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Penn State rated as one of the best college football programs of all-time

Penn State football is looking to build on its tradition of winning with another successful season.

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Penn State Football, college football
November 6, 2010; University Park, PA, USA: Penn State Nittany Lions head coach Joe Paterno is carried off the field after earning his 400th career victory by defeating the Northwestern Wildcats 35-21 at Beaver Stadium.Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USPRESSWIRE

The Penn State football program has long been built on the bedrock of “Success with Honor.” Over the decades, the Nittany Lions have created a college football powerhouse in the middle of central Pennsylvania. Recently, Penn State fans got quantifiable data to support what has been known in Happy Valley for quite some time. Penn State was just rated as one of the 10 best college football programs of all time, according to analysis reported by 247Sports.

Penn State football rated as a top 10 college football program of all time

This week, Brad Crawford of 247Sports put together a rating of the 25 greatest programs of all time in college football. The analysis uses a formula created by the College Football News, and looks at every final AP Top 25 Poll since 1936. According to the analysis, Penn State football came in as the 9th-best program of all. The full top 25 is as follows:

When discussing Penn State, Crawford noted the success achieved during the Paterno era, although his comments may rub some long-time Nittany Lions fans the wrong way. “Joe Paterno established a winning trend in Happy Valley with a winning tenure that’ll never be topped, but much of his legacy was tarnished by how it ended,” Crawford wrote.

The write-up also credits the work of Bill O’Brien to stabilize the Penn State program, before turning to the achievements of James Franklin. “With four 11-win seasons over the past seven years, the Nittany Lions are confident the time is now,” Crawford wrote of the 2023 season.

Penn State football looks to build on this long-standing tradition of success this fall. The Nittany Lions come into the season ranked as the No. 7 team in the country, and are believed to be legitimate contenders for the Big Ten title and College Football Playoff race. Penn State opens the season on September 2 at home against West Virginia.



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Matt is a co-owner and Editor in Chief of Basic Blues Nation. Launched in 2022, Basic Blues Nation is one of the fastest-growing websites covering all Penn State athletics, with over 3.5 million readers in 2023. Matt is also a credentialed member of the Penn State football beat, and is a member of the Football Writers Association of America.

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