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Popular podcast hosts pick Penn State football to win Big Ten, James Franklin to win coach of the year

Some serious love is being thrown in the direction of James Franklin and Penn State football right now.



Penn State Football, Big Ten, James Franklin, popular podcast hosts
Nov 26, 2016; University Park, PA, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions head coach James Franklin raises the Big Ten East Division trophy following the competition of the game at Beaver Stadium. Penn State defeated Michigan State 45-12. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports

We’re nearing the point where we can countdown the start of the Penn State football season in hours, not days. As the Nittany Lions begin their 2023 campaign, many in Happy Valley hope to see something special this fall. The expectations around this team are incredibly high, and everyone wants to know if Penn State can live up to the hype. According to one college football podcast, Penn State will do just that. Last week, Brandon Walker and Jack McGuire, two popular podcast hosts on Barstool’s Unnecessary Roughness, picked the Nittany Lions to win the Big Ten and James Franklin to win the conference’s coach of the year award.

Popular podcast hosts pick Penn State to win Big Ten, James Franklin to win coach of the year

With Week 0 action complete, prediction season is just about over, and we can get to the action on the field. However, there are still a few preseason picks that have made headlines in recent days. On last week’s episode of Unnecessary Roughness, two of Barstool’s popular podcast hosts gave some serious love to Penn State football.

On the show’s Big Ten preview episode, Brandon Walker and Jack McGuire picked Penn State to win the conference this fall. Walker has the Nittany Lions eclipsing Wisconsin in the Big Ten Championship game. McGuire has Penn State beating out Iowa for the conference title in a game that would be a rematch from the September 23 contest in Beaver Stadium.

In addition, the pair also has head coach James Franklin taking home Big Ten coach of the year. If successful, this would be the second time Franklin takes home that honor. Franklin first won the award in 2016 after his first Big Ten championship.

More love for the Lions

Brandon Walker and Jack McGuire aren’t the only ones giving Penn State football love during prediction season. On Sunday night, popular CBS college football analyst Josh Pate predicted the Nittany Lions to make the College Football Playoff. Pate has Penn State missing out on the Big Ten title game but getting in as an 11-1 at-large bid.

ESPN analyst Kirk Herbstreit also delivered some praise Penn State’s way over the weekend. During College GameDay Saturday morning, Herbstreit talked highly of the Nittany Lion offense, calling the roster “loaded.”

These predictions and many more will begin to be put to the test this weekend as Penn State opens the 2023 season at home against West Virginia.

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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.