After the terrible Jerry Sandusky scandal rattled the nation, the Penn State Nittany Lions are back and ready to make headlines once again, but this time for more positive reasons.
This time, they're ready to make waves because of how well the team is playing on the football field.
Penn State is currently 4-2 and sitting in a two-way tie for the Big Ten Leaders Division's lead with Ohio State. Their 2-0 division record is certainly respectable, but the way they've battled back from one of college football's biggest scandals is even more impressive.
Whether you like it or not, the Nittany Lions are slowly making their way back into the limelight, and they deserve it.
Last Season's Debacle Isn't Affecting This Season Too Much
The Sandusky scandal certainly affected Penn State and its football program. Long-time head coach Joe Paterno was fired, the school was fined $60 million and the NCAA put a four-year postseason ban on the team.
In addition, numerous key players from last year's team also transferred to different schools.
Even with all of that, Penn State has put itself in the running for one of the Big Ten's best teams. Led by quarterback Matt McGloin, the offense has been on a roll in recent weeks. McGloin has completed 136 of his 221 passes (61.5 percent) for 1,499 yards and 12 touchdowns. His leadership and clutch play has rubbed off on his teammates, which was evident in the team's thrilling win over Northwestern.
On the other side of the ball, linebacker Michael Mauti has not disappointed. He's a clear spark plug on defense, and his 99-yard interception return against Illinois is a good indication of the kind of energy he can provide to the entire team.
While the program certainly suffered some consequences this offseason, the players are not letting those leak onto the football field on game days.
The Longer Penn State Stays Successful, the More People Will Start to Notice
Much like record streaks in any sport, the longer Penn State can remain successful, the more attention and praise it will receive.
For instance, with record streaks, people barely pay attention at the beginning. If the player puts him or herself on track to achieve the respective record, then people start talking about it.
When the streak has finally been hit, both the media and public go crazy about how the record was reached.
It's the same idea with this football team. The Nittany Lions are 4-2, which is great, but there's still a lot of football to be played. With upcoming matchups with Iowa and No. 8 Ohio State, the next two weeks could go a long way toward making people take notice.
There is no record at stake here, but Penn State's national coverage is on pace to earn back some of the attention it may have lost. The journey continues with a big road matchup against the Hawkeyes.
Chances are the only news you heard about the Nittany Lions this offseason was about who was leaving the program and what kind of punishment the team would receive.
There weren't many positive stories or feel-good pieces that could be written about the program or the school.
Penn State has now risen from what seemed like the black hole of college football into a team that is going about its future the right way.
The longer that Penn State continues on this road, the more people will begin to take note.
It'll only be a matter of time before they are front-page news again, this time for all the right reasons.
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