New York Jets 2021 Draft Targets: Micah Parsons

Micah Parsons

Despite the enjoyment of August baseball, it’s never too soon to talk about the next NFL Draft. The New York Jets will certainly need to prep for this upcoming draft, as they’ll now have two first-round selections following the Jamal Adams trade. Judging by the state of the league, it also stands as a very real possibility that the Jets are drafting near the top of the order. So, I wanted to begin highlighting a couple of targets for the Jets in the 2021 draft.

Who is Micah Parsons?

Micah Parsons has been a member of the Penn State Nittany Lions since 2018. From Harrisburg High School, Parsons was a highly-touted athlete in his recruiting class. As he’s transitioned over the past two seasons to college football, he found his niche as a new age linebacker. Similar to Isaiah Simmons in last year’s class, Micah can do it all.

He’s a tackling machine, a threat in the box, and brings solid coverage abilities to the table. Personally, I firmly believed that with a strong season in 2020-21 he could have been a candidate as a top 5 pick. Instead, Micah chose to opt-out for the greater good of his child and the rest of his family. So, Micah will now turn his attentions to training for the NFL Draft, where he will still be picked early with solid combine and pro day showings.

Just How Good Is Micah?

Micah has been an absolute beast since showing up to University Park. In his freshman year, Micah put up pretty solid numbers with 82 tackles, 4.0 TFLs, 1.5 sacks, and 2 Forced Fumbles. Micah’s biggest gain from that season was his experience on the field and the knowledge he gained on how to develop further as a linebacker who can do it all. Then, last season, he EXPLODED.

Micah had 109 tackles, 14 TFLs, 5 sacks, 4 Forced Fumbles, and 2 Fumble Recoveries. He finished 3rd in the Big Ten in tackles, 6th in Solo tackles, 2nd in assists and 10th in TFLs. He was highly regarded, but his performance in the Cotton Bowl launched him to superstardom. Parsons ended up with a stat line of 14 tackles, 2.0 sacks, 3 TFLs, and 2 forced fumbles. Parsons blew the college football world away and has already solidified himself as a future star in the NFL.

How Micah Could Fit With The Jets

Micah Parsons is the kind of player who could be the captain of the defense for the next 15 years. As a linebacker hybrid, he would add a similar value to what Jamal Adams brought to the team. Micah would be a building block as a leader for the long term. It would also make the possibility of moving C.J. Mosley a lot more feasible. The Jets would be able to free a load of cap and have a future leader with the Parsons move.

Obviously, a lot of things would need to fall the right way for Micah to be wearing the Green and White, but hypothetically, he could make sense in the organization. My only worry with any future defensive piece is he may overplay his contract worth, and the team may continue to flounder, and the Jets would have another Jamal situation on their hands.

Penn State Gets New ST Coordinator and QB, Planned Facility Upgrade

It’s a decent week to be a fan of the Penn State Nittany Lions. There’s been a flurry of news this week around the team, even though it’s still the offseason and no actual team activities have started just yet, and that news ranges from recruiting updates to news about one of the team’s main facilities. Perhaps the most notable recent news, though, is that the team has filled one of the main vacancies on their staff going into next season.

Special Teams Coordinator Phil Galiano made the move to the NFL and joined the New Orleans Saints staff as an assistant, leaving Penn State with an opening at the position. That opening has been filled by Joe Lorig, who previously coached at Memphis and had the same position before moving to Texas Tech and then moving up to Penn State before settling into the new job.

With Memphis not giving up a special teams touchdown under Lorig during his few years with the program, it seems like Penn State is getting a good addition to fill out their staff.

Another noteworthy piece of news is that the team has a new quarterback joining their 2020 class. Micah Bowens, who plays for well-known high school program Bishop Gorman, committed on Tuesday. Bowens is ranked as the 4th best recruit in Nevada and the 23rd best dual threat quarterback in the class overall, and also has offers from Arizona and BYU.

Bowens has showed off his skills on the ground plenty so far in high school, and this looks like a continuation of the trend of Penn State recruiting mobile quarterbacks.

Finally, it’s worth noting that the team’s main training facility, the Lasch Building, is scheduled for renovations worth $1.5M after a large donation from alum John Leone, who recently gave $6.5M to the school in total. Of course, the building has been renovated before in the past, but in a conference like the Big Ten, it never hurts to do more and keep up with high quality competition such as Ohio State and Michigan.

Penn State upsets Michigan, Illinois continues strong play: Big Ten Week in Review (2/12-2/17)

This week in Big Ten basketball, Penn State finally pieced it altogether and pulled off a major upset at home over Michigan, and Illinois has now won five of their last six, including wins over two ranked opponents. Joe Wisekamp also hit a huge buzzer-beater to lift Iowa over Rutgers. Let’s get into the games!

Game Scores & Mini-recaps:

6 Michigan vs. Penn State: Penn State 75, Michigan 69

Penn State built a 13 point halftime lead and fought off a late rally in an upset win over Michigan. Michigan shot 5 percent better than Penn State from the field, but Penn State drew 21 total fouls. Lamar Stevens led Penn State with 26 points and 12 rebounds. Charles Matthews had 24 for the Wolverines.

11 Michigan State vs. 20 Wisconsin: Michigan State 67, Wisconsin 59

Michigan State shot 41 percent from three and picked up another solid conference win over Wisconsin. Cassius Winston had 23 points, six rebounds, and six assists. Kenny Goins and Nick Ward were also in double-figures, and Ethan Happ led Wisconsin with 20 points and 12 rebounds.

12 Purdue vs. 24 Maryland: Maryland 70, Purdue 56

Maryland held the number 12 team in the nation to just 56 points as they picked up another big win. Purdue got 24 points from Carsen Edwards in the loss, but shot a poor 8-of-27. Five Terrapins were in double figures, including Bruno Fernando who had a 12 point, 12 rebound double-double.

Rutgers vs. Northwestern: Rutgers 59, Northwestern 56

Geo Baker and Montez Mathis each had 12 points to lead Rutgers to a home win over Northwestern. Eugene Omoruyi added 11 points and seven rebounds. Vic Law had 17 points, and A.J. Turner had 11 points for Northwestern.

Minnesota vs. Nebraska: Nebraska 62, Minnesota 61

James Palmer Jr. hit two free-throws with a second left as Nebraska survived at home against Minnesota. Palmer Jr. had 24 points on the night, and Glynn Watson Jr. had 19 points. Jordan Murphy led Minnesota with 19 points and 13 rebounds, and Daniel Oturu had 16.

Illinois vs. Ohio State: Illinois 63, Ohio State 56

Ohio State was held to just 36 percent shooting at home as Illinois came into town to stun the Buckeyes and continue their strong play. Trent Frazier and Ayo Dosunmu each had 15 points, and Giorgi Bezhanishvilli had 13 points and seven rebounds. C.J. Jackson had 17 points for Ohio State, and the Wessons combined for 21 points and 10 rebounds.

24 Maryland vs. 6 Michigan: Michigan 65, Maryland 52

Despite Cassius Winston being out, Michigan still played well and got a win over a ranked Maryland team at home. Ignas Brazdeikas, Charles Matthews, and Zavier Simpson all were in double-figures for the Wolverines. Aaron Wiggins led Maryland with 15 points and six boards off of the bench.

Penn State vs. 12 Purdue: Purdue 76, Penn State 64

Purdue bounced back from their poor shooting night last game to shoot 52 percent and get a win over Penn State. Carsen Edwards had 21 points to pace Purdue, and Matt Haarms had 18 points and six rebounds. Lamar Stevens had 18 points and Rasir Bolton had 17 points for the Nittany Lions.

21 Iowa vs. Rutgers: Iowa 71, Rutgers 69

Joe Wisekamp hit an improbable baseline three-pointer off of the glass at the buzzer as Iowa stunned Rutgers in New Jersey. Jordan Bohannon led Iowa with 18 points and five assists, Isaiah Moss had 17, and Tyler Cook had 12 points and seven rebounds. Ron Harper Jr. had 16 for Rutgers, and Eugene Omoruyi had 10 points and 11 boards.

Indiana vs. Minnesota: Minnesota 84, Indiana 63

Jordan Murphy had a huge 23 point, 11 rebound double-double as Minnesota blew out Indiana at home. Gabe Kalscheur also had 20 points, While Aaron Coffey had 18 points, seven assists, and six rebounds. Juwan Morgan led Indiana with 14 points and eight rebounds.

Northwestern vs. Nebraska: Nebraska 59, Northwestern 50

Isaiah Roby had 19 points and 16 rebounds, along with five blocks to pace Nebraska in a win over Nebraska. James Palmer Jr. and Glynn Watson Jr. were also in double figures for the winners. Vic Law had 15 points and Derek Pardon had 13 points and 12 rebounds.

Ohio State vs. 11 Michigan State: Michigan State 62, Ohio State 54

Ohio State was held to just 32 percent shooting on the road as they were blown out by Michigan State. Matt McQuaid had 14 points, and Cassius Winston had 13 points and eight assists for the Spartans. Kaleb Wesson led the Buckeyes with 12 points and nine rebounds.

Standings & Rankings:

7 Michigan, 23-3 (12-3)

10 Michigan State, 21-5 (12-3)

15 Purdue, 18-7 (11-3)

24 Maryland, 19-7 (10-5)

21 Iowa, 20-5 (9-5)

22 Wisconsin, 17-8 (9-5)

Minnesota, 17-9 (7-8)

Ohio State, 16-9 (6-8)

Illinois, 10-15 (6-8)

Nebraska, 15-11 (5-10)

Rutgers, 12-13 (5-10)

Indiana, 13-12 (4-10)

Northwestern, 12-13 (3-11)

Penn State, 9-16 (2-12)

 

 

 

 

Illinois upsets Michigan State: Big Ten week in review (2/4-2/10)

Illinois pulled off a crazy upset over Michigan St. this week, and Iowa’s Jordan Bohannon hit a crazy buzzer-beater in a win over Northwestern to lead the story-lines of the week. Let’s get into the games!

Scores & Mini-recaps

Penn State vs. Northwestern: Penn State 59, Northwestern 52

Penn State’s 18 points from Lamar Stevens and 14 points from Rasir Bolton off the bench was enough for Penn State to pick up their first conference win. Penn State shot just 38 percent, but limited Northwestern to just 32 percent. Derek Pardon had 18 points and 10 rebounds and Vic Law had 10 points and 10 rebounds for Northwestern.

7 Michigan vs. Rutgers: Michigan 77, Rutgers 65

Ignas Brazdeikis led Michigan with 23 points as the Wolverines were able to pick up a road win at Rutgers. Jon Teske and Jordan Poole combined for 22 points but shot a poor 8-for-23 together. Eugene Omoruyi had 21 points and Montez Mathis had 12 points for Rutgers.

9 Michigan St. vs. Illinois: Illinois 79, Michigan St. 74

Illinois pulled the upset of the week with a big home win over Michigan State. Ayo Dosunmu had 24 points, Giorgi Bezhanishvilli had 16, and Trent Frazier had 15 for the winners. Cassius Winston had another big night for Michigan St., finishing with 21 points and nine assists.

19 Wisconsin vs. Minnesota: Wisconsin 56, Minnesota 51

Ethan Happ had a 15 point, 13 rebound double-double to lead Wisconsin to a road victory over Minnesota. Brad Davidson added 10 points, and Nate Reuvers had nine rebounds and seven blocks for Wisconsin. Jordan Murphy had a huge 16 point, 19 rebound performance for the losers.

24 Maryland vs. Nebraska: Maryland 60, Nebraska 45

Jalen Smith and Bruno Fernando both had double-doubles to power Maryland past Nebraska. Maryland shot the ball 38 percent, but held Nebraska to an extremely poor 21 percent, including 0-for-10 shooting from Glynn Watson Jr. for Nebraska. Isaiah Roby 20 points and 1 rebounds to lead the Cornhuskers.

20 Iowa vs. Indiana: Iowa 77, Indiana 72

Jordan Bohannon and Tyler Cook combined for 46 points for Iowa in their win over Indiana. Iowa made 10 threes and 13 free-throws on the night. Romeo Langford had 22 points and five rebounds for Indiana, and Juwan Morgan added 17.

Penn State vs. Ohio State: Ohio State 74, Penn State 70

Ohio State’s 50 percent shooting helped power them to a win over the feisty Penn State Nittany Lions. Luther Muhammad had 20 points, and Andre Wesson had 15 points and 10 boards for the Buckeyes. Lamar Stevens and Josh Reaves each had 20 for Penn State,.

19 Wisconsin vs. 7 Michigan: Michigan 61, Wisconsin 52

Charles Matthews had 18 points, and Jon Teske had 17 points and 12 rebounds to lead the Wolverines over the Badgers. Michigan shot 45 percent while limiting themselves to just five turnovers.  Ethan Happ had 18 points and 11 rebounds to pace Wisconsin.

Minnesota vs. 9 Michigan State: Michigan St. 79, Minnesota 55

Michigan State finally broke out of their three game losing streak with a blowout win over the sliding Minnesota Golden Gophers. nick Ward had 22 points and nine rebounds and Cassius Winston had 11 points and nine assists. Matt McQuaid added 18 points, and eight more assists, as Michigan State thrives off the catch-and-shoot. Gabe Kalscheur had 17 points for Minnesota.

Nebraska vs. 15 Purdue: Purdue 81, Nebraska 62

Carsen Edwards dropped 27 points as Purdue blew out Nebraska at home. Grady Eifert had 16 points, and Nojel Eastern had 12 points and 10 rebounds. Thomas Allen led Nebraska with 18 points off the bench, and Nebraska shot just 38 percent on the night.

Rutgers vs. Illinois: Illinois 99, Rutgers 94 (OT)

Giorgi Bezhanishvilli exploded for 35 points, as Illinois took down Rutgers at home in overtime. Four total players would reach double figures for Illinois, who shot the ball 50 percent. Caleb McConnell had a big night for Rutgers with 25 points and nine rebounds off the bench.

Northwestern vs. 20 Iowa: Iowa 80, Northwestern 79

Iowa was down 15 points with 4:30 left, but Iowa fought back and won the game thanks to a Jordan Bohannon buzzer-beater. He had 15 points, but Joe Wieskamp led with 21 points while Tyler cook had 19 points and 11 rebounds. Vic Law led Northwestern with 24 points and 10 boards.

Ohio State vs. Indiana: Ohio State 55, Indiana 52

Indiana couldn’t convert in the final seconds to send the game into overtime, as Ohio State snuck away from Bloomington with a 55-52 win. The Wesson brothers combined for 25 of Ohio State’s 55 points, as the team shot 44 percent. Romeo Langford had 15 points for Indiana, while Juwan Morgan was held in-check with just three points, but still managed to haul-in 14 boards.

Standings & Rankings

6 Michigan, 22-2 (11-2)

12 Purdue, 17-6 (10-2)

11 Michigan St., 19-5 (10-3)

20 Wisconsin, 17-7 (9-4)

24 Maryland, 18-6 (9-4)

21 Iowa, 19-5 (8-5)

Ohio State, 16-7 (6-6)

Minnesota, 16-8 (6-7)

Illinois, 9-15 (5-8)

Indiana, 13-11 (4-9)

Rutgers, 11-12 (4-9)

Northwestern, 12-11 (3-9)

Nebraska, 13-11 (3-10)

Penn State, 8-15 (1-11)

 

Iowa and Indiana pull major upsets: Big Ten basketball week in review (1/29-2/3)

Another fun week of Big Ten hoops is led by Iowa dominating Michigan, Indiana upsetting Michigan St., and Wisconsin with two big wins. Six teams hit the Top 25 this week! There were 12 games, so let’s dive into it!

Results & Mini-Recaps

Ohio St. vs. 5 Michigan: Michigan 65, Ohio State 49

Zavier Simpson’s triple-double with 11 points, 12 assists, and 10 rebounds helped Michigan cruise past Ohio State. Four different Michigan players got into double-figures, including 12 points off the bench for sophomore Isaiah Livers. Kaleb Wesson led Ohio State with 12 points, seven rebounds, and three blocks.

Northwestern vs. 21 Maryland: Maryland 70, Northwestern 52

Bruno Fernando’s 22 points and 10 rebounds helped lead Maryland to a convincing win over Northwestern. Maryland held Northwestern to just 31 percent from the field. Jalen Smith had 14 points and nine rebounds to support Fernando. Anthony Gaines had 18 points and seven rebounds to lead Northwestern.

24 Wisconsin vs. Nebraska: Wisconsin 62, Nebraska 51

Wisconsin held Nebraska to just 28 percent from the field to beat Nebraska, despite being out-rebounded. Three Wisconsin Badgers were in double figures, including Ethan Happ who also had nine rebounds. Isaiah Roby had 18 points and nine rebounds to lead Nebraska.

Indiana vs. Rutgers: Rutgers 66, Indiana 58

Rutgers strong effort on the boards helped them beat the struggling Indiana Hoosiers. Three Scarlet Knights were in double-figures, and they held Indiana to just 35 percent shooting. Romeo Langford led Indiana with 20 points and six rebounds in the loss.

Illinois vs. Minnesota: Minnesota 86, Illinois 75

Five Minnesota players were in double-figures as they beat Illinois by 11. Minnesota shot a strong 50 percent in the win, compared to 45 percent from Illinois. Trent Frazier had a huge 30 point performance for Illinois in the loss, and two Fighting Illini were in double-figures off of the bench.

17 Purdue vs. Penn St.: Purdue 99, Penn St. 90 (OT)

Purdue shot the lights out at 55 percent, and survived the last-place Penn State in overtime. Conference scoring leader Carsen Edwards exploded for 38 points, and teammate Ryan Cline added 20. Lamar Stevens had 24 points for Penn State, and the Nittany Lions hit 30 free-throws to counter their poor 39 percent shooting.

5 Michigan vs. Iowa: Iowa 74, Michigan 59

Iowa jumped out to a 13 point halftime lead on their home floor and used that to knock off the number five team in the country. Luke Garza and Joe Wieskamp had 19 and 16 points, respectively for the winners. Iowa held Michigan to just 32 percent from the field. Three Wolverines made it into double-figures.

21 Maryland vs. 24 Wisconsin: Wisconsin 69, Maryland 61

Wisconsin used a dominating second half after trailing at halftime to beat Maryland at home. Brad Davidson had 21 points for Wisconsin, and Ethan Happ had an 18 point, 11 rebound double-double as well. Bruno Fernando had a double-double to lead the Terrapins.

Indiana vs. 6 Michigan St.: Indiana 79. Michigan St. 75 (OT)

Despite losing Juwan Morgan in the first half to a shoulder injury, Indiana ended their skid with a huge road upset over Michigan St. Romeo Langford led the winners with 19 points, and Justin Smith had 13 points and 10 rebounds with the game-sealing block. Cassius Winston had a huge night for the Spartans with 26 points, eight rebounds, and eight assists.

Rutgers vs. Ohio State: Ohio State 76, Rutgers 62

Ohio State shot the ball 53 percent to lead to a victory over Rutgers. Kaleb Wesson had 27 points and five assists, and C.J. Jackson had 20 points and seven rebounds. Despite the win, they trailed -11 in the rebound margin.  Eugene Omoruyi had 19 points, eight rebounds, and six rebounds for Rutgers in the loss.

Nebraska vs. Illinois: Illinois 71, Nebraska 64

Illinois balanced scoring and strong defense led them to a win over Nebraska. Kipper Nichols had 18 points off the bench, while Illinois held Nebraska to just 36 percent from the field. James Palmer Jr. had 22 points and eight rebounds for Nebraska, and Tanner Borchardt had 12 points and 18 rebounds.

Minnesota vs. 17 Purdue: Purdue 73, Minnesota 63

Purdue had five players in double-figures and shot the ball 48 percent in a win over Minnesota. Carsen Edwards led Purdue with 17 points, five rebounds, and five assists, and Nojel Eastern had 11 points, six rebounds, four assists, and two steals in an all-around effort. Amir Coffey had 22 points for Minnesota, and Daniel Oturu had 19 points and nine rebounds off of the bench.

Standings & Rankings

7 Michigan, 20-2 (9-2 )

9 Michigan St., 18-4 (9-2)

15 Purdue, 16-6 (9-2)

19 Wisconsin, 16-6 (8-3)

24 Maryland, 17-6 (8-4)

20 Iowa, 17-5 (6-5)

Minnesota, 16-6 (6-5)

Ohio State, 14-7 (4-6)

Rutgers, 11-10 (4-7)

Indiana, 13-9 (4-7)

Northwestern, 12-9 (3-7)

Nebraska, 13-9 (3-8)

Illinois, 7-15 (3-8)

Penn St., 7-14 (0-10)

New York Giants: Saquon Barkley Wins 2018 Pepsi Rookie Of The Year

New York Giants, Saquon Barkley

After already winning the PFWA Offensive Rookie of the Year award, New York Giants’ running back Saquon Barkley has added another trophy to his collection. Fans across the country voted for the Pepsi Rookie Of The Year, and the Giants’ rookie won the voting. Saquon beat out other great talents, such as Baker Mayfield, Nick Chubb, Darius Leonard, and Phillip Lindsay.

It should come as no surprise the Saquon won this award. Barkley was the third running back in NFL history to total 2,000 scrimmage yards as a rookie. With this feat, the rookie from Penn State joined the elite company of Eric Dickerson and Edgerrin James.

Barkley proved to be well worth the 2nd overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. Along with his league leading 2,028 yards from scrimmage, Saquon scored 15 total touchdowns. He totaled 15 with 11 rushing and 4 receiving. His 91 receptions were also a rookie running back record. Saquon was a true force in both the rushing and receiving game.

Barkley was also voted to the 2019 NFL Pro Bowl. Saquon is greatly respected by his peers and coaches. Of course, the Pro Bowl is an event for the fans, so this is another testament to how much the fans love Barkley.

Saquon was excited to receive the award, and eager to bring it back to the Big Apple:

Giants fans should take a moment to reflect and appreciate Saquon Barkley’s incredible rookie season. Not only was Saquon a stat-sheet stuffer, he was also a human-highlight reel. Barkley proved he could take any play and turn it into a highlight.

A simple screen pass:

A speedy handoff from 78 yards out:

An everyday 9 yard gain:

And of course, an ordinary handoff from the 1 yard line:

Big Ten Football: Penn State Has A Transfer Problem

Now that the college football season is over, it’s time for free agency. Even if that would have sounded like a crazy statement years ago, it’s how things are now. It’s easier for players to transfer, and for better or worse, the practice has become common. Transfers can even help to make or break a team. Just look at Heisman winners Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray for examples of how a player can excel after changing teams.

But when you have 12 players either transferring or intending to transfer, something might be wrong with your team. That’s the situation that Penn State is in right now. Eight players have already found new schools to transfer to, this offseason. Four others have declared their intentions to transfer but haven’t found their destinations yet. It’s not like these are all players that would never get a chance to see the field if they remained at Penn State, either.

Redshirt senior Juwan Johnson, the team’s second leading receiver last season, is on the list of players that intends to transfer. Typically, a player like Johnson would be counted on as a leader going into the 2019 season. It’s rare for a player, after all, to want to leave after playing for three years at a school and having a large role lined up for next season. Others, such as 2018 freshman defensive back Isaiah Humphries, didn’t see playing time with Penn State so far but will be lost as future assets because of transferring.

“It’s difficult to see guys leave. It’s kind of the nature of college football at this point, just the landscape of it. I think we have a really good leadership group on our team right now. Maybe guys who weren’t leaders on the team last year but have stepped up into that spotlight. I think guys are responding to it really well,” Penn State punter Blake Gillikin told the Centre Daily Times.

Head coach James Franklin has been silent on the matter for now. Should Franklin speak up about it soon? Probably. National Signing Day is on February 6, and a large exodus of players isn’t a good look in recruiting at all. It’s too soon to say whether or not this is on Franklin and the rest of the staff, but it’s also something that fans should pay attention to. These kinds of things don’t just happen for no reason, after all. And going into National Signing Day, the trend is worrying for a Penn State team that’s already coming off of a bowl loss.

Penn State Football: Don’t Rule Out James Franklin To USC Just Yet

James Franklin is in an interesting position right now as the head coach of the Penn State football team. On one hand, his role in bringing Penn State back to national relevance has brought him many fans in Happy Valley, who have defended the coach even after major collapses against Ohio State in back to back years, and even for the team’s underperformance this year with a roster that should have been good enough to compete for the playoffs.

But ask different sections of the fanbase what they think and you might get a different answer. While one comments section might defend Franklin vehemently, another one might call for Franklin to be replaced to help the Nittany Lions reach their true ceiling. While third in the Big Ten with three conference losses at this point in the season may have been a good result in past years, it’s particularly disappointing for a team that many, including ESPN’s Kirk Herbstreit, thought would be in the race for both the Big Ten and the College Football Playoff.

But Franklin may have a chance to leave the controversy behind and head out west for a new job, one that would place him in an easier division and conference than the very difficult Big Ten East. The difficulty of that division may be the reason why Franklin doesn’t have a playoff appearance yet at Penn State, and the PAC-12 South is much more winnable. The interested team, of course, may be USC. Located in Los Angeles, they also are in a better position to recruit from California, one of the most important states to draw talent from for blue blood programs.

That’s not to say that it would be an immediate improvement. USC hasn’t met expectations during recent years, but they hit a new low this season by falling apart completely. Unless they can upset #3 Notre Dame in their closing game, they won’t even make it to a bowl game. Still, even though it will hurt Penn State fans to hear this, USC is considered by more people to be a larger program and it’s certainly a tempting offer for anyone, especially a coach coming off what will inevitably be a disappointing season.

Franklin, though, claims that he isn’t going anywhere. “Obviously [I] have all the plans in the world to be here, and be here for a long time. So I just wanted to address that because it became something that I did not want it to be or intend to be. I wanted to put that statement out there, and then obviously I would love to talk about Maryland and our practice today,” he said on Wednesday.

But realistically, what head coach would admit that they’re looking at other jobs, before their regular season ends and their team plays in a bowl game? Such a thing would be a morale killer, and it just doesn’t happen. And while Franklin isn’t in danger of being fired right now, it’s hard to deny that USC would be a step up and that few coaches who would be offered the job now will have the chance to make a move to Southern Cal later in their careers.

The fact of the matter is that USC would be a decent fit for Franklin and that it’s a very tempting job for almost any coach. Will a move definitely be made? No. But is it out of the realm of possibility yet just because Franklin has made a public statement favoring Penn State? Not at all.

It’s not the first time that a similar situation has happened, after all. Just take a look at the words of former Vanderbilt player Adam Butler, from back in 2014.

“He repeatedly told us, ‘I’m not leaving, no matter what. You guys don’t have to worry,’ he even took it as far as breaking down in tears like he always does. He was saying ‘I’m not leaving,’ and then right after the ball game, I mean no warning, no nothing, he just disappeared. He came back and said, ‘I’m sorry, I’m leaving’ and cried again.”

Penn State Loss Leaves Fans Hoping For Basketball Season

This is a bizarre thing to write at this time of year, but Penn State is officially a basketball school for the rest of the year. There’s really not much to be said that can justify their 42-7 loss in Ann Arbor, against a Michigan team that was favored to win but not in this manor. Most fans would have accepted a loss to the Wolverines. But like this? These are the kinds of results that ruin the mood for the rest of a season.

“Trace at 100%? Yeah, I think helps us, there’s no doubt about it. But we’ve got to give them credit. They’re the number one defense in the country for a reason. That was the bigger difference tonight,” said Penn State head coach James Franklin. But blaming any part of this loss on Trace McSorley not being 100% is a bit absurd.

It’s not that McSorley played a perfect game or even a good game, but there’s many other problems to look at, such as the defense allowing 42 points. The entire team played poorly and it’s hard to believe that even a good game from McSorley would have prevented the final scoreline from being something like this.

You can make an argument that Penn State quit, not during this game but after losing to Ohio State and Michigan State in succession. None of us can be completely sure what caused it, but at least a large portion of the blame has to go on the coaching staff. After all, motivation is one of the main jobs of a coach.

That’s not to take away from Michigan, as they entered as a top five team, but Penn State should have at least kept it competitive for a bit going down the stretch. The team played like one that gave up, and because of it, Penn State is not only eliminated from the conference race but from the hunt for a good bowl game.

No Fiesta Bowl, this year. At this rate, they would be lucky to beat Wisconsin, win out, and maybe make the Citrus Bowl.

There is one good team in Happy Valley right now, however. The basketball team defeated kind-of-sort-of rivals West Virginia in an exhibition leading up to the start of the season, by a score of 84-82. Of course, the game doesn’t mean anything, but it’s an interesting result against the 13th ranked team in the nation,

Forward Lamar Stevens is the top player on the team going into the season, and he managed 20 points and 11 rebounds in what could be a preview of things to come during the regular season. The Penn State basketball program actually has more prestige than you may think, capturing its second NIT title last season by defeating Utah in the title game.

Head coach Pat Chambers also performed well enough to earn himself an extension through 2022. So while the Penn State football team is playing like a team that has quit, that’s not true of the basketball team. The basketball team is the one that won a title last season, and one that might overachieve this season instead of underachieving. Then again, the expectations on basketball are far lower, while the football team was expected to at least compete for the Playoff.

The basketball team will begin their regular season November 9th, against North Florida. They’ll play a slate of easy games against small conference opposition before meeting nationally ranked Virginia Tech on the 27th. The football team, on the other hand, takes on Wisconsin next Saturday before finishing their season with two more games against Rutgers and Maryland.

Big Ten: Big Stakes In Saturday’s Penn State Versus Iowa Game

The two current favorites to win the Big Ten, Michigan and Ohio State, are both on bye weeks right now. It seems like this slate of games isn’t the best one. Nebraska will face FCS Bethune-Cookman, and while the Huskers are struggling, an upset isn’t something you should bet on. Purdue faces Michigan State after defeating the Buckeyes, but both teams are unranked and aren’t considered to be in the hunt for the conference title.

But there are important games. You just have to look past the teams that are near the top of the polls.

Wisconsin faces Northwestern for the lead in the Big Ten West, but the Badgers will enter as the favorites and only one of the teams in this game is ranked. However, there is one matchup between ranked teams, and that’s Penn State versus Iowa. Of all the games nationally this weekend, it’s the one that shouldn’t be overlooked, because it will definitely change the trajectory for both teams and maybe even a few others, regardless of who wins.

Iowa is in a four way race with Wisconsin, Purdue, and Northwestern, all three teams possessing one loss this season. Northwestern is in the lead by virtue of playing one more game than Wisconsin, but if they lose and Iowa defeats Penn State, it would put Iowa on even footing with Wisconsin and Northwestern behind both teams after gaining their second loss in the conference. If Northwestern and Iowa both win, the Wildcats stay in first place and Iowa would be right behind them.

Purdue is also in the equation but they would need a win against Michigan State to stay in the hunt for now, and despite their win over the second ranked team in the country, Michigan State shouldn’t be written off. They’re less of a mistake prone team than Ohio State is this season and they played Michigan close for much of the game last week.

Of course, Iowa jumping ahead of Purdue and Wisconsin assumes that they beat Penn State, which wouldn’t be entirely unreasonable but also isn’t a given. The Nittany Lions managed to string together two straight losses fairly recently, around the same time they pulled it off last season. They also didn’t do as much as they could have against Indiana, and Iowa was one of the teams that gave them trouble last year. Could the Hawkeyes actually get the win here? It’s pretty reasonable to predict that they will, given Penn State’s past three outings.

Penn State is already out of the chase for the conference title, but which bowl game they go to this year will depend on what they do with the rest of the season and they need to win out to salvage things and get into a good bowl. There will likely be more challenges directed at James Franklin’s job if they lose here, meaning there’s a lot on the line for both teams. Penn State wants to get to a good bowl, and Iowa can move up in a race that, right now, involves four teams.

Only one team will get what they want from this game… But either way, the result will influence an entire division.