Now that the AP has released their preseason top 25, Penn State’s schedule officially has four teams that are ranked preseason in Ohio State, Michigan, Michigan State, and Iowa—plus one (Pitt) that falls into the “others receiving votes” category.
Though the Buckeyes are (barely) favored by the press in that poll, SBN’s Bill Connelly has the September 24th matchup in Ann Arbor as the toughest one for the Nittany Lions, with only a 25% win probability. In fact, Connelly even has Franklin’s squad with lower odds on winning the week prior’s matchup in Heinz field with 44% than the October 22nd white out showdown versus Ohio State—and he actually likes the Nittany Lions against the Hawkeyes and Spartans (or, at least gives them better than a 50% chance of victory in those games) as PSU’s preseason S + P ranking is higher than Iowa’s, but comparable to MSU’s and Pitt’s.
Connelly’s odds, of course, take location into its percentages—and home team advantage has to be a factor. Because of that, as of today, the Big Ten opener against the Wolverines should be the most difficult game and opponent on the Nittany Lions’ schedule.
What say you, community? What’s the toughest matchup?