STATE COLLEGE, P.a. (WHTM) — There are questions to answer for Penn State, especially on the offensive side of the ball, but one loss doesn’t tank this team’s playoff hopes.
“The best way to move on is to focus on the next opponent,” head coach James Franklin said. “Learn from it, which we did on Saturday night, which we did all day Sunday, but then it’s time to move on to the next opponent.”
The sky is not falling in Happy Valley just yet. Yes, the Nittany Lions were haunted by a familiar spirit and could not beat Ohio State for the first time in seven years, but they still have a shot at the four team College Football Playoff. They just need a leg up now.
The 10th-ranked Nittany Lions are third in ESPN’s Football Power Index behind Ohio State and Michigan — they’ve played above expectations in wins, and anxiously await the first College Football Playoff ranking on October 28.
First things first: Penn State needs to win out, and that obviously includes a win over Michigan at Beaver Stadium. Including the Wolverines, the top six teams in the AP Top 25 are all still undefeated.
The Nittany Lions need a slip up from the likes of a Washington, Oklahoma, or Florida State. The Huskies and top-ranked Georgia Bulldogs each face three ranked teams in their final five games.
Penn State is also ranked behind three one loss contenders in Texas, Oregon, and Alabama, but none have a Michigan-level opponent ahead of them where a win would vault them back into playoff contention.
There’s an opportunity here for the Nittany Lions to sneak back into the conversation, they just need a little chaos at the top.