There's nothing sadder than watching your team fail to show up for big games.
OK, so I exaggerate. There are far, far sadder things than that. Like reading the Washington Post comment boards and realizing that most of the people who take time to write on them are reactionary half-wits. Yet still literate. That's sad.
However, in the context of college football, a team with a good record that fails to deliver in the big game is pretty hard to top in the sadness area. And Penn State has delivered that in spades this year, with losses at home to Iowa and Ohio State, the only two decent teams we will play this year (until the bowl game). In both cases, the offense simply didn't show up. The Ohio State game is harder to swallow, because they essentially have one player, and he's not exactly stellar.
But hey, we lost, and have been deservedly kicked to the lower echelons of the top 25 (19 AP, 18 BCS). We should climb up a few spots by beating Indiana and Michigan State, although I can remember a few late season collapses where we went from big bowl contenders to simply bowl bound.
The bright spots on an otherwise disappointing Saturday were that Florida State and Notre Dame lost.
I really don't take much joy anymore in reading the Florida State espn message board, because the people on there are defeated and nasty and would love to kick Bobby Bowden to the curb -- a bunch of ingrates who wouldn't know football and tradition from next week's flavor of the month hot "new" offensive scheme.
The Notre Dame board still provides great amusement, though, because they are still in denial. They still believe that the nation looks to them as a city on the hill, that every coach and every recruit would love to be part of their mid-tier program, and that every team they play treats Notre Dame as "their bowl game" (I suppose since Notre Dame plays mostly losing teams, it might be their bowl game...most of them end up ineligible to play in real bowls). Oh, and before I forget, that Ty Willingham personally and maliciously destroyed Notre Dame football...some posters, like 73Champs, are rather vehement about this charge, calling him "Willingsham" and "Entitlement Thief" and 73Champs has even provided this little "gem" that provides insight into his asininity: "And then based on the color of your skin, bamboozle another un suspecting employer to hire you so you can drive their business into the ground." He usually pulls that one out when he's called out for still backing Charlie Weis, whose record is a full percentage point (yes one point) above Willingham's despite Charlie's having played far worse competition (Willingham played nearly half his games against top25 opponents; Weis has played fewer than a quarter against that caliber of competition...and their records in those games: Willingham, 8-9; Weis, 1-12...the lone Willingham defender on the board, Cardfan, points this out repeatedly and is generally reviled for backing up his argument with numbers. After all, it's much easier to act like Willingham only got hired because he was Black and, according to 73Champs, was fired because he was "lazy").