Roar Lions Roundtable: Predicting Penn State's Record in 2020

By RLR Staff on October 23, 2020 at 10:00 am
Penn State head coach James Franklin high-fives fans after a NCAA Big Ten Conference football game between the Iowa Hawkeyes and Penn State, Saturday, Oct., 12, 2019, at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City, Iowa. 191012 Penn St Iowa Fb 077 Jpg
© Joseph Cress/Iowa City Press-Citizen via Imagn Content Services, LLC
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We are on the doorstep of one of the most anticipated seasons in recent Penn State history. This is a team loaded with talent and with the potential to go to the playoff.

It's time for our staff to make their record predictions. Due to the bizarre nature of the season, some of us made predictions for just Penn State's guaranteed games, while others added in the Big Ten Championship week game and bowl game.

7-1

As much as I would love to predict 8-0, it's hard for me to give the nod to the Lions over the Buckeyes right now. Justin Fields is simply too good and while I think the game is close, the data I have available right now suggests that Ohio State takes that one. Still, I think this Lions team has the chops to get through the rest of the slate unscathed, which should make for some interesting conversations come playoff time. - Nick Polak

I think Penn State starts off 1-1 with another tight win over Indiana and then a loss to the Buckeyes. I think the Lions will really miss the whiteout Beaver Stadium crowd with 110,000 fans making life tougher for the loaded Ohio State offense. After that, Penn State should be favored the rest of the way and I believe this will be the first time season since the resurgence in 2016 James Franklin is able to avoid a tough upset loss. - Andrew Rubin 

Even without Micah Parsons, this is James Franklin's most talented team, top to bottom, since he arrived in Happy Valley. The trouble likely comes from the fact this might be the most talented Ohio State team of the decade. Without a Whiteout crowd to assist, the Buckeyes are likely just a bit too much. But the Lions will be favored in each of their other seven games, and I don't think winning each of them is a stretch by any means. - Matt de Bear

I think this defense is really good and it feels like Penn State will commit to the run more this season. This is a very optimistic prediction, but this year, we've found anything and everything is possible. John Morgan

That loss will be Ohio State on Halloween. The Michigan game is an absolute toss-up, especially given James Franklin's woes in Ann Arbor. I think this offense under Kirk Ciarocca will fire on all cylinders and that will be the difference against Michigan. Penn State is more talented than every other team on its schedule from there. - Michael Stanley

8-0

Call me a homer, I don't care. This is supposed to be the year for Penn State and I'm not letting a pandemic get in the way of my excitement. The Nittany Lions are strongest where it matters most - the trenches. Sean Clifford should have a phenomenal year under Kirk Ciarrocca and this wide receiver room is simply too talented to not have a few playmakers. All they have to do is get through week 2, and this pick has a chance. - Matt Filipovits

7-2

I think Penn State's losses come vs. Ohio State in a close one and think they drop one more along the way, either at Michigan or during Big Ten Championship week when they play the Big Ten West team that's seeded the same as them. This team has 8-1/Big Ten Championship potential, but there are just too many unanswered questions right now for me to predict them finishing that well. - Dylan Burd

6-2

I think they drop the Ohio State game and maybe one game they should not, because of the insanity of this season. I'm not going to venture a guess on which one it is, as I have no idea how to feel about any team's chances. This will be a chaotic season no matter what their record ends up being. - Dan Smith

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