No. 9 Penn State’s Quiet and Probable Path to the Big Ten East Championship and Beyond
With Michigan’s quarterback Wilton Speight (Richmond, Va.) now out of the picture for the rest of the season, things are looking likely that Ohio State will beat Michigan, especially after Michigan’s 14-13 loss to Iowa last week.
If Ohio State beats Michigan, and Penn State continues its undefeated streak Penn State will be headed Indianapolis to face a Big Ten West opponent for the championship.
That Big Ten West opponent is likely to be Wisconsin (8-2, 5-2). Wisconsin is physical, defensive, and just as hungry as Penn State is for a championship. It will be a true championship game if (and when) it happens.
The last time that Penn State won a Big Ten Championship was eight years ago, in 2008. Before that it was 2005, and way before that it was 1994. The championships are sparse, but this team looks to change that.
Getting to the Rose Bowl is a bit more iffy. First, Penn State would practically need to make it to the Big Ten Championship.
If Penn State wins the Big Ten Championship, it’s more than likely the Nittany Lions would be Rose-Bowl bound. However, if Penn State loses, Wisconsin would be the team headed to sunny California.
Should Penn State make and then lose the Big Ten Championship, the Lions would then be ranked lower than Michigan and Ohio State, making a Rose Bowl grab a tough one.
That being said, so much still rests on the outcomes of Michigan’s last two games, of which they must lose one for Penn State to succeed, and of course, Penn State still must face Rutgers and a darkhorse Michigan State.
No matter what the turnout is when all is said and done, from being an unranked, non-contender in the preseason to being one of the most talked about teams in college football, Penn State football has already done its fans and community proud.