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MAQB - Where Should PSU Rank Ahead of the 2021 Season?

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Can the Lions recapture their 2019 glory?

Illinois v Penn State Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

The start of the 2021 football season is just a few weeks away, and some early polls have already come out.

CBS Sports ranks Penn State at #17, citing the uncharacteristically poor 2020 season, the dearth of returning talent, and the addition of offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich.

The ESPN power rankings place the Lions at #20, mentioning some of the returning talent, but specifically harping on the loss of Micah Parsons and pretty much all of the defensive ends.

MAQB asks: where would you rank Penn State heading into the 2021 season?

For me, the magic number is #15. I do think the team has the talent to push into the top 10, but coming off a 4-5 season, losing their top players on defense, and breaking in yet another offensive coordinator is enough to give me some pause.

The real litmus test will come in week 1 - if the Lions can go on the road and beat a Wisconsin team that should be closer to top 10 than top 15, it’ll immediately make the pollsters take notice. Drop that game and it’s probably not a huge setback in the rankings, but more a general marker of how the season may shape up.

What say you? Where would you rank PSU?