Even if looking at it from a money-only angle, how much concessions profit is there for the extra 40,000 people?
I look at it differently. I don't see it as "bashing" a school to note they they received an outsized share of preseason hype. As you note, that's not their fault.
Being on covers of preseason magazines, and appearing in the top-ten list beside the glossy picture... that's a benefit that perennially good teams get. Maybe because they're safer bets to be good, maybe because it sells more magazines.
I don't think it's unreasonable to see how well teams live up to that. For a team as good as they usually are, Ohio State is actually rated pretty well (~1.1 poll spots too high per year since 1992). Contrast with Miami (~2.8), Florida (~3.2), Florida State (~3.5), Notre Dame (~3.6), Oklahoma (~4.0), Michigan (~4.0), Nebraska (~4.0), Southern Cal (~4.3), and Texas (~5.1).
Great article, but I'm not sure I buy the "never in doubt for a second."
With the score 30-20 and Buffalo about to take possession at the OSU 1, mid third quarter, there were a lot of OSU fans holding their breath.
On the penalty that negated the fumble, it looked to me like both players had their hands on the other's facemask. That is typically called on the defender, but what if it hadn't been?
Just for the record, in 1994 Penn State lost the #1 spot the week they blew out Ohio State (63-14), not the week that Indiana scored late to make a game look closer than it was. Here are the details: http://www.ninjasoft.com/ozone/psu94/indiana.html
Also, it's not really the case that people "dropped Penn State behind Nebraska." What happened was really that Penn State was NOT behind Colorado on as many ballots as Nebraska was, and then when Nebraska beat Colorado, just the removal of Colorado from the top of the ballots gave more points to Nebraska than PSU.
PSU was at least in the MNC mix until November in 1997 and 1999 (the latter was especially embarrassing because a great team dropped its final three games). And their 1994 team deserved a share of the title. Their 1986 team did win one with a decent schedule, and their 1985 team was undefeated until losing to Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl.
Heck, PSU even had an undefeated season in 1968. But they weren't taken seriously as a title contender. Prior to about 1980, they were the eastern version of BYU (or Boise State would be a more modern analogue): won all their games but played nobody. Around 1980 they started up long-running series with Alabama and Notre Dame, and earned some credibility.
I always thought PSU was a bit of a paper tiger, but they did win a legit title in 1986 and should have won another in 1994. Probably they have been in the mix of the MNC discussion around bowl time at least as often Ohio State has been since the mid '60s, though at least in part that's due to weak scheduling.
For what it's worth (and as your Joe Beale noted in "Deep Threat" on May 23 of this year), Galloway suffered a knee injury early in his soph year that took him out for the remainder of the season.
His sophomore totals were indeed low, but not because his play was subpar.