Spectacle of the Week

We all know that outside of Penn State, college football doesn't resonate very much in this town.

Short of the Nittany Lions making a BCS game, though, this weekend presents the best chance all year for the Saturday game to be in the spotlight.

It's nothing new for Penn State to play Temple, nor for Penn to play Villanova (at least at this point). But this year marks the first time since the Quakers-Wildcats series was renewed seven years ago that the two games are taking place on the same day.

Both games would be in the Spectacle of the Week poll no matter what, of course. But if you aren't going to Franklin Field, you'll be able to watch both games back-to-back on TV. Temple-Penn State kicks off at noon on the Big Ten Network, followed by Villanova-Penn at 3:30 on CN8.

Having said that, I'll repeat what I wrote yesterday: I hope you do go to the Villanova-Penn game. Now I'll grant that the Penn State and Temple fans are more likely to watch their teams, but I think that Villanova-Penn is the one game on the season's I-AA slate that's capable of attracting a wider audience in the region.

Is it the best rivalry? No. Villanova-Delaware has more history, is an in-conference game and is always the last game of the regular season.


What's the Spectacle of the Week?

But both sides will tell you that Villanova-Penn is definitely a rivalry, even if Penn hasn't won in it since 1911. And  Wildcats coach Andy Talley hit the nail on the head yesterday when he said yesterday that "we're all trying to overcome the sphere of influence that the Philadelphia Eagles have."

"It's just awfully difficult to overcome a pro team in this environment - you've got to go to page 5 [of the newspaper] to see us," Talley added. "So any time you can take a Villanova and a Penn and play each other, or Delaware, or Temple, it's great for local football."

I don't want to come across as a shill for either team. But in this decidedly professional sports town, it can be a good thing to pay attention to something else once in a while.

I'm off tomorrow, so the next blog post will come from the Franklin Field press box on Saturday afternoon. Talk to you then.