The Penn State Nittany Lions are ineligible for postseason play as part of the sanctions from the Jerry Sandusky fallout. As a result, they will not be in a bowl this year and are not able to contend for the Big Ten Championship. Because of those factors, this week may represent Penn State’s championship for this season as they go on the road to take on the undefeated Ohio State Buckeyes.
Led by their talented freshman quarterback Christian Hackenberg, the Nittany Lions have been inconsistent but have shown the ability to come up with big plays and push opponents to the limit. Penn State is just 4-2 but coming off of their biggest win of the year in the overtime thriller against Michigan which neither team seemed to want to win in the end. The Nittany Lions are hoping to be able to ride a wave of momentum and play spoiler for an Ohio State team hoping to not only win the Big Ten but potentially play for the National Title.
Bill O’Brien has done a remarkable job since taking over for Joe Paterno in light of everything that has happened and while they have faced challenges, the Nittany Lions do appear to have a bright future going forward. With continued recruiting and building a program as well as getting sanctions behind them, they could be in position to be a big factor in the Big Ten. There is no question that a win against Ohio State would go a long way in doing that and be the biggest win of O’Brien’s tenure in State College.