The legend of Saquon Barkley continues to grow with each passing week.
Penn State’s Heisman contender will appear on a special edition cover of Sports Illustrated this week ahead of the second-ranked Nittany Lions’ heavyweight clash with No. 6 Ohio State Saturday afternoon in Columbus.
— SI College Football (@si_ncaafb) October 23, 2017
While the popular magazine ran an in-depth feature on the star running back this summer, this is Barkley’s first appearance on the cover.
The cover, which is available for purchase here, is part of a series the magazine is doing on Big Ten football. SI’s Jenny Vrentas focuses on the Big Ten era of Nittany Lion football in the featured article, and she goes into detail about how Penn State joined the Big Ten.
After not being a member of a conference for nearly 100 years, Joe Paterno decided it was time for his team to join a conference; competing as an independent became much less desirable as time passed (Don’t tell that to Notre Dame, though.)
Originally, Paterno wanted to start a conference with teams based in the northeastern region of the United States, but nothing came to fruition until Penn State began Big Ten play in 1993.
Vrentas addresses the pros and cons of joining the conference in the article. While some fans argue that the 1994 Nittany Lions would have been named national champions if they competed as an independent, the temporary discontinuation of the Penn State-Pitt rivalry is a more tangible argument.
All this and more about the notable 2005 and 2016 Penn State football teams can be found in the article, which hits news stands this week.
Saturday’s contest kicks off at 3:30 p.m. and can be seen live on FOX.