Although the Penn State Nittany Lions are not eligible for postseason play for the next four years, that doesn't mean they don't have anything to play for. There are still big games on the schedule that are important in determining the success of their season.
The 2012 Nittany Lions are playing for pride, and a hope that a successful season could go a long way to help with recruiting. If the Lions can manage to sneak into the top 25, recruits may look at the school differently.
This list looks at five games that could make or break the Penn State season. Some of the games are rivalry games, some are against unfamiliar foes.
Victories in these five games could help the Nittany Lions climb the rankings ladder, and bring some positive feelings to State College.
On the flip side, losses in any or all of these games will hurt Penn State in both the rankings and the way they are perceived by the public. Fair-weather fans may lose interest in the teams, and the national experts will predict losing seasons in the future.
These games are important in determining how the 2012 Penn State Nittany Lions football team is remembered.