Penn State Football in ideal positioning in 247Sports’ way-too-early top 25?

Tariq Castro-Fields of Penn State i
Tariq Castro-Fields of Penn State i /
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As spring football games are right around the corner 247sports released their latest way-too-early top 25 college football teams for 2021

Penn State Football finished last season on a high note rattling off four consecutive victories after a nightmarish 0-5 start.

247sports seems to believe the last four games are more of what the Nittany Lions really are, with the winless start being the outlier from a wonky 2020 season.

In their latest way-too-early top 25 rankings, 247sports checks Penn State in at no.16 on their rankings. They come in as the fourth highest ranked Big Ten team, with Michigan and Wisconsin surprisingly ranked at no. 11 and no.13 respectively, while the Ohio State falls in the top five at no.4:

"“Maybe being ranked outside of the Top 15 to start in 2021 will benefit Penn State wearing the cloak of anonymity so to speak. Franklin is confident this group will impress,” 247sports writes about the Nittany Lions."

It is an interesting thought to label Penn State Football being ranked 16th as a “cloak of anonymity,” because as it represents you being one of the better teams in the country, it also takes some of the pressure off potentially what last season’s squad felt when they finally kicked off as the no. 8 team in the country.

At No. 16, nobody will expect coach James Franklin’s squad to compete for the Playoff or a Big Ten title, and that is probably the place they want to be as September rolls around.

In 2019, Penn State Football started the season ranked 15th in the country and started the season 8-0, even appearing in the top four of the first edition of the College Football Playoff rankings that year.

Franklin seems to be able to motivate his team’s when they have a bit of a chip on their shoulders, and despite what they are ranked when they travel to Wisconsin for their week 1 clash with the Badgers, the 2021 Nittany Lions should have no problem being motivated after last season.

Penn State Football has the talent to beat almost anybody in the country, and 247sports respecting that even after last year’s nightmare season says a lot about what Franklin has accomplished at Happy Valley to this point, and what the national media has come to expect out of this program.

The prevailing sentiment seems to be that last season was an outlier more than the beginning of a trend, but time will tell.

Next. Projecting Penn State Football's depth chart. dark