Kirk Herbstreit Proclaims Penn State 'Will Be Preseason Top-5' for 2017 Season

By Mike Treb on January 4, 2017 at 9:30a
Penn State Nittany Lions running back Saquon Barkley (26) runs in a touchdown against USC Trojans defensive back Jack Jones (1) during the third quarter of the 2017 Rose Bowl game at Rose Bowl.

Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

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Penn State, fresh off one of the wildest Rose Bowl games ever played, will be ranked very high headed into the 2017 college football season, according to ESPN's Kirk Herbstreit.

Like, top-5-in-the-nation kind of high. Herbstreit, who called the Rose Bowl game, made his proclamation in a tweet Tuesday night:

The Big Ten champions return a number of talented players, including Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year Saquon Barkley, quarterback Trace McSorley, middle linebacker Jason Cabinda, a deep wide receiving corps, tackles Andrew Nelson and Brendan Mahon, and tight end Mike Gesicki. Toss in safety Marcus Allen, who put in for an NFL Draft evaluation but hasn't decided, and many observers like Herbistreit see Penn State as loaded for next year.

Herbstreit wasn't the only broadcaster with a national profile fanning himself over the Nittany Lions following the crushing-yet-refreshing 52-49 Rose Bowl loss to USC.

Wait, What? Win It All?

FOX Sports' Colin Cowherd, appearing on professional trash can Skip Bayless' Undisputed show on Tuesday, said the Nittany Lions would have given Alabama a tough game if they were invited to the College Football Playoff.

And then he unleashed this flame that could be the talk of the offseason in State College and beyond:

"Penn State played essentially a road game [Monday] night. Penn State returns everybody. They don't lose anybody to the NFL. Penn State has a real chance to win it all next year."

That's a hot one there, friends. Let's not get too carried away, yeah?

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