Most of us were looking past this past week’s Penn State-Ohio State matchup—not in the traditional use of that phrase, of course, but rather in that it was a foregone conclusion that the Nittany Lions would again fail to live up to the whiteout hype.
Oh, we of little faith.
But as we know, college football is a fickle business; in the past, hard fought wins (and near-wins) over good teams can be closely followed by let-down losses over less-than-great opponents (Maryland 2014, anyone?). That being said, knowing that as of this week Penn State is favored to win every game that remains on their schedule, which one will be the toughest?
Yes, I’m aware that variations of this question have been asked on Monday mornings past. But if a win over the number two team in the nation doesn’t cause you to reevaluate your thoughts on the program and this year’s team, well, then nothing will.
I still think, much like Bill C, Indiana remains our toughest matchup. It’s an away game (traditionally tough for Franklin’s teams), and the Hoosiers are a much better team than their 3-4 record indicates—though by that game, they may very well be 5-4, with Maryland and Rutgers the next two outings for Kevin Wilson.
Yes, Iowa is the best team left on the schedule—and overall, historically, Penn State hasn’t fared too well against the Hawkeyes. But I’m not as worried. Why? The Nittany Lions have won the last two matchups (having snapped a three-game skid) and the last meeting was a blowout (the good kind) under BOB. Despite a great year last year, Iowa has looked very vulnerable this year, and Penn State has looked as good as it’s looked under CJF.
Plus, it’s a night game at the Beav—and the last two seasons, Franklin has only lost one game so far at home.
What say you guys? Indiana? Iowa? I could even see Purdue, for the letdown factor (though Rutgers and MSU, at this point, just don’t scare me at all).