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Is Penn State a legitimate Big Ten and BCS contender?

Justin K. Aller

Facetime

After scratching their way to a 4-0 start to the 2014 season, the Nittany Lions have begun to get some national recognition. Though they are still unranked, Penn State is being shown in a very positive light both in the Big Ten Championship race, but also in the road to the playoff. As was tweeted by onward state, PSU is one of the teams showcased in ESPN's Playoff promo. Though it is nice to see Penn State shown in bright colors like this, it is not exactly a shining endorsement. Other teams shown in the video such as Texas and Wisconsin already have a loss, and are extremely unlikely to make it to the playoff...or even get close. Point is, it's nice to see Penn State back, but it should not be taken out of context. This is an advertisement geared toward major, historical fan bases. Additionally, Penn State's Stadium was highlighted in a USATODAY piece which ranked the top 10 Collegiate Stadiums; Penn State ranked 7th, just behind Michigan and Ohio State. Also, PennLive's running top story right now is an article about Pat Fitzgerald's praise of the PSU Recruits and Players who stuck with Penn State through everything. In the same piece, he noted the impressive early season performances of Anthony Zettel, Daesean Hamilton, and Christian Hackenberg, among others. Worth a read.

Related - Penn State's Run Defense is ranked #1 in the Nation!

Northwestern and The Up-Tempo Offense

Northwestern's offense runs at a quick pace under QB Trevor Simien, who has taken over after Kain Colter's departure to the NFL (as a WR). Penn State has struggled with the quickness of offenses in the past, this NW offense isn't necessarily the scariest offense in the country. They're not Oregon. They're not Auburn. They're Northwestern.

Though Northwestern isn't a offensive powerhouse, they must still be taken seriously. All teams should.

That being said, Penn Live has us covered again with an article about how the D is to deal with the Offense and how snaps will be spread out. It's a tactic that should also be taken against the Ohio State Buckeyes.

The Heisman (an open discussion)

Hack ain't winning it. At least not this year. But who is? I think this year, more than others, it is a very interesting discussion because the variety.

If you are not familiar with the lead-candidates, here are the odds.

My personal vote?

Voice your thoughts in the comments.