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How much does Penn State’s White Out really matter?

Is the road environment a big advantage for the Nittany Lions?

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Penn State v Ohio State Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

“Compared to the spread, Penn State actually underachieved by an average of about 1.8 points per game before the last two seasons; the Nittany Lions failed to cover five of seven White Out games between 2006 and 2012.”

- Bill Connelly, SBNation

Lots has been said in the past week about how difficult it is for a team to go on the road and win at Happy Valley against Penn State. I wrote about it, as have many others, with the main point of each article being basically that Penn State is a good team, and they have a large stadium, with lots of loud people in it. When those loud people all wear white, it can become a very foreign experience for road teams.

According to SB Nation’s resident genius Bill Connelly though, that may not be as big a deal as it seems. Penn State is just 7-7 in whiteout games since they started doing them in 2004, and while that average record is probably a result of playing great teams in those games, it is interesting that it doesn’t seem to have a huge impact.

Bill does go on to mention that the White Out has seemingly worked more recently, especially when the Nittany Lions are underdogs, which makes a lot of sense, because Penn state has been, well, good recently, after not being good for a couple years. Since hiring James Franklin, Penn State is 2-2 in such games, losing to Ohio State in 2014 but beating them in 2016, and losing to Michigan in 2015 but beating them last year.

The piece is absolutely worth a read, and while it focuses on how Penn State could upset Ohio State, it serves as the second best preview of the game, behind ours of course.

“Seven Buckeyes can be found in the FloWrestling preseason national rankings, the official rankings of the Big Ten Network. Myles Martin leads the way, tabbed as the country’s top 184-pounder entering the season.”

- Ohio State Buckeyes dot com

Despite one of the best wrestlers in the world, Kyle Snyder, graduating last year, the Ohio State wrestling team looks to be in an excellent place this season. With the 2018-19 season set to start against Navy in early November, seven Buckeyes were named to national rankings today, and while I don’t know much about wrestling, that seems pretty good.

Seven Buckeyes are spread across numerous weight classes, from Luke Pletcher at fourth in the 133 class to Kollin Moore at third in the 197 class. Between them, Joey McKenna sits at second in 141, Micah Jordan comes in at second in 149, Ke-Shawn Hayes in sixth in 157, Te’Shan Campbell is 13th in 174, and the star of the team, Myles Martin, sits atop the 184 class.

With that much talent, it should be a big season for the Wrestling Buckeyes after their second place finish last year, behind only Penn State.

“This is promo art for a big game. But it was not a smart fit for Ohio State’s situation as a program”

- Jason Kirk, SBNation

If you were on Twitter at all over the last few days, I’m sure you saw what this is in reference to. If you’re out of the loop, I’ll catch you up super quick. Ohio State’s official football accounts (Twitter, Instagram, and presumably Facebook, though I’m not on there so I can’t say for sure) posted their weekly pregame graphic, and some folks got upset about it. This is the graphic, for reference.

Screencap via SBnation

We didn’t cover it in it’s own piece on here, because none of us had a super strong reaction to it, and because frankly, SBNation and several other sites had it covered pretty well. There’s Jason’s piece on it, Holly Anderson wrote a good piece on it, as did Nancy Armour of USA Today

There was anger on both sides of this. There were people upset about the tone deafness of Ohio State, not seeing how this wasn’t appropriate—given the Urban Meyer and Zach Smith situation from a month ago—and there were people upset that people were upset, because that’s just what people do for some reason.

This graphic was tone deaf. Ohio State’s graphics team and social team are good people, and they didn’t intend to offend with a graphic that was in reference to the crowd at Penn State. However, they did, and this graphic shouldn’t have been posted. There should have been more oversight, and in a building full of adults that get paid to make Ohio State not look bad, one of them should’ve seen how this wasn’t good. It would’ve been bad had Baylor posted something like it after the Art Briles scandal, as it would’ve been at Penn State after the Joe Paterno scandal.

It’s a bad look. It’s an unforced error, and Ohio State should know better. Just because it wasn’t intentional doesn’t excuse it. Ohio State is under a microscope now more than ever, and they can’t be doing stuff like this.

Buckeyes in the NFL

After three straight weeks to start the NFL season of Buckeyes in the NFL making an impact in the Thursday night games, last night’s Rams-Vikings game was the first with little to no Buckeye action. Both Buckeyes on the Vikings, Jalyn Holmes and Pat Elflein were inactive, and the only Buckeye on the Rams, Jake McQuaide, is a long snapper.

The Rams had two successful punts and while kicker Sam Ficken was one of two on field goals, he hit all five extra points, and none of the snaps on any of those plays were bad, so it was a good day for McQuaide. If you’re looking to see a bunch of former Buckeyes this Sunday, your best bet will be Saints-Giants, as Vonn Bell, Kurt Coleman, Ted Ginn, Marshon Lattimore and Michael Thomas face off against Eli Apple.

Weekend schedule

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