Penn State Football 2012: 5 Bold Predictions for the Post-Paterno Nittany Lions

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Penn State Football 2012: 5 Bold Predictions for the Post-Paterno Nittany Lions
Patrick Smith/Getty Images
Penn State students gather around the Joe Paterno statue after learning of the coach's death.

The Penn State Nittany Lions' 2011 football season will forever be remembered for the scandal that erupted towards the end of the season and the tragedies that would soon follow.

When it went public that former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky had been arrested on November 5, 2011 for sexual abuse, the entire campus was on the brink of eruption. Everyone knew that more was right around the corner for Penn State; however, what exactly that entailed was unclear.

A few days later on November 8, it became clear.

Long time football head coach Joe Paterno was fired.

His termination triggered the chaos that many will remember seeing on the evening news that improperly painted the student body as vicious students engaging in pure lawlessness. Long time defensive coordinator, Tom Bradley, took over for Paterno with the Nittany Lions at an amazing 8-1 record.

Then, the final blow came on January 13, 2012.

Joe Paterno passed away.

The Nittany Lions finished the regular season with a 9-3 record, which included an embarrassing final game blowout defeat by Wisconsin to lose control of the Big Ten Leaders Division, which they had led the entire season. Furthermore, they suffered another embarrassing defeat in the 2012 TicketCity Bowl to the University of Houston, to end the season at 9-4.

With the season over, the school cleaned house leaving very few people from Paterno's staff. This shift also left the 2012 season and the future of Penn State football in a cloud of unknown.

However, let us try to look into that cloud and lay down a few bold predictions for what you can expect from the Penn State Nittany Lions in the near future.

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