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Penn State’s Playoff Prospects Under the Expanded 2024 College Football Playoff Format

Penn State's Playoff Prospects Under the Expanded 2024 College Football Playoff Format
Penn State's Playoff Prospects Under the Expanded 2024 College Football Playoff Format

The College Football Playoff is set to undergo a major expansion starting in the 2024 season, increasing from four to twelve teams. This development significantly boosts Penn State’s prospects, presenting their best opportunity yet to secure a coveted playoff spot.

With eight additional spots available, the Nittany Lions stand a realistic chance of making their way to the postseason, potentially even hosting a first-round playoff game at Beaver Stadium.

According to Brad Crawford of 247Sports, who recently updated his bowl projections and playoff picks, Penn State is anticipated to clinch the no. 8 seed in the playoff lineup.

This seeding would afford them the advantage of playing at home in the first round, with a projected matchup against SEC powerhouse Alabama, seeded ninth in Crawford’s projections. The prospect of such a matchup promises high viewership and the excitement of a Beaver Stadium whiteout, a scenario that aligns perfectly with the expanded playoff format’s intentions.

However, despite the excitement surrounding the possibility of hosting a playoff game, Crawford predicts a challenging outcome for Penn State. He foresees the Nittany Lions falling short in their first-round encounter against Alabama, suggesting a one-and-done scenario for Penn State in the expanded playoff debut.

Penn State's Playoff Prospects Under the Expanded 2024 College Football Playoff Format
Penn State’s Playoff Prospects Under the Expanded 2024 College Football Playoff Format

Alabama, as per Crawford’s projections, would move forward to face Ohio State in the subsequent round at the Sugar Bowl, where Ohio State is seeded as the top team.

In Crawford’s broader playoff picture, the Big Ten conference features prominently, with Ohio State leading the charge as the no. 1 seed. Alongside Penn State, Oregon emerges as another contender from the Big Ten, securing the no. 5 seed in Crawford’s projections.

Oregon’s path includes a first-round matchup against Liberty and a subsequent progression to face Kansas State in the Fiesta Bowl. Ultimately, Crawford predicts a semifinal showdown between Ohio State and Oregon in the Orange Bowl, with Ohio State advancing to the national championship game against Georgia.

For Penn State, the 2024 season represents a critical juncture under head coach James Franklin’s leadership. The expanded playoff format offers an ideal opportunity for the Nittany Lions to showcase their capabilities on a national stage.

However, the stakes are high, and failing to capitalize on a home playoff game against a powerhouse like Alabama would undoubtedly be disappointing for the team and its supporters.

While the expanded College Football Playoff format opens doors for teams like Penn State to pursue national championship dreams, the road ahead is fraught with challenges and uncertainties, as anticipated by Brad Crawford’s projections for the upcoming season.

Michael Sebastian

Written by Michael Sebastian

Michael is a part time trainer at Kerela Sports Academy, he is a sports enthusiast as well as a big fan of basketball.

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