Nov 17, 2012; University Park, PA, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions head coach Bill O

Penn State Football-Who Will The Lions Play In Ireland?

One of the more popular scheduling topics of the past few months has been the recurring talk of the Nittany Lions heading across the pond to play a game in Ireland.  Bill O’Brien has pushed the story along as well, repeatedly stating that it is indeed being discussed.  With future Big 10 schedules officially expanding to 9 games, it would appear all but one hurdle has been cleared.  That final step?  Finding a dance partner.  The following are not predictions, or even based on reality.  Rather, it’s just some ideas of who I would like to see join PSU on the Emerald Isle.

Notre Dame

Forgive me for grabbing the low hanging fruit to start off. But aside from the obvious Notre Dame connections to Ireland, two of the most storied programs in college football playing a marquis game overseas would be fantastic. Add in the shared St. John’s Prep lineage of Bill O’Brien and Brian Kelly, and you have the makings of a great story.

Ohio State

There is no doubt that the Buckeyes are the premier opponent on Penn State’s schedule every season, and probably PSU’s biggest current rival. How great would it be to see one of the Big 10′s biggest annual games on the international stage? Now, this one falls in the “absolutely no chance” category for any number of reasons, but a guy can dream, right?


This would be fun. You of course have the tradition factor with a program like USC, but there are so many great stories. Two programs that very much feel jobbed by the NCAA. The whole Silas Redd transfer situation. And I heard that the Trojans’ coach is something of a lightning rod of criticism. I’d love to see the Lions and SC get together anywhere, why not Ireland?


HAHA, not really. I don’t want to play Temple in Ireland, Philly, State College, or anywhere else. I may at least listen to arguments for Vegas, however.


When I think of historic Penn State rivals, Nebraska is probably at the top of the list.  There have been so many signature moments over the years in the meetings between these two programs.  This one gets hard with the elimination of the “protected” crossover game, and much like Ohio State, I doubt either school wants to concede a home Big 10 game against a big rival.

The likely path is probably a smaller profile school from a major FBS conference looking to generate more exposure with a game like this.  But it is certainly fun to think about how fun some of these matchups would be overseas.

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Tags: Football Nebraska Cornhuskers Notre Dame Fighting Irish Ohio State Buckeyes Penn State Nittany Lions Temple Owls Usc Trojans

  • Matt Petero

    To me it seems logical that one of the newbies to the Big 10 (Rutgers or Maryland) be scheduled. The exposure would do both schools well. What would I WANT to see? A renewal of the Pitt/Penn St rivalry.

  • Willie Green

    To be financially worthwhile, it would have to be an opponent that would draw national media attention, yet not a B1G opponent which would draw primarily regional/conference interest.
    USC would probably be better than Notre Dame. But there are many other matchups which would have the same allure as a post-season bowl game. Stanford, Texas, Auburn, Miami, LSU are just a few of many that could attract such interest in an early season visit to Ireland.
    But if you can’t generate the media interest, then it wouldn’t be worthwhile going there.

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