Penn State Football: College Football Playoff Snub Stings, but It’ll be Okay

The Penn State Nittany Lions were left out of the College Football Playoff after a fantastic finish to the season. 

Penn State fans were no doubt disappointed when the College Football Playoff final rankings were announced Sunday afternoon. Despite winning nine straight games to end the year and pulling off a remarkable comeback over Wisconsin in the Big Ten Championship, the Nittany Lions were left out of the final four.

The Nittany Lions were one of the most debated teams in terms of the CFP rankings. Ultimately, having a conference championship and a head-to-head victory over Ohio State was not enough to move Penn State into the top four in the eyes of the committee.

Penn State landed just on the outside of the Playoff, coming in ranked at No. 5. The fourth and final spot came down to Washington.

When looking at all the metrics, there are many arguments that could me made to support Penn State being in ahead of Washington. Sure, the Huskies had just one loss, but their strength of schedule was 55th, compared to Penn State at 40th. When looking at the non-conference, the Huskies had the 127th-ranked schedule with teams like Portland State and Idaho. Penn State played against Pittsburgh and AAC champion Temple and had the 12th-ranked schedule.

The argument could be made that had Penn State scheduled a non-conference “cupcake” instead of the likes of Pittsburgh, the Nittany Lions could have ended with just one loss and been in a playoff spot.

Ohio State came in ranked at No. 3 in the final rankings, and that also stings to Penn State. The Buckeyes did not have to play in the Big Ten Championship and fell in an upset to the Nittany Lions. Essentially, the Buckeyes had already done enough even without playing the extra game.

However, now that everything is settled, it is time to move forward. A No. 5 ranking and a trip to the Rose Bowl is nothing to scoff at. It’s been a great season for the Nittany Lions. They started with a  record of 2-2 and bounced back from a 39-point loss in Ann Arbor.

Penn State is one of the hottest teams in the nation and will now get a chance to continue the magical roll and finish with 12 wins on a national state in Pasadena.

Nittany Nation will debate about this outcome for a long time. Being left out stings now, but the future is bright.