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PSU fans not getting their money's worth with another lousy home opponent
September 23, 2011 - Cory Giger
Looking ahead at Penn State's game Saturday:
Eastern Michigan's last winning season came in 1995, when current Steelers quarterback Charlie Batch was running the offense. The Eagles went 2-10 last year and 0-12 in 2009. They have a 2-1 record, but both wins were against I-AA opponents (Howard and Alabama State).
There's no other way to say it: This is a terrible opponent, as evidenced by the 28 1/2-point spread.
Most major programs play one dog opponent like this per year, but this is two already for Penn State in the first month of the season. Yes, Alabama was a great visiting opponent, but the Nittany Lions' other two home foes so far are about as bad as it gets.
The opener against I-AA bottom feeder Indiana State drew 96,461 fans, the smallest crowd at Beaver Stadium since it expanded above 100,000 seats in 2001. Saturday's crowd could be even smaller since it's not an opener and there's already a strong sense of disappointment swirling around the program with the 'Bama loss and struggles last week against Temple.
Penn State can't have it both ways. It can't charge fans significantly more money with the new STEP program so it can pay all of its athletic bills, only to turn around and fail to give the fans a quality product on the field by scheduling the likes of Indiana State and Eastern Michigan so close together.