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Penn State Predictions For 2016

With a new year comes resolutions and a clean slate. Here’s what we think is in store for Penn State in 2016:

THON Will Raise Less Money

With two canning weekends cancelled this fall, the 2016 total will inevitably take a hit. THON 2015 raised $13,026,653.23 overall, and a large chunk of the total every year comes from canning. THON rightly made safety a priority over beating a record or achieving a goal, but I’d wager they’ll walk out with one fewer number card in February.

Football Will Win Six Games

James Franklin took over a roster in 2014 and 2015 with players he mostly didn’t recruit, but in 2016 he’ll start more of his guys than ever before. Even so, this upcoming season isn’t looked at very optimistically. A depleted defense (sans Zettel, Nassib, Johnson, Lucas, Reeder, etc.) plus a new starting quarterback under a new offensive coordinator is a recipe for a slow start. All of that is in addition to a schedule in which the Nittany Lions will be favored in not very many games. Penn State will play teams that finished last season ranked Nos. 4, 6, 9, and 12, and its nonconference slate that includes Pitt and Temple won’t be breezed through. A bowl bid isn’t a guarantee for James Franklin’s team this year. 

Hockey Will Make The NCAA Tournament

Currently ranked No. 14 in the USCHO Poll and No. 15 in the PairWise Rankings, Penn State hockey seemingly sets program records every other week. Guy Gadowsky’s team is 15-4-3 (tied for the sixth-best winning percentage in Division I college hockey) and with only the Big Ten schedule remaining, it has proved itself to be better than at least two conference foes (having swept Wisconsin and Michigan State already). Ohio State shouldn’t be a problem and Minnesota split its first series at Pegula, which only leaves No. 6 Michigan. If Penn State proves itself against the Wolverines at Madison Square Garden on January 30, a huge jump in the rankings is inevitable.

My Sister Comes To Penn State

Probably not, but tweet her @EmilyFlem and convince her otherwise.

The Greek Task Force Won’t Accomplish What It Should

The Penn State Greek system is in need of serious reform. After last year’s events, it’s clear that sweeping changes are necessary to ensure our Panhellenic and Interfraternity men and women (myself included) are not breeding an environment where assault, binge drinking, and hazing is tolerated. President Eric Barron took the first step towards this by creating a Greek life task force in the spring. I’m afraid despite the task force’s best efforts, with so many students, national involvement, and longstanding traditions, Greek life at Penn State has evolved into its own entity and it will continue to play by its own rules.

University Honors JoePa Somehow

It’s been a hot topic since 2011, and in the 2015 it was talked about by board members and even our Athletic Director. With Penn State’s wins under Paterno restored and more information coming to light on how awful the NCAA is, I think this year is the year for something more than a library on campus to commemorate our coach.

***

Thanks to Doug Leeson for the guest sports predictions.

What do you think is in store for the Nittany Nation in 2016? Let us know in the comments. 

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