by: Monique Febbraio
Three weeks ago, Beaver Stadium was packed with 110,000 Penn State fans. Diehard students withstood the consistent downpour of rain to stand on the bleachers and root for their beloved Nittany Lions to demolish the Iowa Hawkeyes. Unfortunately, the Lions could not pull out a win for their fans.
Two weeks later, at the next home game, the stadium was nowhere near as full. This time, the Lions were playing lowly Eastern Illinois. Eastern Illinois isn’t even in the FBS league. We need to stop scheduling “cupcake” games, especially in the middle of the season! It’s pretty common to begin seasons with weaker teams, like Akron this year. Syracuse and Temple are tolerable because of the connections they have to our school. However, Eastern Illinois?! The only reason they agreed to play us and be embarrassed was to get tons of money. The thing is, students are unlikely to get up for a noon game for an opponent such as Eastern Illinois. Noon games are always tough to go to in the first place, and there’s just no motivation if it’s not even a “real game”. Running back Evan Royster expressed his concern recently after acknowledging that the student section was half full for the Eastern Illinois game. He told the Collegian that it was disappointing for him as a player to play for such unmotivated students.
This should be a message to the football program – SCHEDULE BETTER OPPONENTS! You pride yourselves in being such a Big Ten football powerhouse. You advocate this fact to prospective students and then you schedule games that they don’t even want to attend? I personally think this hurts the public image of our program. One bright spot is that we did schedule a game at Alabama next year. Then again, the Lions might have a tough time fighting off the Crimson Tide only one week after they play a sub-par team in Youngstown State.