Everyone seems to love the old timers. First it was Notre Dame. Then everyone jumped on the UCLA and Bama bandwagons. Now Penn State. But not only are the media saying that PSU is back, theyâ€™re saying theyâ€™re in the national title hunt â€“ Not so fast my friend.
While Penn State is certainly an improved team, letâ€™s not get carried away. Penn State did shut down Ohio State, but Ohio State also shut down Penn State and outgained the Nittany Lions 230 to 195. Further a 2 yard touchdown drive turned out to be the difference in the game.
At this point in the season, only two things can be definitively said about the Big 10. Illinois is really, really bad, and no Big 10 team will play for the national title this year. Three of the four teams expected to content for the conference title are at the bottom of the conference standings just above Illinois (OSU, UM, and Purdue). The fourth of the contenders, Iowa, isnâ€™t doing much better. Michigan St., Wisconsin, and Minnesota also started the seasons with nice little runs, but they couldnâ€™t hold on in the conference that is 2005â€™s definition of parity.
Penn St. wonâ€™t hold on either. The heart of their schedule is still in front of them with games at Michigan and MSU and at home against Purdue and Wisconsin. They also travel to Illinois. Jo Paâ€™s troops are better, but theyâ€™ll lose a couple before itâ€™s all said and done.
As for the rest of the Big 10, who knows? I canâ€™t tell if theyâ€™re all good or all bad.