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Penn State football is No. 2 seed in latest College Football Playoff predictions

It may not be shocking to see Penn State football predicted to make the College Football Playoff. But where the Nittany Lions are seeded in the latest projections may raise some eyebrows.



Penn State Football, Sione Laulea, James Franklin
Sep 23, 2023; University Park, Pennsylvania, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions linebacker Curtis Jacobs (23) celebrates after recovering a fumble during the first quarter against the Iowa Hawkeyes at Beaver Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports

It may only be Week 5, but we’re starting to get a sense of the contenders and pretenders for the 2023 College Football Playoff. After four games, Penn State football is definitely in the contender category. The Nittany Lions have put together four dominant wins, and, at times, they have looked like the best team in the Big Ten. This notion is also starting to permeate outside of Happy Valley to the national media. In his latest College Football Playoff predictions, On3’s Andy Staples has Penn State as the No. 2 team in the country, facing off against the Texas Longhorns in the Rose Bowl.

Week 5 College Football Playoff predictions has No. 2 Penn State vs. No.3 Texas in the Rose Bowl

It may still be September, but many still have the College Football Playoff on their minds. While the first CFP rankings will be released on October 31, the teams with a legitimate chance of making the final four are already taking form.

According to On3 national college football analyst Andy Staples, one of these teams is Penn State. In his Week 5 CFP predictions, Staples vaulted the Nittany Lions up to the No.2 team in the country, right behind the two-time defending national champion Georgia Bulldogs.

Staples’s projected CFP matchups are as follows:

Sugar Bowl: No. 1 Georgia vs. No. 4 Florida State
Rose Bowl: No. 2 Penn State vs. No. 3 Texas

What does Andy Staples have to say about Penn State?

As excited as Penn State football fans were to play for the Rose Bowl last season, if Andy Staples is correct, the 2024 edition of “The Granddaddy of Them All” will be even more special.

There’s been plenty to like about this Penn State football team so far. The Nittany Lion offense leads the country in consecutive 30-point scoring games and 14+ point wins, while the defense is the nation’s best in total defense, passing defense, and 1st downs allowed, among many other categories.

For Andy Staples, Penn State’s dominant 31-0 win over Iowa in the White Out Saturday night showed that the Nittany Lions may have what it takes to knock off Ohio State and Michigan this year.

“Penn State QB Drew Allar throwing laser beams in the rain against Iowa’s always-stout defense had to warm the hearts of everyone in Happy Valley,” Staples wrote on Sunday. “Shutting out the Hawkeyes doesn’t necessarily prove defensive dominance, but it probably means the Nittany Lions can slow Ohio State and Michigan’s offenses.”

While the projection is validation for what we’ve seen on the field from the Nittany Lions so far this year, there are still plenty of games left to be played. Penn State football travels to Northwestern on Saturday to face the Wildcats.

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A third-generation Penn Stater, Matt is Editor-in-Chief for Basic Blues Nation, co-host of the podcast PSU Tailgate Talk, and a credentialed member of the Penn State football media. Matt also works as a staffer in the Pennsylvania General Assembly. Matt lives in central Pennsylvania with his wife and a small army of pets.


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