If you ask me, and judging by what happened over there in Iowa to the Evil Empire (please note the one time I’ve smiled since Saturday), I think we both left it all out on the field in Columbus. Two heavyweights that stood toe-to-toe two weeks ago, but had nothing left in the tank one week later. Emotionally and physically. Don’t get me wrong, we gave it our best shot, but sometimes visions of ‘what could have been' stand in the way. Sometimes playoff scenarios and ‘who's ranked where’ mumble jumble interfere with the usual Sparty, Sparty, Sparty we've become accustomed to under James Franklin. Mother Nature certainly didn’t help in this one either, but I guess that goes for the opponent as well. Although, I will point out the Spartans had a leg up by playing hated rival Michigan in a pouring monsoon a few weeks earlier. How else can you explain those immaculate receptions their wideouts made while ours were busy trying to get a grip with wet fingers?
So here we are today, 7-2 and 4 points short of being undefeated. Counting the Rose Bowl, our last 3 losses are by a grand total of 7. SO close, yet so far away. Out of playoff contention and left to fight for a coveted slot in the New Year’s 6 batch of bowl games. The so-called ‘Gauntlet’ is nothing more than a bad memory. The Nittany Lions are now looking at a three-game swing to right the ship. Another ‘Gauntlet’ that is by no means a gimme, but much less stressful than the road they just jumped off of. Nothing heals a broken heart like some home cooked meals and 107k all decked out in Blue and White. The players need it, the coaches need it, and we do too. Back-to-back in Happy Valley is a certain cure for all our aches and pains as the season of great expectations winds down. So close, yet so far away. But remember this my friends, Rome wasn’t built in a day.