Penn State: Herbstreit Favors Nittany Lions In Preseason Predictions

The Penn State football team has a decent amount of hype going into the 2018 season, and not all of it is coming from the fans of the Nittany Lions. ESPN analyst Kirk Herbstreit, who is notably a former Ohio State quarterback, was high on PSU when making his preseason predictions. He backed them several times over other teams who are higher in the polls, multiple times in his picks.

It started with picking Trace McSorley for the Heisman trophy. “He’s the Baker Mayfield of this year as far as intangibles, what he means to this team, attitude, how he plays with a chip on his shoulder,” said Herbstreit, drawing a comparison to this year’s number one draft pick. While the two have different playing styles, anyone that’s followed McSorley’s career knows that it’s accurate in that both players are the type who can provide a spark to their team.

Herbstreit elaborated on the attitude that Penn State could have this season, saying that the team could play with an added chip on their shoulder as a response to much of their success over the past couple of years being attributed to Saquon Barkley. With Barkley gone, Penn State has taken a hit in the rankings and even some of their own fans enter the season with less confidence than they had last year.

While he picked Alabama to defeat Clemson in yet another national championship game between two of the dominant teams of the 2010s, Herbstreit did pick Penn State to make the College Football Playoff. “I’m going to go Alabama and Clemson… And then I’m going to go Penn State and Washington.”

According to the AP Poll, Penn State is currently the tenth best team in the country. They narrowly edged out Michigan State and Notre Dame to make the top ten, but they sit below Auburn and Miami. Will Penn State make the playoff this season? We’ll see. But at least one well known member of the media has faith that they will.