College Football Preseason Rankings: Penn St. Deserved Better

Ryan SimonCorrespondent IIAugust 17, 2011

TAMPA, FL - JANUARY 1:  Coach Joe Paterno of the Penn State Nittany Lions directs play against the Florida Gators January 1, 2011 in the 25th Outback Bowl at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida.  (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

If there's one coach you don't underestimate in the NCAA, it's Joe Paterno

Ranking this Penn State Nittany Lion Football team 25th in the USA Today Coaches Poll is doubting him. 

With all the talent and potential on this roster, they're a dark horse to win the Big Ten Championship. 

The current quarterback controversy is irrelevant.

Rob Bolden will start this coming year. When Paterno personally made sure Bolden didn't leave PSU, he let the whole nation know who his starting quarterback really is.

This gesture showed the enormous confidence Joe Pa has in Bolden, even if it didn't show during the Outback Bowl.   

In the Outback Bowl, it was a crime to not put Bolden out there. Matthew McGloin put up one of the all-time worst performances I've ever seen for a quarterback.

McGloin went 17-41, had only one touchdown, and had five interceptions.

With the Outback Bowl behind PSU, it's time to look forward.

Look for Rob Bolden, Silas Reed, Derek Moye and Justin Brown to lead the offense next year.

And look for Gerald Hodges, Khairi Fortt and a very strong secondary led by D'Anton Lynn on defense. 

This Nittany Lions team also has to get off to a fast start. It's going to be a little hard since they play Alabama Week 2, but their schedule gets considerably easier after that—until November rolls around.  

They have to play Nebraska, Ohio State and Wisconsin in November. If the Lions can pull off some wins during that stretch, they have a good shot of making the Big Ten Championship game. 

Once they get there, there's only one game standing between them and roses.

Penn State deserved a better ranking on the USA Today Coaches Poll.

But since they didn't get it, there's only one thing left to do—go out there and earn it.