It’s absolutely beautiful in State College today: 78, sunny, and relatively dry, or about 15 degrees and 300 percent less humid than it was Saturday in Tuscaloosa. Saturday night’s result aside, I had a blast in Alabama, and I imagine most Penn Staters feel the same. I think it’s also safe to say we’re all glad to be home — even if, in my case, it took three planes, 11 hours and two ticketing snafus to get here.
My travel travails kept me from posting a follow-up on Sunday, but here are a few final thoughts, images, and links on a memorable weekend and forgettable game…
Did I Mention the Atmosphere? I think I might have, but it’s worth mentioning again what a great setting Tuscaloosa is for a big college football game. From the hospitality and tailgating to the noise and color inside the stadium, Penn Staters who made the trip will know we aren’t the only ones who know who to prep for and celebrate a big home game. Here’s a bit more from the pregame tailgating scene, which takes over the heart of campus on game day (click to enlarge).
That’s the crowd on part of The Quad, with the iconic Denny Chimes in the background. About 100 yards to the left of where I shot this stands Gorgas Library; it, too, is in the heart of the tailgating crowds. Here are shots I took from the top of the library steps, looking left…
…straight out from the steps…
…and looking right.
Can you imagine the mall in front of Pattee & Paterno Library covered with tents on a Saturday morning? Now that I think of it, that would look pretty cool…
(The Bama marching band plays on the library steps before each game, and my friend Dan Ryan has a great shot of that on his Flickr page.)
The big Penn State events, including the official Alumni Association tailgate, were found a bit farther from the center of campus, but you could still find pockets of blue and white in the crimson sea — like these trumpeters, who blasted “Fight On, State” not far from the library steps.
For another take on the game-day experience, Walt Moody summed it up well today in the Centre Daily Times.
Joe Really Wanted This One. The feel-good reaction to Joe Paterno’s presence at Bryant-Denny Stadium was terrific to take in, but it clearly did nothing to temper the coach’s competitiveness. I was present for Joe’s very short (about two minutes) postgame press conference, and even the guys who have covered Paterno for years were a bit surprised at the frustration he showed. For those wondering how much he might have slowed down, his fiery response after the game showed a man fully invested in the moment. I know this: I wouldn’t want to be in practice this week.
Alabama May Be No. 1 On the Field, But… In case you haven’t already seen it, today’s Wall Street Journal ran a big story about a six-month survey it conducted among corporate recruiters to determine which colleges turn out the best-prepared job candidates. No. 1 on the list? Penn State. Here’s the breakdown of the top 25 schools, and with all due respect to its current place atop the AP football poll, Alabama is nowhere on the list.
Ryan Jones, senior editor