Penn State Football has nothing but momentum right now. Is 2023 now Playoff or Bust?
After taking a two-year sabbatical, Penn State Football is once again relevant in the college football landscape. Penn State finished the 2022 season with an 11-2 record and a Rose Bowl victory. Early in the offseason proceedings, the program is not showing any signs of slowing down or being content.
The lone blemish on James Franklins’ coaching record is that he has yet to lead the Penn State Football program to a College Football Playoff berth. The closest the program has been to a CFP berth was the 2016 season when Penn State won the Big Ten and a one-loss Ohio State team received the berth.
With the Penn State Football program showing signs of being a national championship contender, 2023 might be the most important season under James Franklin. There are several obstacles in the way for Penn State to navigate in order to earn an elusive Playoff berth. The biggest of these obstacles is that Penn State is in the toughest division in college football. Even with being in the toughest division, 2023 is setting up nicely for Penn State.
3 Reasons 2023 is the year for Penn State to make the College Football Playoff
As Penn State fans we know that the scheduling done by the Big Ten Conference is never going to be in favor for the Nittany Lions. Once again, the Big Ten slate kicks of Week 3 with Penn State on the road against Illinois. Other than that little caveat, the schedule lays out nicely for Penn State.
The 2023 season kicks off with two straight home games with West Virginia being the opener and Delaware being the Week 2 matchup. When it comes to the toughest opponents on the schedule, they are all at home besides Ohio State. West Virginia, Iowa, and Michigan are all in Beaver Stadium. The Iowa and Michigan games are going to get Stripe Out and Whiteout designations that will work in the favor of the Nittany Lions.
The toughest road game on the schedule is the Ohio State game in Week 9. The schedule works in favor Penn State here too. Penn State gets a bye week in Week 7 and faces off against UMass leading up to the matchup against the Buckeyes. The dreaded James Franklin game after a bye week will not be an issue this season.
The schedule in 2023 works out for Penn State more so than years past. Penn State gets two home games to break in Quarterback Drew Allar and the toughest two game stretch might be Illinois and Iowa.