It’s time to get down to business. After dabbling in national or B1G story lines the last few days, we finally turn our attention to Happy Valley and the 2013 Nittany Lions. Today’s question is simple, what will Penn State’s 2013 record be?
Lead Editor Matt de Bear (@PSUMatt2005)
I’m somewhat pleased to say that last year I nailed the 8-4 record, although the path to get there varied a bit from what I expected. Looking ahead to this year, things feel much more settled, of course, but there are still so many significant questions to be answered. Hackenberg or Ferguson? How will the LB depth hold up? How do you replace the leadership of a legendary 2012 senior class?
Whether we want to admit it or not, the depth, and not just at linebacker, is going to be an issue the deeper into the season we get, and that’s when the schedule is at its toughest. PSU getting out to a 5-1 or 6-0 start headed into Michigan’s visit feels very possible, but from there, the Wolverines, Ohio State, Nebraska, and Wisconsin all remain.
I believe this team has the talent to win 9 or 10 games, but the questions to only win 6. I’m going to split the difference and go with 8-4 again.
Staff Writer Eric Sion (@ericbsion)
My prediction for Penn State’s record in 2013 is 7-5. I think that the Nittany Lions will go 3-1 in non-conference play (losing to either Syracuse or UCF) and then they’ll go 4-4 in Big Ten play. Those four losses that I have are to Michigan, Ohio State, Nebraska and Wisconsin. I also think there’s a good chance that Indiana can upset Penn State with their high powered offense and home field advantage. I picked Penn State to go 6-6 last season and they proved me wrong by going 8-4. I wouldn’t mind if they proved me wrong again.
Staff Writer Barry Leonard Jr. (@barryleonardjr)
I think the Nittany Lions will finish the season 9-3. Yes, there’s a new man under center, but the offense is loaded with talent and experience. This team will be able to put up points. The defense could be down a bit, but still very solid. When looking at the schedule, the first five games should be counted as wins. Adding to the win total will be games against Purdue, Illinois and Minnesota. The four toughest games should be home against Michigan and Nebraska and at Ohio State and Wisconsin. The electric Beaver Stadium crowd should help pull off one of the home upsets. There’s a chance for 10 wins, but I’m not going to get overly greedy.
Staff Writer Corey Hunter (@realhuntdog23)
Penn State has the potential to be very good, or they could be disappointing based on the returners they have. Certainly the biggest question marks on the offense lies in the quarterback position. Depth at linebacker and some inexperience in the secondary could plague John Butler’s defense as well.
With that said, I think Penn State uses close wins against Syracuse, UCF, and Kent State, to propel them to a 5-3 mark in the Big Ten, and a 9-3 record overall.
The Lions will open Big Ten play with a solid win in Bloomington against a vastly improved Indiana team before having tough losses at home on Homecoming to Michigan, followed by 2 weeks later in Columbus against the Buckeyes. The Nittany Lions will respond with wins against Illinois, Minnesota, Purdue, and their 2013 signature win over Nebraska on Senior Day. The excitement quickly ends as Penn State drops the finale at Wisconsin.