Is this the year Penn State breaks through for its first College Football Playoff appearance? They are certainly viewed as a strong contender in 2020, according to many early preseason polls.
247 released its latest preseason poll ahead of the 2020 college football season, with Penn State coming in at #5. The bad news, however, is that division rival Ohio State stands at #1. They are followed by Clemson, Alabama and Georgia to round out the top five. Athlon also had Penn State in the top five of its early preseason poll.
Wisconsin is the next highest-ranked Big Ten program at #10, giving the conference three teams in the top 10. Michigan and Minnesota are #17 and #18 respectively, with no other Big Ten teams appearing in the top 25. Iowa and Indiana were the leading vote-getters not to be included in the top 25, with Nebraska also receiving votes as well. Penn State avoids Minnesota in the regular season, but will face each of the other aforementioned Big Ten programs this fall.
The Nittany Lions are scheduled to kick off the season September 5 when they welcome Kent State to Beaver Stadium.