Let me begin by saying that was the longest and most boring two-week stretch of my life. Hands down. I guess there’s nothing quite like the taste of being so darn close to elite and then having to wait an extra week to prove that you’re already possibly there. Kudos to FrankLion for laying down that line in the sand, even if it did make life extra hard as we all suffered through the most severe case of bye-week blues that I can ever recall.
In hindsight, his raw emotion in the aftermath of that one-point loss to “you know who” was nothing short of genius, to say the least. It kept Penn State on the tip of everyone’s tongue without having to play a single down as his squad took the week off to lick their wounds and regroup. Two weeks later here we are, standing tall at No. 8 in the AP poll and very much in the thick of the playoff chase, as predicted. Rested and with a huge chip on our shoulder, I might add, with the most savage of grins.
Laying in wait is a Michigan State squad with their backs against the wall. They’re 3-2 overall and coming off a horrible loss at home to Northwestern a week ago. Another defeat and Sparty’s empire just might begin to crumble. They’ve been in this position before, look no further than that monsoon of a quagmire we rolled into a year ago. A win that should have been simply wasn’t and we left East Lansing with our heads down and our tails tucked between our legs. Be it their rival Michigan, Ohio State, or our very own Nittany Lions, Mark D’Antonio and his Spartans have a knack for extinguishing the hopes and dreams of opposing teams and they come into this one hell-bent on playing the spoiler once again.
Unfortunately for Sparty, the odds are stacked against Michigan State. A line in the sand has been drawn and FrankLion has dared us all to go ahead and dream. Not a dream of what once was or what could have been, but one of what’s going to be. The line in the sand has been drawn, not to just pull the rope in the same direction anymore but to give that rope one last final tug with all our strength. Sparty may be hell-bent on dashing our dreams but James Franklin is on a mission to make them come true. It’s a battle of heavyweight proportions and it all begins this week inside the Lions Den, on Homecoming Weekend, amidst a sea of stripes.
Two weeks ago, I was all prepared to look back on last year’s disaster in East Lansing and predict redemption. That is until James Franklin took the podium and drew a line in the sand that just may have changed our course forever. Moral victories are no longer acceptable, even at the hands of “you know who” and Michigan State is going to be the poor soul in the wrong place, at the wrong time, as Nittany Nation bears down with all its might. The blizzard may have come and gone but I suspect the real storm has only just begun: Penn State 44, MSU 10.