When Penn State joined the Big Ten in 1993, many across the conference feared the Nittany Lions would dominate and quickly become the league's premier team. Of course, that dominance never quite materialized as Penn State has won just three conference titles in 18 Big Ten seasons and suffered the worst downturn in its modern history between 2000-2004.
That said, Penn State's time as "new kid on the block" has seen its share of great moments, and as the winds of change prepare to blow through the conference again in the fall when Nebraska becomes a full member and the league implements divisional play for the first time in its storied history, we at BSD figured now might be as good a time as any to look back on the Lions' first nearly two decades in the Big Ten.
For that reason, we've enlisted the help of Penn State football historian Lou Prato and former cornerback Tony Pittman to look back on 15 of the Lions' greatest games since joining the league. Lou is the author of the Penn State Football Encyclopedia and the go-to source for everything about the program's history. Pittman started for Penn State's undefeated 1994 Rose Bowl team and today is a host of the Penn State Football podcast. Both men have seen the program's ups and downs in these first 18 Big Ten seasons and have unique perspective on what the games we'll profile mean.
We're excited to have them on board for this project and looking forward to including their insight in our work. They've put a lot of time into this thus far, so we owe them a big thank you. We only hope we do as good a job as they did in making this happen. If you haven't already, we highly encourage you to check out Lou's work with the Encyclopedia as well as other titles including the Penn State Football Vault and "Game Changers: The 50 Greatest Plays In Penn State Football History." We also recommend you head over the the Penn State Football Podcast home page and check out Pittman's work over there.
Our first game profile will run later today. We hope you like it, and we hope you're as excited for this journey though history as we are.