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Era vs Era: Qualifying Voting Results

How do our semifinals look?

NCAA Football - Outback Bowl - Tennessee vs Penn State - January 1, 2007 Photo by A. Messerschmidt/Getty Images

Over the last few weeks, we’ve asked you, the reader, to reflect back on the offenses and defenses from four eras of Penn State football in the 21st century, and then vote on the best from each era.

The four eras being evaluated are:

  • Late Paterno Era (2005-2009)
  • Transition Era (2010-2014)
  • Early Franklin Era (2015-2019)
  • Current Era (2020-2023)

Let’s go over the results from each era, so we can see what our four semifinal teams look like.

Late Paterno Era

It may come as no surprise to most, but the two leading teams in this era were 2005 and 2008.

With 58% of the vote, the 2008 offense is your winner from this era, while 2005 came in second with 40% of the vote. On the other side of the ball, the 2005 defense pulled in 46% of the vote to secure first place, and the 2008 defense came in at second with 27% of the vote.

The Late Paterno Era will feature the 2008 Offense and the 2005 Defense.

Transition Era

This era had a little bit more even voting, as several teams had decent stats on one side of the ball, but not the other.

The 2012 offense came in first place with 55% of the vote, and the 2013 offense took second with 39%. The 2014 defense was the easy winner with 53% of the vote, while 2011 earned 28%, and 2012 got 18% for a third place finish.

The Transition Era will feature the 2012 Offense and the 2014 Defense.

Early Franklin Era

This era had a few good teams, which made voting a little more dynamic. Rather than picking over subpar options, the voters had 2-3 really good picks to choose from.

The 2017 offense got first place with 65% of the vote (the largest vote percentage in any of the polls), while the 2016 offense took home 34%. The 2019 defense pulled in 50% to take first place, while 2017 nabbed 37% of the vote.

The Early Franklin Era will feature the 2017 Offense and the 2019 Defense.

Current Era

This era had the only wildcard, in that it includes the 2023 team, which of course has not yet played a game. Rather, the prospective, immediate future included considerations for roster changes and coaching longevity, compared with the known data from the previous few years.

The 2023 offense got first place with 57% of the vote, while the 2022 offense garnered 42%. The 2023 defense raked in 60% of the vote, while the 2022 defense got 37%.

The Current Era will feature the 2023 Offense and the 2023 Defense.

Setting Up the Semi-Finals

Now that we have our four teams set, it’s time to pit them against each other in a College Football Playoff setup. Since there’s no realistic way to determine a 1-seed vs a 4-seed, I instead randomly generated four numbers for the four teams, and then randomly generated those same four numbers to determine the two semi-final games. Here are the semi-final matchups:

  • Semi-Final #1: Late Paterno Era vs Early Franklin Era
  • Semi-Final #2: Current Era vs Transition Era

Next week, we’ll start voting for the first semi-final matchup, which should be a really, really good showdown. Until then!