Pregame Predictor: FOUR the Glory
Don’t get too comfortable with the number though, it’s destined to change fast as No. 2 LSU and No. 3 Alabama are set to clash this weekend. And you know who No.1 has a date with two weeks down the road. I truly hope you took the advice and kicked back just a little during the bye-week ‘cause our emotions are about to embark on a wild ride. We are in unchartered waters, you know. A few year's worth of dabbling in the conversation has led to a full-fledged charge for all the marbles and there’s no turning back. Everything that FrankLion has been preaching over the years is now at our door and knocking loud. Four the glory today, but all we really want is No. 1 in the end!
It all begins and could potentially end in Minneapolis at high noon (EST) on Saturday. The upstart and unbeaten Gophers of Minnesota, who are 8-0 and ranked No. 17 in the College Football Playoff poll but a more respectable No. 13 in the AP, stand in our way. They’ve got a chip on their shoulder and nothing to lose. To hear James Franklin tell it, their O-Line could rival some NFL squads, their wideouts pose a gigantic threat to our undersized DBs, and his counterpart on the opposite sideline, PJ Fleck, is a rising star destined for huge paydays. It’s almost enough to make you think it was them holding the upper hand for a playoff birth and us just hovering somewhere around the mid-to-late teens due to a rather ho-hum schedule.
But it’s not. That rank belongs to us for good reason and it’s just as much for what’s to come as who we left behind on our way to 8-0. So don’t let the head coach fool you, as he gives his best impression of JoePa yet. What we have today is mad respect from all those that made a living giving Penn State the side-eye. We’re not a team full of fifth-year seniors giving it all they have in their last hurrah, but a squad full of youth just beginning to rise. I saw that twinkle in Franklin’s eye in Iowa and one month later, that look I witnessed in the post-game presser has been justified. Nothing comes easy and what lies ahead is tough, but for all their momentum, it’s not going to come crashing down at the hands of Minnesota. They’re a team trying to get where WE ARE and we’ve come too far now to let it all slip away: Nittany Lions 44, Gophers 10.