At the beginning of what seemed to be like a boring Saturday in college football, the Penn State Nittany Lions were a long shot to win the East division of the Big Ten Conference. However, after what can only be described as a dream-like day for the Lions, and a nightmarish day for most of the top teams around college football, Penn State’s path to a possible Big Ten title, and Playoff berth, has become more clear and concise.
When Saturday began, Penn State was the No. 10 in the nation, and needed a lot of help in order to break its way to keep any shot whatsoever. Well, after twelve hours of football, here’s what happened: PSU slipped by Indiana, 45-31, Pitt beat No. 2 Clemson, 43-42 on a last second field goal, Iowa toppled No. 3 Michigan, 14-13 on a last second field goal, No. 20 USC stunned No. 4 Washington, 26-13, Ole Miss came back in the final 3 minutes to sting No. 8 Texas A&M, 29-28, and Georgia handled No. 9 Auburn, 13-7. In the end, the Nos. 2, 3, 4, 8, and 9 teams in the nation all went down on “Bloody Saturday”.
The first release of all the poll rankings will begin today when the USA Today Coaches poll is released at 12pm, and the Associated Press college football poll come out around 2 p.m. They’re nice barometers on where teams will possibly end up, but all in all, the only set of rankings that really do matter will come from the College Football Playoff committee at 8pm on Tuesday night.[embedit snippet=”Nick ads”]
This much is clear for the Nittany Lions, the road is more open for them than it was before. If Penn State beats Rutgers next weekend (which should be a given), and Michigan State the weekend after (could be a road block), and assuming Michigan gets by Indiana next week, the Nittany Lions will be in line to play in the Big Ten title game if and only if Ohio State beats Michigan in two weeks. In that scenario, Penn State and Ohio State would each only have one conference loss, and the Lions have the tiebreaker, since they beat the Buckeyes earlier this season. By virtue of the tie breaker, the Nittany Lions will have earned Big Ten title game shot as the conference’s East division champion,
Make it to the Big Ten title game, and with a win over Wisconsin, who may possibly by a Top Five team in the college football playoff rankings, and Penn State could have a shot at its first College Football Playoff appearance, even with two losses.
Crazy to consider, isn’t it? Well, after yesterday, it’s not crazy anymore, it is a reality for Penn State.