Penn State’s football season was full of memorable moments; the originally unranked Nittany Lions finished out their season with a shootout in the Rose Bowl and a No. 7 ranking in the final AP Poll. The hoopla is over, so it’s time to look back and analyze every detail we can to get a sense of exactly how great the season really was.
The statistics for this breakdown — courtesy of Phil Steele — analyze strength of wins against FBS opponents and the wins those opponents had themselves as of January 9.
Today’s Blog: Strength of Wins for 2017
1. Clemson 112
2. Alabama 103
3. Ohio St 79
4. Wisconsin 74
5. Penn St 72 https://t.co/kh50G00UMM
— Phil Steele (@philsteele042) January 12, 2017
Penn State had 11 wins in the 2016 football season against FBS teams. The 11 teams Penn State beat had a combined 72 wins in the season, placing the Nittany Lions at No. 5 in the country for strength of wins by this approach. Clemson tops the chart, with the opponents it beat having a combined 112 wins. Only four teams in the FBS had more wins than Penn State did this season — Western Michigan (13), Washington (12), Alabama (14), and Clemson (14). An interesting statistic for comparing strength of wins is actually losses. Teams Penn State lost to finished the year with 11 total losses — good for No. 13 in the nation.
Penn State heads into the 2017 season ranked in the top ten for the first time years. Couple Penn State’s resurgence with the overall strength of the Big Ten, and you’ve got can’t-miss football — the only Big Ten team that outranks Penn State is Ohio State. With most players returning and continued stellar recruiting from James Franklin and his staff, the future looks bright in Happy Valley.