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The Obligatory PSU Podcast

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The Obligatory PSU Podcast

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The Obligatory PSU Podcast features wide-ranging discussions of Penn State sports, Nittany Lions football in particular, and all things Penn State and Happy Valley from the cast of The Obligatory PSU Pregame Show: Former Penn State and NFL defensive lineman Brandon Noble (’92-97), campus icon Mike “the Mailman” Herr, Onward State managing editor emeritus Kevin Horne, and Nittany Valley Society president Chris Buchignani. Along with a rotating cast of characters from around State College and ...
 
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The format wasn't exactly a game, but if you traveled to Happy Valley or tuned to the Big Ten Network for exciting football action, your cause was already long since lost. Town and campus once again buzzed with the energy of excited students (many near the end of their Penn State journey) and returning alumni and fans; grills were fired up, and bee…
 
The first "normal" Blue-White Weekend in nearly three years is nearly upon us, so Chris and Jim ruminate on the appeal of the overall event weekend, the scrimmage itself, and whatever possible nuggets of intel fans might expect to glean from this glorified practice that mostly offers a convenient excuse for a return trip home to Happy Valley. Will …
 
Every sports fan forms lasting connections with certain players on their favorite teams, whether because of skill, toughness, personality, or all three. Sometimes it's an unforgettable performance in a crucial moment, others we simply gravitate toward a certain player for reasons even we don't understand. When it comes to standout performers worth …
 
What is your favorite memory of Penn State football? Practically every fan of the Nittany Lions has at least one play, moment, or game from which they can recall almost every detail - what happened, and where they were, how they felt, and who was with them, when it did. As KSN's Keystone Kickoff show looks back over Penn State football throughout t…
 
Astronomical payouts to star recruits, entire position groups, and even full recruiting classes have headlined the first year of Name, Image, and Likeness (NIL) monetization in college sports. Penn State hasn't managed any splashy numbers, and perhaps a pair of recently-announced NIL collectives can help change that. Are the Nittany Lions poised to…
 
With Penn State Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics Sandy Barbour announcing her retirement plans, the search is on for the next person to lead State's athletics programs at a crucial juncture in the evolution of college sports. Jim and Chris discuss Barbour's legacy at PSU along with what qualities they'd want in the next athletic directo…
 
In a very short time, the transfer portal has become the talk of the college football world, with the sport's de facto free agent market emerging as a key element in modern roster-building. Now that the dust has settled on the first normal season shaped by the wide-open transfer market, Jim and Chris assess the landscape and discuss which programs …
 
While starting quarterback Sean Clifford's decision to return and play one final season for the Nittany Lions may have divided Penn State's online fan base, KSN's Jim Galanti harbors no reservations about the value of Clifford's comeback choice. Jim and Chris break down the reasons they're glad Clifford will again don the Blue and White for the 202…
 
All over the college football landscape, loyalties and fortunes (in every sense of the word) are shifting at breakneck speed as head coaches are making bigger moves for bigger money than ever before. With James Franklin locked up and Penn State focused on replacing any assistants swept up in the chaos, Jim and Chris survey the carnage and pass snap…
 
After a brief update on the status of the regular podcast, Chris and Jim take a broader look at the landscape of college football and the mounting challenges to the four-team format of the first-ever college football playoff. Conventional wisdom tells us that expansion is inevitable - eventually - but could the move to include more teams in the pos…
 
With all the rumors swirling around James Franklin's future at Penn State and many talking heads insisting that certain jobs are obviously better than others, Jim and Chris take a step back to ponder what factors combine to actually make certain head coach positions "destination jobs." Does the conventional wisdom hold up that rabid fans, unreasona…
 
Maybe moral victories are the best we can hope for when it comes to Penn State versus Ohio State. As another year passes without a win over the Buckeyes (this time handing OSU its longest winning streak against the Nittany Lions - five games and counting), most of Nittany Nation seems satisfied that the team played well and didn't get embarrassed. …
 
One relatively routine hit on QB Sean Clifford during the first quarter of the Iowa game produced a dramatic ripple effect on Penn State's 2021 season and, quite possibly, beyond. A dominating offensive performance that, had it been sustained, would have likely resulted in the Lions leaving Kinnick victorious and destined for the top two instead fi…
 
Over four agonizing, rain-soaked quarters and 75 overtime periods only vaguely resembling the sport of football, what had mostly felt like a decidedly-different, and potentially-special, season for James Franklin and the Nittany Lions descended into depressingly-familiar disappointment, as Penn State slowly transformed a campaign full of promise an…
 
As the Nittany Lions prepare to return to action, Chris and Mailman are joined by Nathan Wilmot, the analytics columnist for For The Blogy, who has developed his own advanced metrics for quantifying the performance of college football teams. Nate looks back over Penn State's ups and downs through the first six games of 2021, a Top 10 half-campaign …
 
Even as the Nittany Lions chase another Big Ten title, fighting to defend a Top 10 ranking while battling the injury bug, it wouldn't be a season of the podcast without a couple of #Obligatory digressions, and what better time for one than coming off Penn State's bye week? (Boiler Up.) It has become increasingly difficult over the last 12 months fo…
 
Hair metal rockers Cinderella perhaps put it best with their 1988 hit: "Don't Know What You Got (Til It's Gone)." Sean Clifford was shredding the vaunted Iowa Hawkeyes defense in hostile environs until an injury put him out of the game early in the second quarter. At that point, Penn State fans the world over, many of whom had harbored doubts about…
 
A game that began with the promise and excitement of a top 5 matchup for your Penn State Nittany Lions rapidly devolved into a frustrating and dispiriting war of attrition that ended, as nearly all such games at Kinnick Stadium do, in an agonizingly close loss to the Iowa Hawkeyes. As one key Lion after another limped to the sidelines, the only thi…
 
Wrapping a week's worth of Penn State football news into one whirlwind podcast, our full cast of characters share one long, lingering glance back at the Stripe Out before closing the book on the Nittany Lions' non-revenge-game "Revenge Game" shutout of the Indiana Hoosiers. Brandon Noble, who once upon a time played for college-legend-turned-NFL-pu…
 
In the midst of an exciting season that has seen the Penn State Nittany Lions rise to fourth in the nation after five weeks and on the eve of their biggest yet against Iowa, Jim and Chris take a moment to stop and smell the roses - specifically, to appreciate quarterback Sean Clifford and receiver Jahan Dotson, who connected for two scores against …
 
No Penn State fan needs to be reminded about what transpired the last time the Nittany Lions faced Indiana's football team. The debacle of sloppy and undisciplined play, uninspired playcalling, and unearned bravado, capped off with a highly-controversial replay review, began State's disastrous fake season with a whimper. Now, undefeated Penn State …
 
Maybe it's time to go back to "Legends" and "Leaders." After years of the scales tipping in favor of the Big Ten's East division, home to college football powerhouses Ohio State, Penn State, and Michigan, the disparity between the two halves the conference seems even more pronounced in 2021. Chris and Jim look at the might East versus the lowly Wes…
 
No matter how rosy and promising the big picture may appear, no matter how satisfying and cathartic the experience has been, no matter how well your expectations have been met (and probably exceeded) thus far, four games into a 4-0 season for Penn State that has seen the Nittany Lions climb the rankings all the way to number four in the nation, the…
 
With nearly all of Penn State's divisional opponents in the Big Ten East showing substantial improvement early in the 2021 season and a number of difficult road contests still awaiting the Nittany Lions, there look to be precious few breathers on the upcoming schedule. That makes this weekend's visit from the FCS Villanova Wildcats an important opp…
 
We have been hearing from James Franklin and many others about the immense talent Penn State has at tight end this season and waiting to see how new offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich would put it to use. The wait is over, and the timing couldn't have been better, with a ranked Auburn team in town for a White Out. Jim and Chris discuss a breakout n…
 
There are but a precious few places where the forces of the college football universe can all align to create a special and resonant moment that touches the lives of thousands of people in hundreds of ways, uniting people of all different backgrounds - young and old, near and far away - in a shared appreciation of a unique American ritual. Luckily …
 
A big weekend in Happy Valley looms. In under two decades, the Beaver Stadium White Out has cemented its status among the most distinctive traditions of the great American ritual that is college football. After the coronavirus pandemic denied Penn Staters the opportunity to take part in 2020, the White Out returns for a huge non-conference battle -…
 
When you run the company, you can't get fired. When you're publishing your own podcast, you can't get canceled. And so, the Obligatory Keystone Crossover, an experiment in collaboration (in our case) and tolerance (in theirs) between Obligatory and the Keystone Sports Network is back for a second installment. In this episode, Chris handles the host…
 
After 651 days of barren tailgate fields, empty bleachers, and often-uninspiring football played in eerie silence, Happy Valley's home game drought is over. The crowds and energy that are the lifeblood of town and campus in Autumn came flooding back into State College last weekend, welcoming home a team led, in the best tradition of the program, by…
 
Happy Valley is ready for a family reunion. After an impossibly long layover nobody could have foreseen when the 2019 Nittany Lions closed out their home schedule with a win over Rutgers on Senior Day, the Greatest Show in College Football returns to Beaver Stadium this Saturday (and the next three to follow). The spirit of the Valley will be felt …
 
Introducing the Obligatory Keystone Crossover, an "alliance" (if you will) between two teams of content creators who share a mutual love for Penn State and the sound of their own voices. As part of this new collaboration, our personalities will connect each week for some crossover conversation, sharing different perspectives on the Nittany Lions' s…
 
The wait, long and miserable though it may have been - through global turmoil and an on-again, off-again season that maybe would have been better left staying "off-again" - was worth it. With a gutsy road performance against a higher-ranked opponent that recalled the glory days of Penn State football, led by a defense that could stand shoulder-to-s…
 
The long wait - in many respects, far longer than is usual for this time of year - is finally almost over. Penn State travels to Madison, Wisconsin this weekend to take on a Badgers team facing many of the same questions haunting James Franklin's squad coming off the Big Ten's bizarre and frustrating fake season in 2020. In many ways, a road trip t…
 
Per Obligatory tradition, one of our most popular features returns: the Penn State football preview in which Chris enlists the assistance of fellow LION 90.7fm alumni to analyze the Nittany Lions roster in two installments, in this case the defense. As with our offensive preview, regular contributor Mike Levine returns alongside Villanova Athletics…
 
Per Obligatory tradition, one of our most popular features returns: the Penn State football preview in which Chris enlists the assistance of fellow LION 90.7fm alumni to analyze the Nittany Lions roster in two installments, beginning with the offense. This year, former FIU and Miami Hurricanes broadcaster Mike Levine returns, per usual, and he is j…
 
We wrap up our 2021 Summer semester with this extended conversation with returning guest Tom Gathman, better known to outdoor and adventure enthusiasts across the globe as The Real Hiking Viking. A Marines Corps combat veteran, Tom grew up around Penn State football and Joe Paterno - really - his dad produced Joe's famous Holsum Milano bread advert…
 
On July 1, 2021, the epoch of college football that began in 1869 with Rutgers and Princeton playing a bizarre combination of soccer and rugby came to a close, and a whole new era began. That might be overstating things a bit, but not much! If nothing else, the advent of name, image, and likeness (NIL) monetization for college athletes marks an end…
 
Once upon a time, Joe Paterno's Penn State Nittany Lions were the new kid on the college football block, struggling to earn respect among the established titans of the sport while battling entrenched stereotypes about the inferiority of "Eastern football." It felt like a rigged game in which even going undefeated wasn't nearly enough. Today's Group…
 
When is losing 9-0 more embarrassing than losing 6-4? When you're the governing body of one of the nation's most venerable and popular sports leagues and you're handed a unanimous legal shellacking by a politically-divided Supreme Court in the most charged atmosphere of partisan polarization in a century. Many Americans have wondered what force cou…
 
Few teams have been more consistently cheated of the chance to prove their worthiness as title contenders on the field than the Penn State Nittany Lions. Joe Paterno famously coached four teams that went undefeated and uncrowned, and as he was for so many of college football's eventual innovations, Joe was an outspoken advocate for a playoff system…
 
With the announcement that Penn State's highly-anticipated non-conference matchup with Auburn will kick off under the lights at Beaver Stadium, anticipation is high that the marquee matchup will also see the triumphant return of the Greatest Show in College Football: The Beaver Stadium White Out. While some fans consider this a welcome opportunity …
 
The guys interview Penn State Football Letterman Lydell Sargeant, a Pittsburgh native who committed to PSU as part of Joe Paterno's legendary 2005 recruiting class, the only class in school history with two Big Ten titles over their time in Happy Valley. After switching from receiver to defensive back following his freshman season, Lydell saw incre…
 
Listen to guest Miriam Colvin's award-winning podcast: https://soundcloud.com/miriam-colvin/competition-with-the-best With Spring football and the NFL Draft in the rearview, the guys turn their attention to exploring some of the interesting stories and people in and around the Nittany Valley. Penn State freshman Miriam Colvin had only tried produci…
 
Six Penn State Nittany Lions were taken in the 2021 NFL Draft, with linebacker Micah Parsons and edge rusher Odafe (Jayson) Oweh going in the first round. Tight end Pat Freiermuth headed to Pittsburgh via the second round, and three other Lions - defensive end Shaka Toney and offensive linemen Michael Menet and Will Fries - going off the board cons…
 
Which Nittany Lions will hear their names called (and when) in the 2021 NFL Draft? ESPN pro football analyst Matt Bowen joins the show to evaluate Penn State's prospects in the 2021 draft class, including Micah Parsons, Jayson Oweh, Pat Freiermuth, and Shaka Toney. Matt was a four-year letterwinner as a safety at Iowa, earning second-team All Ameri…
 
Why have one real Blue-White Weekend when you can hold two fake ones instead? Well, for plenty of reasons, of course, but after the last 12 months, you take whatever you can get. After holding an open football scrimmage (or practice or something) for Penn State freshmen a week prior, the Nittany Lions returned to Beaver Stadium for their 15th and f…
 
After graduating from Penn State in 2013 with a degree in Finance, Rob Lawless began work at the global consulting firm Deloitte, later moving on to start-up venture RJ Metrics. When that company was acquired in 2015, he turned his full attention to meeting 10,000 new people and spending an hour with each of them. To date, Rob has met over 3,500 pe…
 
Only freshmen and reporters were allowed inside Beaver Stadium for what turned out to be the first of two Fake Blue-White Saturdays (with the next to follow a week later for seniors), so the guys enlisted the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Penn State football reporter Nubyjas Wilborn to share insights and observations on this first look at the 2021 Nitt…
 
Fake Blue-White Saturday is upon us, so why not mark the occasion by squeezing the last droplets of #content from a traditionally substance-free weekend that this year is a literal non-event? Great friend of the show Mike Levine, Buchignani's former student radio broadcast partner on The LION 90.7fm, joins the show to help review key storylines at …
 
More feeding the #content-starved beast with morsels of news and insight plumbed from the depths of Penn State Spring Football coach and player interviews. Former Nittany Lions offensive lineman Keith "Goon" Conlin (1991-95) of The Lion Country Kia Goon & Ironhead Show sits in with Brandon, Chris, and Mike the Mailman. Discussions cover the importa…
 
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