Way too early 2021 Big Ten power rankings | Where does Penn State Football stand?

Head coach James Franklin (C) of the Penn State Nittany Lions (Photo by Corey Perrine/Getty Images)
Head coach James Franklin (C) of the Penn State Nittany Lions (Photo by Corey Perrine/Getty Images) /
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We are about 244 days away from seeing any Big Ten action on the field in 2021, but it is never to early for a way to early conference power rankings, to check in on where Penn State Football Stands.

The Big Ten played a very inconsistent 2020 season, after canceling the football season in August, then reinstating it in September, however did not kickoff the season until almost Halloween.

Due to Covid-19 wreaking havoc on college campuses all throughout the Big Ten, only Penn State Football and Rutgers were able to play all nine scheduled conference games. Teams like Maryland, and Michigan were only able to play five and six games, respectively.

Because of this, it seems nobody in the conference other than Ohio State, Indiana, and maybe Iowa really had a good season. The conference was more of a cluster of mediocrity than the one that usually produces multiple contenders.

The inconsistencies make it tougher than usual to gauge what teams really were last season … Was Penn State football’s 4-5 year a one off oddity? Or could it be the beginning of a downward trend for coach James Franklin‘s program? Only time will tell.

The 2021 season should  bring about more normalcy for college football.

The deadline to either enter the NFL Draft in April or stay in school has come and gone, so we have a better sense of what all 14 teams will look like come next fall, however as we see with the Nittany Lions especially, the next big player to come or go via the transfer portal could be moments away.

Here is a way too early Big Ten football power rankings for the 2021 season:

. Fighting Illini . 14. team. 807. .

Illinois finished 2-6 last season, last place in the Big Ten West division, resulting in the firing of head coach Lovie Smith after five seasons. The Illini featured a -118 point differential last fall, good for second worst in the conference to only Michigan State.

With Smith out, Illinois made a splash hire towards the end of last season, bringing in Bret Bielema to run the program, someone who knows the Big Ten well. Bielema was the head coach at Wisconsin for seven seasons before heading to Arkansas for five.

Penn State Football fans got a good look at freshman quarterback Isaiah Williams in last season’s regular season finale. Williams figure to be the quarterback of the future in Champagne after throwing for 393 yards and rushing for another 389 in limited action in 2020.

The freshman is a true dual threat behind center, and should form a formidable offense as both members of the Illini two headed monster in the backfield, Chase Brown and Mike Epstein will be back next season. However, they will have to develop threats on the outside as leading wide receiver Josh Imatorbhebhe will be playing on Sundays.

Bielema has a long term rebuilding project on his hands at Illinois, and despite some pieces to like on offense, should struggle to win more then 3-4 games next season.