September 22, 2012; University Park, PA, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions wide receiver Allen Robinson (8) catches a touchdown pass from Penn State Nittany Lions quarterback Matthew McGloin (not shown) in the first quarter at Beaver Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rob Christy-US PRESSWIRE

Penn State Playing Well Enough to Compete in Big Ten as Conference Play Begins

We all know that no matter what Penn State does, they can’t win the Big Ten. Still, wouldn’t it be fun if they were in the hunt to at least piss off Big Ten commissioner Jim Delaney? Rest assured that he does NOT want Penn State, or Ohio State for that matter, to win their division. Skipping the division winner for the next best isn’t fun for anybody and is exactly how an unranked 6-6 UCLA team played in the Pac 12 Championship last season.

Regardless of what Delaney may want, Penn State is in prime position to make a strong run in the Big Ten. Here are the facts:

  • Penn State is playing progressively better football each week.
  • QB Matt McGloin is playing as well as any quarterback in the conference.
  • PSU likely gets starting running back Bill Belton back this week-a guaranteed boost, offensively.
  • Also back will likely be LT Donovan Smith, Derek Day and Curtis Dukes.
  • Penn State opens conference play on the road against an Illinois team that just took a drubbing on their home field from Louisiana Tech.
  • Following that game, Penn State hosts Northwestern for Homecoming before a bye week.
  • The Big Ten is not great this year and Penn State does not play Michigan or Michigan State.

Following the home-opening loss to Ohio, many fans and experts were talking about Penn State struggling to win 3 games in 2012. Since then, that Ohio team has gone 4-0 and Penn State has played well enough to win every game they’ve played. Allen Robinson has given opposing coaches a player to worry about and it seems like O’Brien has a stable of enormous, capable tight ends to play in his offense. Alex Kenney is getting comfortable and backups at nearly every position have gotten quality snaps.

Matt McGloin, Michael Zordich, Jordan Hill, Mauti and others have emerged as clear leaders of this football team and they appear to have things headed in the right direction.

Is Penn State the best team in the division? Probably not. Are they good enough to make some noise? I think they just might be.

For all of the latest on the Penn State Nittany Lions, follow VBR Lead Editor Tim Tolley on Twitter.



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