Should Penn State Honor this Year's Football Team?



If it has been mentioned before, I haven’t heard it but I endorse it. If it hasn’t been suggested yet, let me be the first to do so.

You know all those years that adorn the front of the luxury suites on the east side of Beaver Stadium?

1894, 1909, 1911, 1912, 1920…

Those years are there to commemorate great teams – teams that have had significant accomplishments.

With Penn State’s 34-9 demolition of Purdue Saturday, it guaranteed the Nittany Lions a non-losing record. If they could go to a bowl, they’d be bowl eligible already.

If you’re a gambler, you know the over/under for wins that Vegas had for Penn State was 5.5. It now has six with three games still to play.

At this point, it doesn’t matter if this teams ends up with seven, eight or nine wins, it has had accomplished something that nobody in America thought it could. In fact, it has accomplished what most in American didn’t want it to do.

I would suggest to all that no team in Penn State history has accomplished more for the school, its students, its alumni and fan base than this 2012 team.

1921, 1947, 1968, 1969…

This team was left for dead in August by most of the country – and they all reveled in it.

Vegas may have said 5.5 wins but there were plenty of “they’ll be lucky to win three games” out there as well.

The Ohio loss and Virginia heartbreaker should’ve validated those naysayers. They should’ve broken whatever little spirit this team still had.

They didn’t.

This 2012 team bounced back with five straight victories and then provided the unthinkable – a sold out, crazy, nationally televised, white out to cap a weeklong festiveness that wasn’t supposed to happen for a decade.

1973, 1982, 1986…

There was no victory against the undefeated Buckeyes. That would’ve been more over the top than any of us could’ve imagined.

The biggest worry was that the team invested so much emotion leading up to Ohio State that there wouldn’t be much left for a road game against a desperate Purdue team.

Apparently, that concern wasn’t unfounded either. According to the players, they had a bad Monday practice. But what’s one bad practice after everything this 2012 Penn State team has been through.

A quick reminder from the senior leadership got things back on track by Tuesday. So while people worried about their mental state or altered preparation caused by the hurricane, they were going about their business.

Injuries, crappy weather, a slow start – none of it mattered against the Boilermakers. Penn State was clearly the better team against the team that many thought before the season was a serious Rose Bowl contender.

Nebraska on the road is up next, then Indiana and Wisconsin to close out the season.

Seven, eight and nine wins are all in play. Maybe the Lions don’t win them all – but they sure as heck won’t lose them all either.

This is a gritty and fun team all in one. Given the circumstances, it’s a team that has done as much or more for Penn State University than any other entity in a long, long time.

It’s the 2012 team and it should be remembered for a long, long time.

1994, 2005, 2008…

Put them up there.


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