Penn State: Keys to a National Title

Dusty FloydCorrespondent IOctober 22, 2008

Does anybody remember how bad Penn State was in 2003 and 2004? In those two years, they had a combined record of 7-16. Not too good, was it?

Joe Paterno has turned this program back around with his great recruiting and coaching. Now, this Saturday, they face off against No. 9 Ohio State in a game which promises to be one of the best so far this season.

If the Nittany Lions win, they have an easy three games left to continue their undefeated season. If they win those, Penn State should find themselves back in another national championship game, because it's very unlikely that both Alabama and Texas will win every game on their tough schedules.

Evan Royster has put up some impressive stats so far. He's averaging 7.7 yards per carry and has 10 rushing touchdowns. Quarterback Daryll Clark has stepped up his game as well in just about every category.

Penn State's only problem is their schedule. The Buckeyes will only be the second ranked team, as of now, that they will play this whole year. Texas will end up playing four teams ranked in the top 15, and Alabama obviously has a tough schedule in the SEC.

The question is, will the BCS put a one-loss Big 12 or SEC team in front of an undefeated Penn State? This will remain unanswered until the final BCS poll comes out at the end of the season. For that reason, Penn State will have to put up some style points, just as USC did, against Ohio State to get into a BCS title game.

The Nittany Lions have blown out every opponent they've played so far, with their closest game being a 38-24 win over Illinois. Also, 24 points was the most allowed by their defense all year.

So in a wrap, if Penn State beats Ohio State, they have a pretty good chance at making a BCS title game. Joe Paterno had better get his squad ready for this one, because it's the game of the year for Penn State.