Even though it might not come across that way over the past month as I have attempted to discount Penn State's legitimacy as a national-title contender, I'm actually quite partial to this team.
I totally buy into the "aw-isn't-it-nice-to-see-the-old-man-succeeding" nostalgia (if not enough to corrupt the national-title process for it). I love Derrick Williams, who may be Percy Harvin and Jeremy Maclin's equal as one of the most exciting and valuable all-purpose players in the country. Of course I love the way they went into Columbus and beat Ohio State. And I love the idea of Penn State -- and Joe Paterno -- in the Rose Bowl, ideally against USC, in a classic match-up that wouldn't look out of place in the late 1970s.
What yesterday's Penn State loss did was free up those of us with a personal stake in the national-title debate to go back to rooting for Penn State again -- to appreciating the dream season that the team, the fans and Joe Paterno are having this season.
The whole BCS debate thing was distracting -- taking away -- from an otherwise amazing year from Penn State. Now we can fully enjoy it.