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Penn State football jumps into top 4 of ESPN SP+ rankings

The Nittany Lions continue to climb the SP+ rankings.



Penn State football, Bill Connelly, SP+
Penn State tight end Tyler Warren (left) pulls in a second quarter touchdown pass in front of Delaware defensive back Steven Rose, Jr. in the second quarter at Beaver Stadium, Saturday, Sept. 9, 2023 in University Park, Pa.

The Penn State football team is off to a strong start in the 2023 season. They have protected the football on offense while being effective in the pass-and-run game. On defense, they have played well while only surrendering a few mistakes due to gap integrity. Obviously, special teams are the biggest question mark so far on the Nittany Lions but they had a strong outing in week two of the college football season. Now, ESPN’s Bill Connelly has dropped his latest edition of the SP+ rankings. The Nittany Lions are a top 4 team in the country according to Connelly.

Penn State football jumps into top 4 of ESPN SP+ rankings

In Bill Connelly’s latest article College Football’s post-week 2 SP+ rankings, he provides an update on all 133 FBS teams.  Now, you may ask yourself what is an SP+ ranking? Bill Connelly describes it as “In a single sentence, it’s tempo and opponent-adjusted measure of college football efficiency.”

Penn State comes in ranked 4 overall in SP+. Only trailing Georiga, Ohio State, and Michigan in this system. But when was the last time the Nittany Lions held a ranking this high in SP+?

Connelly states, “The last time Penn State finished as high as fourth or Washington finished as high as ninth? 2017 when the two faced off in a delightful Fiesta Bowl.”

It’s clear that the Penn State football team is off to an efficient start to start the 2023 season. If they can win tomorrow against Illinois and be more consistent on special teams, this team will continue to climb in the SP+ rankings.

Penn State faces a tough challenge

The Penn State football team led by James Franklin takes on the Illinois Fighting Illini tomorrow at noon on FOX. The team is currently more than a two-touchdown favorite in this matchup. Drew Allar will make his first career road start. Can the Nittany Lions walk away with a win? The Penn State faithful are optimistic the Nittany Lions can get the job done.

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Former Editor-In-Chief at Victory Bell Rings, Morgan is the current Site Manager for Basic Blues Nation, host of the Basic Blues Podcast, and co-host of the weekly Penn State Roar Room spaces. Morgan lives in upstate New York with his wife and cats.