupcakes sure taste good (see Penn State's eight wins) they only come back to hurt you in the end.

If a person eats too many cupcakes throughout life, they end up losing in the long-run. Diabetes sets in, high cholesterol strikes, and obesity occurs. At one point you may have felt great but those cupcakes satisfied you.

If a college football team only competes against cupcakes, they end up not being prepared for what a good football team brings to the table. Strength, speed, endurance, coaching decisions, and intelligence wins out.

Penn State can not continue to play cupcakes and expect to gain respect on a national-stage, especially when you falter in your big games.

The expected response from Penn State fans will be "but we play Alabama the next two seasons." Yes, well, Penn State sneaked that one in on you because during those two seasons, Michigan is off of the schedule.

The typical response to that will be "but Michigan is not as good as they used to be." True, but when the schedule was made, they were still a national powerhouse. So, you remove one loss from your schedule in order to fill it with another and try to claim that you are attempting to schedule big-time games instead of cupcakes.

Don't give me that "well, Temple is 7-2" poppycock either. I am saluting Owls head coach Al Golden for the turn-around down in the streets of North Philadelphia but the fact of the matter remains... where are the real opponents?

Like I said, eating cupcakes is bittersweet. You enjoy the pleasure of adding wins to your resume meanwhile the side effects linger. The side effects of not getting hit by a Florida linebacker or getting chased down by a Texas defensive back hurt you when you go into big games.

Playing better competition makes you better.

Where is the Penn State from the 1950s that scheduled Nebraska even if the Cornhuskers were on top of their game?

Where is the Penn State from the 1960s that faced Missouri, Navy, Oregon, UCLA, and California?

Where is the Penn State from the 1970s that went toe-to-toe with TCU, Tennessee, Stanford, North Carolina State, Ohio State, Kentucky, SMU, Texas A&M, and Nebraska?

Where is the Penn State from the 1980s that went to battle, willingly, with Nebraska, Miami Fl., Alabama, Iowa, Texas, Notre Dame, and Southern Cal?

How about the early 1990s when the Nittany Lions took on Georgia Tech, Texas, Miami Fl., Brigham Young, and Southern Cal?

Penn State was much better off as an independent. The Big Ten was getting weaker and wished to expand to include then-independent Penn State to make it tougher, stronger, more respectable.

It worked from a marketing standpoint since the Big 12 was formed out of the Big 8 and SWC, although it left TCU out in the cold.

Still, the Big Ten is nowhere near as tough as the Big 12 or SEC. Just because the Big Ten has a rich history that preceded the 1990s and after does not mean that the conference gets a pass as a difficult league.

Penn State joined the league of cupcakes, known mostly as the Big Ten in 1993. If you start at 1993 and trace backwards, you will not find a recognized national champion from the Big Ten until 1968 when the Ohio State Buckeyes were crowned national champs by the Associated Press.

Read that again.

From 1968 to 1993, only once was a Big Ten school crowned as national champion.

That means, from 1969 to 1997 when Michigan received a share of the national championship, the Big Ten did not have any national champions.

In the mean time, here are some of the schools not named Alabama, Oklahoma, Miami, and Notre Dame that had won championships while the Big Ten failed to compete with the rest of the country:

  • Pitt Panthers—1976
  • Georgia Bulldogs—1980
  • Clemson Tigers—1981
  • Brigham Young Cougars—1984
  • Colorado Buffaloes—1990
  • Washington Huskies—1991

I am sick and tired of being sick and tired of the whining and complaining about respect from Penn State fans and Big Ten fans alike. The only powerhouse on a national stage in the Big Ten is Ohio State and as of late, they have had their bells tolled in BCS games and in regular season games by Southern Cal.

Since 2001, the only big-time programs Penn State has faced were Miami Fl., Nebraska (on a down-slide), and Notre Dame. Those games were during down-years in the Penn State program. The so-called "Dark Times of the Early Century" so-to speak as Penn State did not bounce back onto the scene until 2005.

Since 2005, the Nittany Lions have just 12 regular season losses. During that span, the only non-conference ranked opponent they faced was No. 4 Notre Dame in 2006. Guess what? Penn State lost that game 41-17.

Since that loss, Penn State's non-conference opponents have consisted of Youngstown State, Temple, Florida International, Buffalo, Coastal Carolina, Oregon State, Syracuse, Akron, and Eastern Illinois.

The golden calf of that group is the Oregon State Beavers.

Since 2005, only 12 times have the Nittany Lions faced ranked opponents from inside the Big Ten. They have played 38 Big Ten games during that span.

Is the Big Ten a cupcake conference itself? Aside from the Michigan Wolverines of the Lloyd Carr era and prior, the Ohio State Buckeyes, and the re-surging but flimsy Iowa Hawkeyes, yes it is.

Penn State can only blame themselves.

They schedule cupcakes to generate more hype because of the wins. More wins equals more money in college football, so Penn State just keeps the cycle going, not knowing that the Big Ten only invited the Nittany Lions in to the league to help bring back its prestige.

Unknowingly, Penn State obliged, and now is feeling the repercussions.

When Penn State schedules Alabama and Michigan in the same year, or if the add the Georgia Tech's and South Carolina's of the world to the schedule, only then will they regain some respect.

One of these days, a school like Temple is going to march into Penn State and turn Happy Valley upside down.

They say you are what you eat. Well, Penn State is a cupcake compared to the rest of big-time college football because that is the only place where they can get their wins.

Hate it or love it but numbers do not lie.


Check out Pete Dymeck's blog at . Eat Bacon. Talk Sports.


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