As one of the few remaining Big 10 schools on my list, a trip to the college football juggernaut of Penn State was long overdue. Given scheduling pressures for my annual trip with my friend Federico, however, the adventure this year would be a quick one and we’d be doing an in and out trip to Happy Valley.
Despite the abbreviated trip, however, the game was a monster that any Nittany Lions fan had circled on their calendar a year ago. The Ohio State buckeyes were in town for the weekend, with their sights firmly set on a Big 10 Championship and a seat at the table in the new four team playoff. The rebounding Nittany Lions pulled out all the cards for this one. The contest would be a night kickoff on prime-time television, and the athletic department called for a “white out”, which blanketed behemoth Beaver Stadium in nearly 108,000 monochromatic fans all garbed in freshly bleached white shirts.
The contest lived up to the hype, as the Nittany Lions took the Buckeyes into a double overtime thriller before finally succumbing to the Ohio State University in a gut wrenching loss. Were it not for a couple of blatant missed calls by the officials, Penn State could possibly have pulled out the victory. Despite their well known sanctions taking their toll on the Nittany Lions bench strength, this is a team that will continue to rise in the coming years as they return to full strength.
The quick trip to Penn State only whetted my appetite for a return trip for a full weekend to get the entire Nittany Lions experience. A day trip is simply not sufficient to take in the October splendor of a weekend in State College. As the only premier college football destination in the Northeast corridor, I have no doubt that a return trip will happen soon – and I’ll have a fresh white shirt ready to go….
Special thanks to my friend Federico for making the trip again this year, and next year we’ll be sure to find another premiere SEC destination on the Aggies road schedule!
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