Can't let it go? Delusional PSU theories you HAVE to hear

Submitted by superstringer on September 25th, 2016 at 2:30 PM

These are from the mouths of a couple ardent PSU fans who relayed to me some of the things other PSU fans talk about.  This is what happens when its You vs. The Rational World.  More proof that truth is stranger than fictio -- you couldn't make up some of these (#2 and #4 in particular), I mean, unless you actually believed them to be true.

1. ITS THE SANCTIONS -- You've all heard this, but it continues to this day.  Why did PSU not have backup linebackers? B/c the sanctions crippled recruiting over the years.  Why does the OL suck?  B/c for years the sanctions deprived them of having full teams for practice.  It's the one excuse that explains everything away, and continues to do so.

2.  COACHING CONSPIRACY -- This one's my favorite.  We all "know" B1G schools have been negatively recruiting PSU.  And coaches who have been most successful at this have been "rewarded" with HC gigs "in PSU's main recruiting territory," to continue that negative recruiting.  The proof:

MSU DC Narduzzi --> PA (Pitt)
OSU DC Ash --> NJ (Rutgers)
UM DC Durken --> MD (UMd)

See?  You can't deny those "facts."  People involved in negatively recruiting PSU for things that aren't PSU's fault (Sandusky, media frenzy, Hackenberg, etc.) are now put in position to further undermine PSU's ability to restock itself.

3.  ITS NOT THE COACHES -- Franklin is a great guy and no one could be expected to do well against the forces against him.  Oh, and Bill O'Brien?  He didn't abandon ship.  Rather, he wants to be HC of the Patriots when Gawd retires, so he wanted to get into the NFL as an HC as soon as he could and prepare himself for that.

4.  IT'S ACTUALLY ALL HACKENBERG'S FAULT -- Kid was a mess between the ears, and because he sold the program to rely on him so much, he single-handedly tanked the program's recovery.  Had the kid been good, we wouldn't be here talking about the demise of PSU.  They'd have been winning, getting top recruits as a result, etc.

5.   IT'S THE MEDIA'S FAULT.  The media LOVES tearing down successful programs.  They's rather that USC, PSU, etc. all suck than be successful.  (Of course if you take this logic to the extreme... then the media would prefer that all the blue bloods suck, and the national championship be decided between Boise St., Northern Illinois, Connecticutt and Purdue.)

Dudes and dudettes, when you have this much blame to go around ... of course PSU fans can feel victimized by everyone else.



September 25th, 2016 at 2:38 PM ^

PSU is exactly where we were with Hoke, right down to the denial and irrational support from fans (guilty, your honor). They'll come to this realization eventually. We know because we've lived it once before.


September 25th, 2016 at 2:52 PM ^

I think it was pretty clear he meant Franklin vs. Hoke, not Paterno vs. Hoke. 


James Franklin is the most similar coach to Brady Hoke I've ever seen. Strong recruiter, horrible in game coach, praised for being liked by his players/pushing academics, but sounds stupid in press conferences. Had a few successful, yet kind of flukey, seasons at small programs before being hired, but mostly meh ones. Stepped into a Blue Blood program after they had been down, but failed to actually improve anything. 

They are HC twins. 


September 25th, 2016 at 3:07 PM ^

hoke had the full 85 scholly limit franklin did not, till last year and as far as i know the BIG only allows 27 signee's a year and 6 early enrollee's. plus psu will have the sandusky black eye forever. don't get me wrong i think franklin is a mac coach at best. but in no way can you compare only being allowed to have 70 scholarshipped athletes to having a bad coach that recruited well. this is the year that you would feel the ramifications the most from the sanctions imo.

New Kid

September 25th, 2016 at 4:22 PM ^

You think Brady Hoke winning for a little bit with RichRod's players makes him better than a guy trying to get a program buried under sanctions back to national relevance? You can attribute almost all of PSU's on field issues to scholarship limits; you can coach as well as you can but it doesn't matter when you don't have an offensive line or linebackers.

snarling wolverine

September 25th, 2016 at 4:42 PM ^

You can attribute almost all of PSU's on field issues to scholarship limits;


PSU has a full 85-man complement of scholarships.  Franklin has brought in three recruiting classes, of 26, 25 and 20 players, respectively.  Their senior class is a little small (12) but that's it.  

Michigan has not one but two small classes - the current junior (14) and sophomore (16) classes.  Next year they'll be our upperclassmen, and yet, I bet we won't totally suck like PSU does now.

Their primary problem is that their coach is terrible.  



September 25th, 2016 at 4:30 PM ^

Hoke and Mattison both have good track records as DL coaches.  It doesn't have to be an either/or thing.  Hoke shared DL duties with Mattison in 1995 and '96, and coached our DL alone from 1997-02.

Saying that Hoke was/is a good DL coach doesn't mean he's a good DC.  He might be bad, although Oregon's defense has been terrible for a few years, so I don't know how much of a reclamation project that was.


September 26th, 2016 at 3:44 PM ^

"I will not hire an assistant coach until I've seen his wife."

I can't imagine those words coming out of Brady Hoke's mouth. Or imagine Hoke personally involving himself in the selection of program hostesses, or "reaching out" to one of the hostesses he'd selected in the aftermath of her alleged sexual assault by one of his players.

Bringing in James Franklin in the Sandusky aftermath was the worst hire in the history of hiring. They'll probably go after Art Briles next.


September 25th, 2016 at 2:38 PM ^

Here's a novel concept: It's JoePa's fault. End of story. Penn St needs to admit it and begin to move on. Worshiping a guy who enabled a pedophile does not win you any friends. Anywhere.

Gentleman Squirrels

September 25th, 2016 at 2:49 PM ^

It's Sandusky's fault for his heinous actions. It's JoePa's fault for condoning it and not reporting it. It's the administration's fault for not doing anything about it. The problem wasn't one person. An entire system and its people were at fault. Now though? Now, it's the fans fault for continuing to glorify a person that they know is wrong. I don't care how much of a positive impact JoePa had on his players. That doesn't erase the magnitude of the mistake he made and the lives that were ruined. 


September 25th, 2016 at 2:39 PM ^

I don't know about you guys but I certainly agree with all of their points, which is why I strongly support a contract extension for James Franklin at PSU.


Chitown Kev

September 25th, 2016 at 2:49 PM ^

If Penn State had not been in the B10, then maybe they keep talent like Mke Hart, Terelle Pryor, and Chad Henne out of the hands of their biggest B10 rivals (to say nothing of the NJ pipelinfe that Michigan opened up).

So I would agree to the extent that Penn State ccoming into the B10 ultimately is the reason they haven't be and wil never be the power they have been...

Just so, Nebraska will never be the power that they were in the Big 12....but the Big 12 is a more complicated situation...but Nebraska had access to the Texas pipeline and they no longer do.

I go for that one because I hate for a good conspiracy theory to go to waste


September 25th, 2016 at 2:55 PM ^

Except Nebraska never recruited Texas that hard. They were only playing Texas teams in the Big XII from 1994 to 2010 when they left. They used to get alot of guys out of California and Florida which is what happened. Plus a lot of the high schools in Nebraska used to run Osbourne's triple option so they had a bunch of walkons not counting against their scholarship limit.


September 26th, 2016 at 3:22 PM ^

had one player from Texas. The top states were Nebraska (34), California (11), Michigan (6) and Illinois (5); 64 of 88 were from what's now the Big Ten if you include the Dakotas. The first team All-Americans on the team were Larry Jacobson (South Dakota), Rich Glover (New Jersey), Willie Harper (Ohio), Johnny Rogers and Jeff Kinney (Nebraska), Jerry Tagge (Wisconsin)--all (extended) B1G footprint.


Steve in PA

September 25th, 2016 at 3:24 PM ^

"So I would agree to the extent that Penn State ccoming into the B10 ultimately is the reason they haven't be and wil never be the power they have been..."

Back during their heyday as an independent PSU got to pick their own refs.  It wasn't a big secret that if they didn't like someone they weren't invited or weren't invited back.  The closest I can think of is the refs at ND who regularly made what seemed to be awful calls from the outside.

Look back to the season Alabama thrashed them.  The refs gave ND wins vs Stanford and Pitt.  Those are type of seasons that regularly happened in Happy Valley until joining the B10.  IMHO, independent PSU=independent ND.

Chitown Kev

September 25th, 2016 at 9:10 PM ^

with the inclusion of Penn State (which is really where they belonged in the first place) is another interesting question...

The conference would still be a basketball powerhouse and then adding Penn State to Miami, Va. Tech, Pitt, and Syracuse...natural rivalries all over the place...who knows whether the Big East would be around and quite forminable if Penn State had joined.

EDIT: Must include the counter-argument…


September 25th, 2016 at 10:06 PM ^

Most of you have probably never heard of Stan Ikenberry.  But more than anyone else ---- he is the man most responsible for PSU's invitation to the Big Ten.  He was the Illinois President in 1989 and had previously been in an administrative position at Penn State.  Because of such, he had a strong personal relationship with then-PSU President Bryce Jordan.

The first expansion conversations occurred between Ikenberry and Jordan --- Ikenberry took the idea to the Big Ten's "Council of Ten" (10 B1G Presidents), and then things went from there.

Jordan has been quoted several times as saying the thing he was most proud of during his tenure as PSU President was (paraphrasing) "bringing PSU into the nation's premiere academic and athletic conference."  That was his legacy.  Well, that, and having his name on a 80% empty basketball arena.

Personal relationships and legacy-building matter.  And even if PSU had joined the Big East, Jordan would have been approached.  And Jordan would have listened.  I do think that PSU to the Big Ten was likely inevitable regardless of what did/did not transpire with the Big East in the 1980s.


September 26th, 2016 at 1:47 PM ^

They also played a schedule based around the other eastern independents. And while Pitt, Syracuse, WVU and BC all had good stretches in those years, they were all inferior to the Michigans and Ohio States of the world at the end of the day. 

Monkey House

September 25th, 2016 at 2:49 PM ^

I'm friends with a former psu lineman, yesterday he posted on Facebook the score was ugly but our kicker wrecked a guy. that was honestly his highlight only thing he said.