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NEWS | Penn State named a top program of the past century

According to the K-Ford rankings, Penn State is a top program of the last 100 years.



Penn State football
Aug 28, 1999; University Park, PA, USA; FILE PHOTO; Penn State Nittany Lions running back Larry Johnson (5) in action against the Arizona Wildcats during the Pigskin Classic at Beaver Stadium. The Nittany Lions defeated the Wildcats 41-7. Mandatory Credit: RVR Photos-USA TODAY Network
*Note: These rankings are based off of the overall Kelly Ford rankings.

On Tuesday, 247 Sports released its top 25 programs of the past 100 years of college football using the Kelly Ford rankings. On this list were many Big Ten teams, including the Nittany Lions, who ranked in the top 15 among all programs. Here is where Penn State football placed and why.

Penn State football ranked in top 15

According to 247 Sports, Penn State football is a top 15 program of the past century. The Nittany Lions are tied with a fellow Big Ten school, the Nebraska Cornhuskers, at No. 12 on the list — only Michigan (4) and Ohio State (1) rank higher as far as Big Ten teams go. Here is what 247 had to say about Penn State football over the past 100 years:

“The late Joe Paterno was responsible for nearly half (409) of Penn State’s all-time wins as a program from 1966-2011,” said writer Bill Crawford. “He won two national championships (1982; 1986) and three Big Ten titles over his tenure in Happy Valley. The Nittany Lions’ best seasons since have all come under current coach James Franklin, who has four top-10 finishes and won 11 games four different times since coming over from Vanderbilt following the 2013 season.”

Penn State football has a 75.7 grade according to the K-Ford rankings.

Nittany Lions are one of eight Big Ten teams listed

There are many Big Ten football programs listed in 247’s top 25 — eight to be exact. Here are where all eight Big Ten programs rank:

  • Ohio State (1)
  • Michigan  (4)
  • Penn State (T-12)
  • Nebraska (T-12)
  • Michigan State (18)
  • Wisconsin (19)
  • Iowa (23)
  • Purdue (25)

While teams like Nebraska and Penn State football did not join the Big Ten until recently (within the past 30 years), both the Lions and the Cornhuskers have plenty of national title winning experience and the Nittany Lions lay claim to four Big Ten Championships since 1994 — most recently in 2016.

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