WAR 2020 Preseason Top 25: Just How Good is Penn State Going to Be This Season?

By Nate Wilmot on May 21, 2020 at 8:31 am
Nov 23, 2019; Columbus, OH, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions running back Journey Brown (4) scores a touchdown during the third quarter against the Ohio State Buckeyes at Ohio Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports
© Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

We may have college football in just a few months, so it’s time that we turn our attention to what is shaping up to be a potentially great season for Penn State.

Today, we want to use our WAR system, and a little help from our friends, to project the Top 25 (plus one) teams heading into the season. As a reminder, this is an entirely numerical ranking and, while I decided how to run the calculation, there is no bias to whom I think will be good or bad.

The rankings are a blend of past performance on offense and defense, returning production on both sides of the ball (from Bill Connelly), and a projection of talent versus 2019 (using some data from 247sports.com). During the season, the WAR will be purely the difference of OWAR and DWAR but for these projections, I built in a couple of more criteria based on those items noted above and others to present “Adjusted WAR Projection” below. That is the reason why Notre Dame can have a better OWAR and DWAR than say, Florida but be ranked below the Gators (spoiler alert!).

Today, we will simply present some of the details of the rankings. There are teams who have shown consistency over the past several years who are showing no signs of slowing down and there are others who have been lurking and are poised for a breakout. 

 Now, onto the rankings!

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