Here we sit about halfway between the Blue-White Game and the beginning of the 2021 season.
The Nittany Lions are fresh off a tumultuous 2020 season, wherein the Lions went 4-5 following an 0-5 start with losses to Indiana, Maryland, and Nebraska sprinkled in.
The year prior, Penn State went 11-2 with a Cotton Bowl victory.
The Lions are currently sitting on the 7th ranked 2022 recruiting class. In 2021 they ended the year with the #21 overall class.
Ex-offensive coordinator Kirk Ciarrocca took over from Ricky Rahne in 2021, and was ousted after just one year in favor of Mike Yurcich, marking the third offensive coordinator for the Lions in as many years.
MMQB asks - what is your assessment of the current state of Penn State football?
For me, I believe Penn State is still in one of the better spots nation-wide. Yes, Ohio State is the nut-shaped elephant in the room, but the Buckeyes will always be there. Whether they continue to be the Alabama of the north indefinitely remains to be seen, but I wouldn’t hold my breath on OSU just going away any time soon.
So given that that hurdle will always be there, I think the Lions are actually in a pretty good spot overall.
Most years the Lions are expected to go 9-3 or better. A bounce here, a breakout play there, and the Lions are up at 10-2 and looking at the New Year’s Six bowls.
I’d love to see some steadiness on the offensive side of the ball for a few years. I’d like to see the secondary become a bit more settled. I wouldn’t mind the offensive line being a strength.
But overall, I think the Lions are fine. Could it be better? Sure. I wouldn’t mind actually making the playoffs before the inevitably expand. But again, given the obstacle that is OSU, with no margin for error in the B1G East, I have to think NY6 bowls in 2-3 out of a 4-year period is a pretty good setup overall.
But what say you? What’s your assessment of the Lions going into year 8 of the James Franklin era?