If Penn State would like to make things easier on themselves, they should throw down a Rome-on-Carthage, empty-the-cartridges earth-salting on Ohio State Saturday. If there is a second left on the clock and they are up by thirty, they should throw. If there is a goal line situation with under a minute left with seconds on the clock, they should score, and then onside. They should behead the young Jedi without hesitation. They should ride behind British lines and kill the pages. They should, Tony Jaa-style, break limbs until there are no more limbs to break.
They should keep swinging until teeth fly from skulls, and then continue kicking ribs until the whistle blows.*
They should follow this pattern in the rest of their games because The Big Ten is playing several hands down in any national title contention because of the twin pillars of lack of a title game and Ohio State's FAILboat Party** in the last two national title games...not to mention a crucial point Michael makes abundantly clear hyah:
With that caveat out of the way, the Big Ten and Pac Ten need to be punished for being the primary roadblocks against a plus-one playoff. Those two conferences will change their minds when there is sufficient pressure from their member institutions to do so. An unbeaten Penn State team sitting on the sidelines in January while Texas and Alabama duke it out for the national title would be exactly the tonic to cause the stodgy Big Ten to stop opposing evolution.
The Doomsday Scenarios are not limited to the aluminum headgear-wearers of our beloved blogosphere: Tony Barnhart outlined the same scenario this morning in the AJC.
1. Penn State gets left out: No. 1 Texas and No. 2 Alabama both finish 13-0 and win their respective conference championship games. Like Auburn in 2004, a 12-0 Penn State, which has not played a game since Nov. 22, finishes No. 3 because it played a weaker schedule. Joe Paterno, 81, is denied the chance to end his career with a national championship game. Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany, one of the strongest opponents to a four-team playoff, gets an earful from Paterno.
It could happen (then again, as Barnhart points out, so could every other scenario,) meaning the only recourse Penn State has any control over whatsoever is points, points, points, which have to happen frequently and without mercy for the remainder of the season. Ohio State could upset them straight-up, and will likely hold them under twenty (since your oft-repeated stat of the week is the "ten point max" that Penn State has scored at the 'Shoe historically.)
Indiana, Iowa, and Michigan State best look into burn clinics, though; JoePa's coming with a flamethrower-equipped Rascal in the best senior citizen revenge film this side of Death Wish 3 if Alabama and Texas go undefeated. With no conference championship to buffer the schedule, laying waste to their opponents is all Penn State has left to make their argument.
(P.S. Fuck Jim Delany in the ear. Again.)
*Thank you, Matt and Trey, for having us now imagining Butters yelling "Fuck 'em up!" during every blowout from now on.
**Cartman is Ohio State. There's little doubt of this: loud, powerful, profane, and ultimately slow in the clutch. Also: both are associated with shitting in inappropriate places.