New ‘way too early’ Top 25 is way wrong on Penn State Football

Jahan Dotson #5 of the Penn State Nittany Lions (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)
Jahan Dotson #5 of the Penn State Nittany Lions (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) /
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Penn State Football
Head coach James Franklin of the Penn State Nittany Lions(Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) /

3. Penn State Football the poster child for what could go wrong, will go wrong during wonky Covid-19 season

The effects of the Covid-19 pandemic were felt by all of the college football world, however Penn State Football seems to be the poster child for a team that should be given a mulligan for last season.

Head coach James Franklin made a number of important staff changes early last season, bringing in new offensive coordinator Kirk Ciarrocca over form Minnesota and offensive line coach Phil Trautwein from Boston College.

It it hard enough to implement a new offensive system and new terminology in an offseason, but it is near impossible to do it over zoom calls in an offseason where coaches and players cannot be together in a classroom or on the field.

The lack of cohesion was apparent almost immediately in the first few games of the season, which led to Franklin ultimately making a change this January, bringing in Mike Yurcich.

The Nittany Lions were also hurt by the trend of top players opting out due to the uncertainty of a Covid-19 season, when star linebacker Micah Parsons opted out and chose to forego his junior season to prepare for the upcoming NFL Draft.

Brent Pry’s defense was clearly lacking his presence as a playmaker in the middle of that defense, not only because the linebackers struggled to step up in his absence, but he just always seemed to fill a hole that was left unattended.

See the 2019 Cotton Bowl performance by Parsons as evidence of just how much he can impact a game.