Stewart Mandel, I am working off of your idea here.
The reality of it is, Penn State's loss was not a bad thing.
Stand back, all you Penn State fans, and all you Big Ten fans: This loss was the best thing that could have happened to PSU and the Big Ten.
We all know the Big Ten has been relatively mediocre for the past three years, including subpar bowl records, and a 0-4 mark in BCS games for the past two. Let us face it.
No one wants to see us there. It hurts for me to say this, but Penn State, through no fault of their own, cannot break that Big Ten Title game stigma.
In order to begin to heal that Big Ten stigma, it will take laying low in the title game. And, winning our non-conference bowl games will be great.
If Penn State could beat USC in the Rose Bowl, assuming both teams find their way there, it would do wonders towards healing the Big Ten.
But of course, USC plays in the only conference more putrid than the Big Ten this year—the Pac-10. So, everyone will say Penn State beat nobody again.
But we all know just the fact that they have the letters U, S, and C, in that order automatically makes them credible to be a one-loss championship caliber team.
But the fact that a one-loss USC team is somehow more credible than a one-loss PSU team, despite the fact that PSU beat both teams that both PSU and USC faced. (Oregon St, Ohio St.) But I digress.
You see how hard the Big Ten healing will be? And it can start taking the right steps with no Big Ten team in the title game.