Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports
This was setting up to be a very strange season for the Penn State football team. The Nittany Lions were coming off a tumultuous offseason to say the least.
Legendary coach Joe Paterno had died, and his legacy had been tarnished.
The horrifying Jerry Sandusky sexual abuse scandal ended up being one of the most talked-about stories of the summer.
Plus, the NCAA enforced crippling sanctions for the program, which resulted in some of the team's key players, including its best overall player, RB Silas Redd, transferring to other schools.
Clearly, the team had plenty of off-the-field distractions to deal with, which was evident in the first few weeks, as Penn State lost its first two games to Ohio and Virginia.
First-year head coach Bill O'Brien did one of the best coaching jobs in the country, though, as he led the Nittany Lions to eight wins in their final 10 games.
O'Brien and his players deserve plenty of credit for what they were able to accomplish under such trying circumstances.