The college football season is just around the corner which means everybody is releasing their preseason rankings. Today, Sports Illustrated came out with its own, with the Nittany Lions coming in at No. 7.
Here’s what SI writer Andy Staples had to say about Penn State:
X-Factor: The Penn State offense will have a new look to it this season, and not just because Saquon Barkley is gone. Ricky Rahne takes over as offensive coordinator and promises to give more play-calling responsibility to senior QB Trace McSorley. But Rahne’s favorite toy this season could be backup QB Tommy Stevens, a dual threat who surprisingly decided to sit behind McSorley for one more year rather than transfer and start elsewhere. Rahne could use Stevens as a Wildcat QB in the red zone or even line him up as a receiver. With McSorley a Heisman candidate this season and Stevens locked in for 2019, the Nittany Lions’ attack is in good hands. — Andy Staples
The only Big Ten team ahead of Penn State according to SI? The Wisconsin Badgers, who came in at No. 3 just behind Clemson and Alabama. While that’s a little higher than most are projecting the Badgers, I have to say, I kind of get it. A lot of Wisconsin’s success will depend on Alex Hornibrook taking that next step, but if he does, that Badger offense will be difficult to stop.
Ohio State (No. 9), Michigan State (No. 11), and Michigan (No. 15) round out the rankings as far as Big Ten programs go. And for those wondering if Pitt and Pat Narduzzi made the list, I can confirm that they did not.