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Penn State football to play easiest schedule in the Big Ten

According to College Football News, the Nittany Lions are set to play the easiest schedule in the Big Ten.



2023 Penn State football schedule, Penn State football, Big Ten conference
Penn State Nittany Lions running back Kaytron Allen (13) celebrates his touchdown run as Auburn Tigers take on Penn State Nittany Lions at Jordan-Hare Stadium in Auburn, Ala., on Saturday, Sept. 17, 2022. Penn State Nittany Lions leads Auburn Tigers 14-6 at halftime.

Just a few months ago, the 2022 college football season came to an end — the Nittany Lions saw a terrific campaign last year, finishing the season 11-2 overall, ranked in the top 10 (yet again), and hoisting a Rose Bowl trophy to conclude the season. Now, heading into a new season this fall, the 2023 Penn State football schedule is ranked as the easiest schedule in the Big Ten conference despite road trips to Michigan State, Illinois, and Ohio State on the slate.

2023 Penn State football schedule ranked easiest in the Big Ten conference

If you start at the very beginning of the 2023 Penn State football schedule, you will find a Power Five program to open the season: West Virginia. The Mountaineers will make the trip to State College, PA, for the first time in decades as Penn State football and West Virginia renew a since-buried rivalry of the past.

Aside from the WVU game, the 2023 Penn State football non-conference schedule is pretty soft, with home games against Delaware on September 9th and a UMass (following Penn State’s bye week) in mid-October. That being said, the Nittany Lions must face Illinois on the road in Week 3 to open up Big Ten conference play, and will make crucial road trips to Michigan State (November 25th) and Ohio State (October 21st).

Aside from the Ohio State Buckeyes and Michigan Wolverines — the usual suspects — the 2023 Penn State football schedule holds zero teams that are projected to be ranked heading into the season. West Virginia is coming off of a weak season, Iowa has an abysmal offense and must come to Happy Valley in September (for a possible white out game), and Michigan will make the trip in mid-November as a part of a back-breaking three-game stretch for the Wolverines.

Here is what College Football News had to say about the Nittany Lions’ upcoming regular season schedule:

“How could this be the easiest schedule in the Big Ten with road games at Ohio State, Michigan State, and Illinois? Michigan State and Illinois are beatable, there’s no Wisconsin, Minnesota, or Purdue from the West, and home games against Delaware, UMass, Indiana and Rutgers – and, let’s go there, starting out against West Virginia – provide a whole lot of scrimmages to take plenty of breaks.”

Additionally, here is a look at the complete 2023 Penn State football schedule:

  • Sept 2 West Virginia
  • Sept 9 Delaware
  • Sept 16 at Illinois
  • Sept 23 Iowa
  • Sept 30 at Northwestern
  • Oct 7 BYE
  • Oct 14 UMass
  • Oct 21 at Ohio State
  • Oct 28 Indiana
  • Nov 4 at Maryland
  • Nov 11 Michigan
  • Nov 18 Rutgers
  • Nov 25 at Michigan State

The Nittany Lions’ preseason win total is set at 9.5, only behind Michigan and Ohio State in the Big Ten win total rankings.

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Chris Mangum is currently a Penn State student and serves as a writer and editor covering Big Ten athletics. He has served as a beat writer, online reporter, print reporter, and more over the past few years of his career. He currently serves as the managing editor for Basic Blues Nation and others.