The Wall Street Journal published its annual College Football Grid of Shame (an odd moniker considering half the grid is geared toward the positive) this week and was particularly harsh on Penn State.
The Journal ranked the Nittany Lions the most embarrassing program in the nation because of the child sex abuse scandal involving former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky and the continuing fallout.
The newspaper might have missed the boat here. A case could be made that Penn State was one of the most inspirational programs in the nation last season.
After all, the sanctions the program is currently saddled with were already in place at this time a year ago and most of the worst parts of the saga had come and gone. The Nittany Lions responded with the seniors deciding as a group to stay together and play their final season when they could have gone elsewhere for one year with an NCAA waiver allowing them to play right away. They finished the year 8-4 under coach Bill O'Brien.
The Grid of Shame is put together using an average projected finish in 2013 from four different publications combined with five off-the-field elements that include APR performance, recent NCAA violations of probation, player arrests, athletic department revenue subsidized by student fees and the overall 'ick' factor.
Just a guess here, but the Journal leaned heavily toward the 'ick' factor with Penn State this year when maybe it should have taken a broader view.
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