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PENN STATE VERSUS OHIO STATE: COACHING POINT/COUNTERPOINT

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For a real, live, rootin-tootin' preview of yet-again-rebuilding Penn State/Ohio State, check out Black Shoe Diaries extremely fair assessment of the situation on the ground in Columbus. For our preview of the potentially underwhelming matchup between the two teams, consider our point/counterpoint below on the strengths and weakness of the two teams' coaches.

Power Factor One: Coaches' Breakfast.

Point: it's the most important meal of the day, and JoePa starts it off with a bang by consuming the brains of a hapless passerby caught for him by Penn State officials. Rich in Omega-3s and fats, it's a bonzer breakfast, as the Aussies would say!

Counterpoint: Tressel's sensible but bland mix of egg whites with a fruit and granola contains all essential fruit groups, but lacks pizzazz. The topping off with decaf coffee just depresses us.

Advantage: Penn State.


Brains!

Power Factor Two: Fashion

Point Joe Pa strides the sidelines in an outfit few coaches dare to mimic these days: classic white socks and black running shoes matched with black slacks, dress shirt, and tie. Dark glasses give Paterno air of Caesar-like authority mixed with mafia don intimidation.

Counterpoint. Tressel's sweatervest, grey slacks, and short sleeve shirts channel an image that's less tough guy and more Ned Flanders than anything else. At its worst this outfit can make Tressel resemble a Best Buy manager who donned a headset, strode onto the sidelines, and simply began calling plays until someone started listening. The sweatervest is bulletproof, however, to protect against the threats of the Israeli mafia or an escaped and raging Maurice Clarett.

Advantage: Tressel. A bulletproof sweater is totally badass.

Power Factor Three: Heart

Point: Does Paterno have one? Yes. An unbeating one, fed only by the zombie virus keeping him alive.

Counterpoint: Does Tressel have one? Yes, a baboon's heart, implanted successfully in Karachi following an unfortunate "recruiting visit" in Afghanistan that went horribly awry. Jim would tell you about it, but he'd have to kill you.

Advantage: Paterno.

Power Factor Four: Mentors.

Point: Jim Tressel's most influential mentor: his father, legendary Ohio coach Lee Tressel.

Counterpoint: Paterno's mentor: Carl von Clausewitz, Prussian general, author of On War, and fellow member of the Kriegsakademie class of 1805 Glee Club.


Von Clausewitz: brilliant military mind, and striking tenor vocalist.

Advantage: Paterno.

Power Factor Five: Postgame Beverage.

Point: Tressel, after a courteous, uneventful and classy press confernece, may enjoy a tasty, cold Fresca, or perhaps some healthy, calcium-rich milk.

Counterpoint: Paterno likes scotch, scotchy scotch scotch.

Advantage: Paterno.

Power Factor Six: Fatal Weakness.

Point: JoePa, while not technically alive, may be stopped with blows to the head from a cricket bat.

Counterpoint: You probably don't want to hear this, but underneath that sweatervested exterior you're dealing with the best there is. You don't seem to want to accept the fact you're dealing with an expert in guerrilla warfare, with a man who's the best, with guns, with knives, with his bare hands. A man who's been trained to ignore pain, ignore weather, to live off the land, to eat things that would make a billy goat puke. In Vietnam his job was to dispose of enemy personnel. To kill! Period! Win by attrition. Well, Jimmy-boy was the best.

You're just lucky he doesn't kill you all.


I...I can't feel my legs...

Advantage: Tressel.

Overall advantage: Paterno. Based on these six extremely scientific metrics, we're forced to pick Penn State in this game. And since it is science, don't even attempt to contest this pick, since it's obviously incontrovertible empirical truth. We're going to find fresh victims for Joe Pa now.