Outlook and predictions for the Big Ten East Division

GLENDALE, AZ - DECEMBER 31: Quarterback J.T. Barrett
GLENDALE, AZ - DECEMBER 31: Quarterback J.T. Barrett /
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PASADENA, CA – JANUARY 02: Running back Saquon Barkley

Penn State

2016: 1st in BIG Ten East

2017 Prediction: Sorry Nittanly Lions, you will have to settle for the runner up spot.

Penn State is ranked 6th in the AP Preseason 25 and coming off one of the best seasons in the program’s recent history. As good as the 2016 season was for the Nittanly Lions, they still didn’t make the playoff and lost in the Rose Bowl to the Trojans from USC.

Penn State has a lot of returning players and that Rose Bowl loss is something they have used as motivation all offseason. With Saquan Barkley, the Nittany Lions have arguable the best running back in the country and a full offense around him to win the BIG Ten Championship, and earn their first ever college football playoff position.

With this being said, I do not believe Penn State will win the BIG Ten, simply because I don’t think they can beat Ohio State in back to back seasons. They took down the Buckeyes last year at home, but to win at the Horseshoe is a different story.

The City of Columbus has been waiting for this revenge game since the blocked kick a year ago cost Ohio State the win, and I don’t think Penn State will pull off the upset again. James Franklin’s team is definitely a New Year’s Six caliber team but will have to make magic happen if they want to take down the Bucks again.

I see them finishing 11-1 in the regular season falling just short of their aspirations.