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Editor at Large

Burgers and beer - and how Penn State stacks up

Americans will be serving up millions of burgers this weekend. Will Penn State serve up a national championship playoff berth in January?
Americans will be serving up millions of burgers this weekend. Will Penn State serve up a national championship playoff berth in January? - (Photo / )

Barbecue over movie watching.

Hamburgers over hot dogs.

Domestic over imported beer.

And the East leads the way.

That's the Labor Day scorecard according to a survey done for Budweiser beer and released last August.

According to the survey of 2,000 Americans age 21 and older:

-- 214 million Americans (67 percent) plan to barbecue while 115 million (36 percent) plan to watch a movie in a theater or at home. Other top Labor Day plans include quiet time (35 percent), outdoor activities such as hiking (27 percent), attending a party (26 percent) and shopping (23 percent). No word on how many plan to shoplift this weekend.

-- 150 million Americans (70 percent of barbecue-goers) expect to eat a burger, compared to 109 million (51 percent) who opt for a hot dog. Barbecued chicken (40 percent), steak (37 percent) and ribs (32 percent) also are popular on Labor Day.

-- 98 million Americans (44 percent of barbecue-goers) will drink a domestic beer, compared to 49 million (22 percent) who will go for an imported variety. A side note, according to Bud, is that those drinking a domestic beer at a barbecue are perceived as more genuine and approachable when compared to those drinking imported beer. (Is that a reference to snobbery?)

-- Finally, in terms of regions, the East has the highest percentage of Labor Day barbecue plans (70 percent of all residents), followed by the West (67 percent), South (65 percent) and Midwest (63 percent).


Expectations are higher than the Old Main bell tower at Penn State for football.

Can it happen? Well, can the Cubs win the World Series? Can the moon block the sun in the sky? Can they finally lower property taxes? Wait ...

Anyhow, here’s a look at Penn State’s schedule:

-- WILL WIN: Home vs. Akron, home vs. Georgia State.

-- SHOULD WIN: Home vs. Pitt (Panthers lost a lot of talent), home vs. Indiana, home vs. Rutgers, at Maryland.

-- SHOULD WIN THREE OF THESE FOUR AND COULD WIN THEM ALL: Home vs. Nebraska, at Iowa (which is rebuilding), at Northwestern, at Michigan State.

-- TOSS-UP: Home vs. Michigan. Lions will be favored but it’s loathsome Michigan.

-- LIKELY LOSS: At Ohio State. Revenge is the word in Columbus.

-- ADDING IT UP: Best case is 11-1 and an outside shot of a college playoff berth if the Ohio State game is competitive and other conferences shake out the right way for Penn State. Worst case is 9-3 – which is kind of refreshing to say after what fans had been accustomed to: seven- and eight-win seasons.

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