Pardon me while I spit out the blue Kool-Aid I was drinking, believing that Penn State was actually a really good team.
Thanks to Ohio State for revealing the truth in Saturday's 24-7 win.
The truth is?
Mirror photo by Patrick Waksmunski
Joe Paterno yells at an official Saturday night, along with assistant coaches Mike McQueary (left) and Tom Bradley.
The Nittany Lions continue to pad their record against mediocre and bad teams, complain about not getting enough respect and then lose big game after big game.
It's quite a smoke-and-mirror show Joe Paterno has going on in Happy Valley.
Penn State is 8-2. The combined record of the teams it has beaten is 38-37.
The only victories over Division I-A teams with a winning record have been Temple (7-2) and Northwestern (6-4). Another win was against I-AA Eastern Illinois (7-2).
Penn State has won a total of two big games since its resurgence in 2005. The Lions beat Ohio State at home in '05 and won in Columbus last season.
And please, spare me any talk about the Orange Bowl against Florida State in '06, the Outback Bowl against Tennessee in '07, the blowout at Wisconsin last year or the win at Michigan two weeks ago as being big games. Those were decent wins at best.
When the Lions play very good teams, two things always seem to happen:
1. They get outcoached
2. Their offensive execution is terrible
The players and coaches get overconfident after beating up on lousy opponents, then they are not prepared to play when they face superb competition.
The strong defense can't do everything, particularly when the special teams play continues to be embarrassing and the quarterback once again proves he can't get the job done in a big game.
I am a Daryll Clark fan. I admit that. The young man has enjoyed a nice career, setting school records and compiling an impressive 19-4 mark. But even he knows how damaging Saturday's poor performance (12-of-28, 125 yards, one interception) will be to his legacy.
"The numbers will show that I wasn't able to win the big game or whatnot, so that's probably something that will probably hang over my head," Clark said.
Paterno griped at a reporter last week when asked a very benign question about what kind of adjustments Clark had made since the loss to Iowa in week four.
"I resent that question, to be frank with you," said JoePa, assuming the question's undertone was blaming the loss on Clark.
It's great to stick up for your quarterback, but let's cut to the chase here. Clark's position coach is Paterno's son, so one always has to wonder if the coach's true motivation in talking up his quarterback is actually a ploy to win support for Jay Paterno.
Many, many people will disagree, but I believe JayPa has done a very good job with Clark, who came to PSU with raw skills and has developed quite nicely.
The bigger issue is the offense in general. It lacks creativity, can't seem to make adjustments against good defenses and - the worst problem - has no clue how to develop quality linemen consistently.
Paterno will show up to his press conference Tuesday insisting that everything is fine and that his players will bounce back this week. Of course they'll bounce back; they're playing a weak Indiana team.
It's too late for bouncing back, though. This season is already a failure.
When you're ranked No. 4 in the country at one point and don't even show up in two huge home games, failure is the only way to describe what's happened.
Cory Giger can be reached at 949-7031 and firstname.lastname@example.org.