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PSU-Indiana pregame stretch...

November 19, 2010 - Ray Eckenrode

Success! Success?

Cory Giger asked the question this week: If Penn State beats Indiana and Michigan State, would you consider this season successful?

Our first answer was "Yes!!!!!!!" but then we got to thinking about the context of that answer. Penn State is obviously young. The older players they have are mostly average college players at best. The overall talent level of the team, especially the defense, is as low as we've seen it since probably 2003. So, in that context, an 8-4 season is successful.

It’s all the factors that resulted in that depleted talent pool that aren't acceptable. Recruiting and stockpiling talent is a big part of winning on the college level and that's where Penn State has fallen short for most of the past decade.

Is there a draft in here?

And speaking of depleted talent pools, Giges put together a list this week of who he thinks are the team's top eight pro prospects.

Giger story:

We think that's a pretty accurate list and agree that Evan Royster is probably a fourth- or fifth-rounder right now, although he could still help himself at the combine. He'd be a good, solid addition to a West Coast offense, but we'll see whether he has the desire to do so.

Anthony Fera has been terrible situationally this year, but he's certainly a pro prospect with a couple years to develop that leg and ability to punt and kick off.

As with all draft-related speculating: Who really knows? Aaron Maybin can't get on the field for worst defense in NFL and Derek Wake is a star

Best of the worst?

Deadspin this week responded to the NFL Network's "Top 100 Greatest NFL Players" (how a national network allowed such a redundant title to see the light of day we'll never know) with a list of the 100 worst NFL players of all time. Penn State placed three players in the top, er, bottom 50: Aaron Maybin at No. 44; Kenny Jackson at No. 23 and Michael Haynes at No. 16.

Penn State week in Twitter

We cyberstalk the Nittany Lions so you don’t have to:

> Silas Redd is very sorry about peeing in public and he’ll try to focus on being a better person moving forward.

> Rob Bolden enjoys the sauna.

> Matt McGloin says he’s not looking past Indiana.

> Many of the Penn State players are listening to the new album from Kanye West and reading Jay Z’s new book.

The pick

Once again, we think the spirit of our pick last week was right on the button, even if the point spread wasn't. (Hi, I'd like to collect on the spirit of my Penn State +18.5 wager....) Unfortunately, we think this game is going to be a lot closer than many think because Indiana is due to get some breaks after last week's everything-that-can-go-wrong outing and Penn State's defense can give up 30+ to anyone on any given day, especially without Michael Mauti. We hope the PSU offensive game plan calls for a ton of Evan Royster, Silas Redd and maybe even Stephfon Green to chew up yards and the clock. Even if Matt McGloin might light up the Hoosiers, do you really want to get into a shootout with your defense if you're PSU? We don't ... Penn State (-10.5) 35, Indiana 24.

Prediction record

Last week: Penn State +18.5 INCORRECT

Season straight up: 5-5, .500

Season vs. spread: 3-6, .333

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