Penn State is still dealing with the consequences of the Jerry Sandusky incident which includes a postseason ban. Regardless of how many games the Nittany Lions win or how good they look along the way, Penn State cannot play in a bowl game. But getting to seven wins and what would be solid bowl position in any other circumstance still would be significant for the Nittany Lions.
Beating the Nebraska Cornhuskers at home today would mean several things for Penn State. It would make the Nittany Lions undefeated at home in conference games and guarantee a .500 conference record. It would give Penn State a moderate quality win as Nebraska has been ranked at different times throughout this season. Finally, it would mean a great effort by the Nittany Lion defense.
The Cornhuskers come into today’s game ranked 16th in the nation in rushing while Penn State comes into the contest ranked just 34th in the nation against the run. Slowing down Nebraska running back Ameer Abdullah would give the Nittany Lion defense much-needed confidence heading into their season finale against the powerful running game of Wisconsin.
If Penn State is able to get to seven, possibly even eight wins with the scholarship reductions and postseason ban, that’s ammunition the Nittany Lion staff can use in recruiting. Eventually the bowl ban will end and the scholarships will return. Having a nucleus to build on that has still been able to win seven games with those obstacles is a good achievement.
The last positive benefit for Penn State will be in rebuilding the fever-pitch devoted fan base that was damaged in the Sandusky scandal. Winning makes people forget about a lot of problems, and if the Nittany Lions can get to seven wins today the positive effects will be varied.