Big Ten football power rankings after spring portal closes: Did Nittany Lions get better?

Ohio State and Oregon loaded up with transfer portal additions this offseason and have separated themselves in the new Big Ten as the top two contenders. So, where do James Franklin and the Penn State Nittany Lions stand?
Penn State Nittany Lions quarterback Drew Allar
Penn State Nittany Lions quarterback Drew Allar / Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
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. . Head Coach: Luke Fickell. . . 493. . Last Year: 7-6 Reliaquest Bowl L. 9. Wisconsin

Key losses: Braelon Allen, Tanor Bortolini, Tanner Mordecai Key additions: Tyler Van Dyke, Tawee Walker

Luke Fickell needs to find a long-term solution at quarterback. After going with Tanner Mordecai in his final season of eligibility last year, Fickell is handing the starting job to Tyler Van Dyke as a one-year stop-gap. Hopping on the transfer quarterback carousel every offseason isn’t a sustainable way to build a winning program, so if Braedyn Locke doesn’t develop into the answer for 2025 and 2026, there will come a time to question Fickell’s philosophy. 

Outside of quarterback, Fickell has done a solid job in Madison, bringing in a top-25 high school recruiting class in 2024 and supplementing his current roster with veteran portal additions like Van Dyke and Tawee Walker. 

Long-term, Fickell will figure it out at Wisconsin, but the early returns are a bit underwhelming for a coach who took Cincinnati to the College Football Playoff.