Penn State Football Schedule 2012: Game-by-Game Breakdown
The Penn State Nittany Lions had a very disappointing year, but a majority of that was a result of incidents that took place off the field. Now with a new head coach in place and a new season ahead of them, they will try to put the past behind them and focus on football for next year.
Penn State is returning 10 starters and in a weak Big Ten, there is always a chance that this team could compete for a conference championship.
Last year's football season may have just ended, but it's never too early to make predictions.
Here are predictions for Penn State's schedule next year.
Ohio had a great season in the MAC last year, finishing 10-4.
But they lost their leading rusher and their top two receivers from a year ago.
Not to mention they're 0-5 against the Nittany Lions all-time.
I'm going with Penn State in the season opener at home.
Penn State wins, 45-17
At Virginia 09/08
This is a very tough game to predict, as Virginia is making huge progress under head coach Mike London.
The Cavaliers are also returning seven starters on the offensive side of the ball and are at home.
I'll go with Virginia just because they're the home team and have a coach who will have his team motivated.
This is a tough road game for a first-year head coach in Bill O'Brien.
Virginia wins, 24-21
It's been a long time since these two teams have met, but there have been some great games when they get together.
If Penn State stops the run, they'll be fine, and the Nittany Lions' overall talent will become too much for the Midshipmen.
Penn State wins, 32-10
The Nittany Lions won last year's meeting even with running back Bernard Peirce playing for the Owls.
Now with him in the NFL, I think it's safe to say that the Nittany Lions will pull out the victory at home.
Penn State wins, 23-14
At Illinois 09/29
There aren't too many teams out there that are as much of a mess as Illinois is right now.
I simply don't trust that team and believe that the Nittany Lions will earn the victory to start the season with a solid 4-1 record.
Penn State wins, 24-17
Penn State has won the last five meetings against Northwestern.
I like what Pat Fitzgerald is doing for the Wildcats, but I don't think he has enough talent on his team to pull one out in Happy Valley.
At least not yet.
Penn State wins, 28-17
At Iowa 10/20
This is a trap game for the Nittany Lions, especially with the Buckeyes ahead next week.
I really like this Hawkeyes team and the fact that they're returning 13 starters, including seven on offense.
Penn State hasn't won a game in Iowa since 1999, and I think the losing streak continues for Penn State.
Iowa wins, 31-24
Ohio State 10/27
Both of these teams have a good amount of players returning from last year.
If you look at the last matchup between these two teams, the Buckeyes probably deserved to win.
Two turnovers cost them the game, along with them struggling to put up points.
By now, the offense should be comfortable with Urban Meyer's system, and Braxton Miller should be able to lead the Buckeyes to another win.
The Nittany Lions lack of offense will likely hurt them in this one.
Buckeyes win, 26-15
At Purdue 11/03
Penn State has won the last five meetings against the Boilermakers, and with Purdue being one of the most inconsistent teams in the country, you have to go with the Nittany Lions in this one.
Penn State wins, 30-17
At Nebraska 11/10
This should be a great game, but I do think the home team will win this one.
Nebraska has a fantastic running game, and the option will frustrate the Nittany Lions defense.
Last year, the Cornhuskers rushed for a total of 188 yards.
Expect much of the same, as Nebraska wins a close one at home.
Nebraska wins, 28-25
The Hoosiers finished with a 1-11 record last year and are 0-15 against the Nittany Lions all-time.
Do I really need to say more about this game?
Penn State wins, 35-10
Wisconsin only returns five starters on the offensive side of the ball, but the guy that slaughtered this defensive last year in Montee Ball is still on the team.
Ball rushed for a ridiculous 156 yards and racked up four touchdowns.
If he has a similar game in Happy Valley (which is one of the toughest places to play), the Badgers will win this game again.
Wisconsin wins, 35-21
Randy Chambers is a B/R featured columnist that covers college football and the NFL. You can contact him @Randy_Chambers or Randy.Chambers7@yahoo.com.