Eight Reasons To Be Excited That Penn State’s No. 8
Despite a slow start to the season, Penn State football continues to rise through the national polls and rankings since taking down No. 2 Ohio State last month. On Tuesday night, the College Football Playoff Committee’s latest ranking came out with the Nittany Lions checking in at No. 8 in the nation. Here are eight reasons why you should be excited.
- You get to witness all the excitement firsthand- In my freshman year of college I’ve been part of a campus exuding that pride I once could only experience through my TV. If I knew last year what I know now, I could’ve saved myself the angst of wondering if I would be assigned to supplemental housing and enrolled to Penn State about six months earlier than I did. We’re all live from Happy Valley watching something historic happen.
- You get to hear the next opponent’s name 50 times during James Franklin’s press conferences- Notably very conservative and vague in his press conferences, James Franklin has done the unimaginable: use even more cliché coach speak when talking to the media. Franklin is now becoming known for making a point of saying the next opponent’s name over and over again in his interviews to emphasize just where his focus is. Although it does seem dodge-y, we still kinda love it. To be fair, there’s not much he could do that would take away from this season. He’s even started doing it on Twitter.
Rutgers, Rutgers, Rutgers, Rutgers, Rutgers, Rutgers, Rutgers, Rutgers, Rutgers, Rutgers, Rutgers, complete focus on Rutgers nothing else!
— James Franklin (@coachjfranklin) November 13, 2016
- It’s fun to give the NCAA a well-deserved middle finger- Under the original NCAA sanctions, this season was the first one that Penn State was supposed to be even eligible for a bowl game. Now, the Nittany Lions are in contention for the College Football Playoff in spite of the fines, scholarship reductions, and overall marred image of the program.
- This is the perfect distraction from politics- On Election Night, many college voters took a break from the electoral college coverage to find out where Penn State stood in the latest College Football Playoff Rankings. No matter what side we were on, we briefly forgot about the ever-stressful election coming to a head to celebrate the Nittany Lions cracking into the top ten for the first time in the post-Paterno era. Yesterday, hours after the walk-out protests on Old Main, the newly released rankings once again momentarily replaced feelings of frustration with ones of excitement. The outlook for Penn State’s post-season became even brighter. On social media, in-depth analyses theorizing what needs to happen for the Nittany Lions to make the College Football Playoff are mixed in with all of the #NotMyPresident political posts, which makes scrolling through your timeline a bit more enjoyable.
- Your Nittany Lions are top ten on the ice, too – Penn State has never been ranked in football while the hockey team competed at the Division I level and since the wrestling team won its first national title in 58 years. At the moment though, the Nittany Lions are ranked a program-high No. 10 in hockey and No. 4 in wrestling. What a winter to spend in Happy Valley.
- You get to fantasize about the ESPN 30 for 30 on the rebirth of Penn State football- 30 for 30s are quite possibly the greatest thing to happen to sports entertainment. The storyline of the past five seasons of Penn State football has been truly remarkable and would make for a great installment of the series. These days, I often find myself daydreaming how a 30 for 30 documentary would pan out after this season. I’m thinking Penn State alum Keegan Michael-Key would be a great choice to narrate it and talk about Bi-Lok-Aye Gillikin’s clutch fumble recovery in the end zone against Ohio State.
- Continuing the Success with Honor Tradition- James Franklin has done a great job taking care of the honor part of this. Seeing the success part come to fruition has been surreal. Regardless of who is on the sidelines on Saturdays, the Penn State football brand is back.
- All of this coincides with Onward State’s eighth birthday! – It’s only right that during the week Penn State is ranked eighth in the country, Onward State’s celebrates the eighth anniversary of its inaugural Rumor Mill post. We aren’t going to say that the College Football Playoff Committee gave us a birthday gift or anything, but stranger things have happened…like Penn State catapulting itself into the top ten in less than a month.