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Ten Things That Were Different The Last Time Penn State Was Ranked No. 2

The last time Penn State earned the No. 2 in the AP Poll was when the team held the spot for 10 weeks after getting off to a 9-0 start in 1999.

LaVar Arrington led that Penn State team, and a lot has changed in the football program here in Happy Valley since that season. A lot has changed outside of Happy Valley since then, too:

1. The top songs were “Unpretty” by TLC, “Heartbreaker” by Mariah Carey ft. Jay-Z, and “Smooth” by Santana.

Unlike most things, music somehow managed to get worse since the last time Penn State was ranked this high.

2. Spongebob was in the middle of its first season.

The show premiered in May 1999. Our favorite sponge has been going strong — even with a couple movies under his belt — since then.

3. Trace McSorley was four years old.

The future star quarterback of the Nittany Lions was likely sitting in preschool somewhere, while senior Kevin Thompson was the leader 1999 Nittany Lions offense.

4. Internet Explorer 5 was released.

I don’t know which version of Internet Explorer is out now, but I doubt it’s much of an improvement over the late-90s software.

5. Myspace and Napster launched.

Remember when people actually cared who your best friends were? We don’t care about ranking our Top 8 friends anymore, but we certainly do care about an unrelated top four ranking.

6. Bluetooth technology was announced.

Thankfully we have made a lot more progress in this category. But one thing that hasn’t changed? The embarrassment when you start talking to someone because you think they’re talking to you but really they’re on the phone using a bluetooth headset. Come on — don’t pretend this hasn’t happened to you.

7. The Y2K Bug caused chaos and panic.

It’s a good thing the world didn’t spiral into chaos because computers couldn’t interpret the switch to a new millennium, because now we are able to see the Nittany Lions in contention for a national title.

8. The average cost of a gallon of regular gas was $1.22.

I’m starting to think life was a lot easier back then.

9. The hottest toys were the Gameboy color and Furby.

Ah, yes. Now I remember 1999 more clearly. 1999 was the birth year of the furry creatures who still haunt my dreams.

10. The Nokia 6210 was among the best-selling cellphones.

It was loaded with everyone’s favorite game, Snake!

It’s safe to say a whole lot has changed since the last time Penn State football was ranked No. 2. Let’s just hope the Nittany Lions can capitalize on their position.

About the Author

Nathaniel Pinskey

Nathaniel is only filling this out because he was forced to. He prefers to be called Nathaniel, but it always turns into Nate or Nathan. Send questions and comments via e-mail ([email protected]) and follow him on Twitter (@nlpinskey3896) even though he doesn't tweet.



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