We're Talkin' Schedules - Penn State

Previously: Illinois, Indiana, Ohio State

Now: Penn State

2010 Overall Record: 7-6
2010 Big Ten Record: 4-4

Non-Conference Opponents
9/3: Indiana State (6-5)
9/10: Alabama (10-3)
9/17: @ Temple (8-4)
9/24: Eastern Michigan (2-10)

Divisional Opponents
10/1: @ Indiana
10/15: Purdue
10/29: Illinois
11/19: @ Ohio State
11/26: @ Wisconsin

Crossover Opponents
10/8: Iowa
10/22: @ Northwestern
11/12: Nebraska

Do Not Play
Michigan State

If You Only Watch One Penn State Game in 2011: I'd say it would have to be Alabama. My inner-Big Ten conscience tells me that it should be a B1G team, especially a Leaders division squad like Ohio State or Wisconsin. But I'm going out on a limb and picking the Crimson Tide. Last year's contest in Tuscaloosa was never really close, but this year's tussle in Happy Valley will be better. I'm not going to say that Penn State is going to win, but it should at least be entertaining. Plus this will be a nice afternoon primer for the real matchup of the day, Notre Dame at Michigan under the lights!

Non-Conference Loss: With traditional powerhouses like Indiana State, Temple and EMU on the schedule, I don't think I'm out of line by picking Alabama here.

It's a Trap!: At Northwestern on October 22nd. This road game is sandwiched between two home division games. It's also the last game before the home stretch where they play 3 of the conferences best teams. Plus, Northwestern has the firepower to hang a loss on Penn State in late October.

The Game Destined for ESPN3.com: The opener against Indiana State. Coming in a close 2nd is Temple on the road on Sept. 17th. Take your pick.

Final Analysis: I feel like Penn State is possibly better than their 7-6 result last year. They need to solidify their QB position. And with Robert Bolden transfer rumors twisting in the wind isn't helping matters. If he stays, you have a QB race. If he leaves, then McGloin needs to step up. PSU will benefit from an improved defense, which is really what they're known for. If they can get to the Iowa game in 10/8 with only 1 loss, which is what I predict, than I think 8-9 wins are certainly possible. But a brutal November could unhinge a New Year's Day bowl.

AND! Whatever happened to the PSU-MSU rivalry that league tried so desperately to manufacture when Penn State joined the league in 1993? Hmm...not so much, huh?

Fearless Predictions
Non-conference record: 3-1
Division Record: 3-2
Crossover Record: 1-2
Overall: 7-5

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