The Penn St. Nittany Lions polished off their 2012 football season Saturday with a thrilling 24-21 overtime victory over the Wisconsin Badgers at Beaver Stadium. The gritty win helped Penn State finish the season 8-4 overall and, according to Devon Edwards of SB Nation's Penn State blog Black Shoe Diaries, could be one of the greatest in program history.
Sure, maybe my perspective is a bit off. But hell, from where I'm sitting, the most important game played last weekend, all month, and this whole damn year matched up a pair of 7-win teams. There were no greater implications than pride.
So yeah, 1982 and 1986 and 1994 and 2005 will always hang on the facade at Beaver Stadium, but you could never convince me that any one of those years meant a lick more than this one.
PSU won the game thanks to a 37-yard field goal by kicker Sam Ficken and a miss by opposing kicker Kyle French, who couldn't connect from 44 yards out. Ficken's make helped the Nittany Lions bounce back from a game-tying touchdown by the Badgers with 18 second to go in regulation.
However, Edwards writes that the way Penn State won Saturday isn't important. What's important is that the Nittany Lions' student athletes walked off the field as champions.
They deserved that win, not because they outplayed Wisconsin, or because Zach Zwinak outrushed Montee Ball, or because they played harder or executed better or wanted it more. They deserved that win because of how they comported themselves all year long, because they gave us the hope we thought we'd lost along with a hero, a sense of superiority, and a whole bunch of wins.
Read the full post-game essay by Devon Edwards here. Due to NCAA sanctions, Penn State cannot play in the any postseason bowls.