2011 Big Ten Record: 6-2
|Sept 8||@ Virginia|
|Sept 29||@ Illinois|
|Oct 20||@ Iowa|
|Oct 27||Ohio State|
|Nov 3||@ Purdue|
|Nov 10||@ Nebraska|
Do Not Play
Ohio State. Not as big of a test as Wisconsin could be, but since the Nittany Lions don't play the Badgers until the last game, I think the Ohio State game will be a truer test of where Penn State stands in the Leader division – post-Sandusky.
No real non-conf threats on this schedule. The road trip to Charlottesville is likely the only place where Penn State could slip up. But I also wouldn't count out Navy. Never underestimate a service academy.
It's a Trap!
Temple gave Penn State all they could handle last year in a 10-14 loss. Of course that was at Temple, and Penn State was fresh off a loss to Alabama, but still. I think Indiana could also sneak up in a late-season game sandwiched between a road trip to Nebraska and the finale against Wisconsin.
The Game Destined for ESPN3.com
Given the media hoopla surrounding Penn State recently, they'll be interesting to watch in September. The opener against Ohio would typically be my pick here, but there's nothing typical about what's happening in Happy Valley right now.
Penn State is in a very precocious position. It will be interesting to see how things play out once actual football is played again. I remember being very unconformable watching Penn State play at the end of last year. Football seems like it should be the last thing on the minds of the Nittany Lions fans these days. But given how important football is to the culture of Penn State, maybe it will help the healing process of the school, the students, the families, the coaches, the players and the fans to see football games being played on TV and not just b-roll of Jerry Sandusky being escorted out in hand-cuffs.
How the NCAA decides to approach/handle what's happened, and what continues to happen with the Paterno fall-out, will be very interesting to watch. But even with this whole mess going on, I think Penn State salvages a decent season.
Non-conference record: 4-0
Division Record: 3-2
Crossover Record: 0-3