Penn State's players deserve sympathies for being unable to play for championships despite being one of the Big Ten's best teams. This week they'll play another team in the same boat: Ohio State, which is also banned from postseason play thanks to the previous regime. Penn State also had to deal with transfers, but even USC's Silas Redd and Oklahoma's Justin Brown appear to have been ably replaced so far.
The impact of those transfer losses will build over time, but as for the 2012 season, we're looking at two similar situations.
As to the similarities and natures of two said boats:
LB Mike Mauti on PSU/OSU sanctions: "Their boat is a little different. (PSU players) didn't do anything to get our sanctions."— Derek Levarse (@TLdlevarse) October 23, 2012
Michael Mauti made himself a face of the program when he led a group of Nittany Lions in publicly proclaiming they'd stay, back shortly after NCAA sanctions were announced and other schools were circling. He's also been one of the conference's best players this year.
But he's totally wrong here.
The complete list of players on Penn State's roster who are responsible for the NCAA's sanctions against Penn State football: N/A.
Jerry Sandusky, Tim Curley, Gary Schultz, Joe Paterno and so forth were not players.
The complete list of players on Ohio State's roster who are responsible for the NCAA's sanctions against Ohio State football: N/A.
Jim Tressel was not a player; Terrelle Pryor, Dan Herron, Mike Adams, Solomon Thomas, and DeVier Posey are gone, as is Jordan Whiting; and OSU would not have gotten a bowl ban for three eventually reinstated players taking a couple hundred dollars from an agent.
For the time being, this is the same boat. Ohio State will find smoother sailing in the coming years, while Penn State's waves will only get choppier, but the 2012 vessels are alike in that their current crews did not steer into these waters.