Kirk Herbstreit: Penn State Is ‘The Story Of The Year In College Football’

The ESPN College GameDay crew is nestled up in a snowy Kalamazoo, Mich. this morning at Western Michigan University but closet Penn State fan Kirk Herbstreit is keeping everyone warm with his takes.

The group got to talking No. 8 Penn State on the show this morning, inspiring Herbstreit to recount a brief history of the Nittany Lions over the last five years.

“I think one thing we have to repeat, to remember is where this Penn State football team was five years ago. Think about everything they endured: Jerry Sandusky, the report that came out, Joe Paterno,” Herbstreit said.

“Four or five weeks ago there were some [Penn State] fans that were ready to fire James Franklin. They block a field goal and beat Ohio State, and now they’re in a position possibly to get to the Big Ten Championship. Wow. That is the story of the year in college football for the job that James Franklin has done and this Penn State team has done.”

In the beginning of October there were few, if any, Penn State fans predicting a top-10 ranked Penn State team, but now with a good chance to win out and the possibility of a postseason, the Nittany Lions are rightfully the talk of the town (or at least ESPN College GameDay).

Lee Corso had some proclamations about Penn State this year, predicting the Nittany Lions will win out and “get to Indy.” Corso also said that the game against Ohio State stands out in Penn State’s storied football past.

“Those two special team plays in the fourth quarter might be the most important plays in Penn State history,” Corso said. Here’s the full clip:

The Nittany Lions take on Rutgers tonight at 8 p.m. in New Brunswick. A win is pivotal for Penn State’s Big Ten Championship and even potentially College Football Playoff chances, but shouldn’t be too difficult against a 2-8 Rutgers.

Your ad blocker is on.

Please choose an option below.

Sign up for our e-mail newsletter:
Support quality journalism:
Purchase a Subscription!

About the Author

Lexi Shimkonis

Lexi is an editor-turned-staff writer who can often be found at either Irving's or the Phyrst (with the chances she'll have her backpack being the same). Lexi is a senior hailing from Spring City, PA (kind of) and studying Civil Engineering. Please email questions and/or pleas for an Instagram caption to [email protected], or for a more intimate bond, follow her on Twitter @lexshimko.

‘It Was A Pretty Memorable Experience’: Penn State Club Baseball Wins Back-To-Back National Titles

After winning the Club Baseball World Series in 2023, the team repeated in 2024.

Report: Penn State Hoops Finalizing December 21 Game Against Drexel

The game would take place at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, per Rocco Miller.

Former Four-Star Penn State Football Running Back Commit Alvin Henderson Flips To Auburn

Henderson was one of the top running backs in the class of 2025.

Other posts by Lexi

A Special, Precious, & Eventful Experience: Lexi Shimkonis’ Senior Column

“And here in this lovely, intriguing spot called Penn State, each of us staked our own special, precious, and eventful life.” — Ross Lehman

Homecoming To Replace King And Queen With Gender-Neutral Court

[Video] An Interview With Line Dance Leader Gina DeFrancesco