Penn State has a line to another conference title, and they have many people believing that the Nittany Lions can win again. They were able to take down Ohio State last year, and James Franklin seems to have found the perfect job in State College. There are some very good reasons why the Nittany Lions will succeed, and they must prove that to us by beating iowa this weekend. Iowa is not in the position to win the conference, but they are playing well. How does Penn State play so well under Franklin when they were in such a bad situation?

The offense is fixed

The offense under Bill O'Brien was good enough, but O'Brien probably knew that he could not sustain that kind of success. If we see how bad Christian Hackenberg has been in the NFL, we realize that Penn State was getting lucky more often than they were winning games. O'Brien was right to leave because his system did not really work in college. James Franklin uses a system that is much more friendly for the college game, and it provides his team with many chances to score. They are scoring more often, and they are forcing opposing defenses to work harder. Penn State was so depleted of talent that they needed to move fast. Now, they are so good that a fast style of play makes them very dangerous.

Can they win the conference?

Penn State can easily win the Big Ten conference again because James Franklin has shown that he is good in big games. He might be able to navigate a season that will have many difficult games like this matchup with Iowa. The Iowa Hawkeyes have been solid for a long time, and they could easily beat Penn State simply through game planning and solid defensive play.

The game itself will be interesting because it might tell us if Iowa will challenge this season or Penn State can coast to the title game once again.

Can Penn State rise to the occasion?

Penn State is not yet playing on the level of Ohio State or Michigan, but they are playing extremely well. They are getting good enough to make a case for a higher ranking to start next season.

They could play just like they are in 2018, start with a higher ranking, and be in much better position for the future. The Nittany Lions are slowly rebuilding their program into a national power, and they might have a way to get there simply because they have shown steady improvement every year. The CFP committee might want to push the Nittany Lions to the top because they have been relevant without receiving recognition. Perhaps beating Iowa will keep them on that path.

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