Now, how do you feel about Penn State this morning?
If you are a "half-full" person (or Kirk Herbstreit), you give them all the credit in the world for winning in Columbus and stifling the Buckeyes offense.
If you are "half-empty," you are completely unimpressed with the Penn State "HD" offense -- sure, the OSU D is good, but USC didn't seem to have much trouble with it. And as for Penn State's dominating D, perhaps we had overrated Ohio State's "Pryor Offense."
I'm leaning toward half-empty. I think it's time to start the campaign: An unbeaten Penn State won't necessarily be better than a 1-loss Big 12 and a 1-loss SEC champ.
If a Coach or Harris pollster is voting Penn State into the BCS national-title game mainly out of nostalgia for the career of Joe Paterno, it is the
They're either one of the 2 best teams in the country (which I find dubious) or not. Take your feelings for JoePa out of it.
I love the Penn State resurgence story this season. But you shouldn't necessarily put them in the national title game for it. Meanwhile, give them the "Ohio State" award for going unbeaten through a less-than-daunting Big Ten schedule. (This year's Ohio State at least played USC. And lost. But they played 'em.)
Penn State's schedule is fractionally as difficult as the best of the Big 12 or SEC. Look at Texas: The Longhorns will play a harder schedule in any 2 of the past 3 weeks (pick any 2!) -- let alone next week at Texas Tech -- than Penn State's entire season combined.
I'm impressed with Penn State going into a hostile Columbus and coming out with a win, to be sure. But it wasn't entirely impressive.
It won't surprise you, then, what my preliminary BlogPoll Top 10 looks like:
3. Texas Tech
4. Penn State
5. Oklahoma State
I am sure I will flip-flop Penn State and Texas Tech, but I think that winning in Lawrence was almost as impressive as winning in Columbus. (For the doubters about TX Tech's defense, Kansas' offense is much better than Ohio State's.)
Here's the thing: I can leave Texas Tech there this week, because as of next Saturday night, when they host Texas, either they lose and drop out of the Top 10 or win and climb to No. 1. Regardless, Penn State moves back up to No. 3 anyway -- assuming they "survive" yet another "toughie" Big Ten game (at Iowa).
Every other BCS contender has to run through a gauntlet of brutal games. All Penn State had to do was beat an overrated, offensively anemic Ohio State in Columbus -- and they barely did that. Yup: That sure is BCS title-game worthy.
Still more than a month to go in the season, and it's already getting political. Hey, with this system, that's how it should be.