How Penn State’s dream season quickly became a nightmare

There must be no finger pointing this yr. No woe-is-us complaints. No bemoaning misfortune, dangerous luck or bias.

Penn State’s School Soccer Playoff hopes have been all however squashed Saturday night time within the Horseshoe, and the Nittany Lions can’t blame anybody however themselves.

They will’t fault the committee this yr. That is on them, for blowing a lead that was as giant as 18 factors within the third quarter and was nonetheless eleven factors with lower than six minutes left towards Ohio State, and for his or her pillow-tender non-convention schedule that gave them zero margin for error.

Penn State had a case final yr, even with two losses. It beat Ohio State and gained the Huge Ten, had two victories over ranked foes on its résumé. It closed with 9 straight victories.

This yr, barring sudden chaos, it gained’t have an argument. The Nittany Lions don’t have a single victory over a ranked opponent. There is just one such workforce left on the schedule, No. 24 Michigan State. Ohio State must lose twice for Penn State to get a crack at Wisconsin within the Massive Ten ultimate, and the Buckeyes possible gained’t lose as soon as.

There’s no disgrace in dropping Saturday’s recreation in Columbus, a basic 39-38 contest through which quarterback J.T. Barrett performed as near good as attainable, finishing 33-of-39 for 328 yards and 4 touchdowns, along with operating for ninety five yards on 17 carries. Ohio State’s defensive position took over late, proudly owning the road of scrimmage, and the Nittany Lions didn’t have a solution. Heavy Heisman Trophy favourite Saquon Barkley was held to minus-eight yards on seven fourth-quarter touches, and restricted to a season-low forty four dashing yards on 21 carries.

The actual drawback for Penn State is September, the cupcake non-convention video games towards Pittsburgh, Akron and Georgia State. These three groups are a mixed thirteen-12. Ohio State was chosen to the playoff a yr in the past, principally as a result of it had the type of non-convention win — at Oklahoma — the committee has made abundantly clear it values. Scheduling robust is rewarded, not dealing with Georgia State or Akron.

At the very least final yr Penn State had a comfort prize, the Rose Bowl. There isn’t a such participation trophy ready for them this season.

Tough equation

The playoff committee will launch its first rankings Tuesday. Take them with a number of grains of salt. Undefeated groups Wisconsin and Miami are more likely to discover themselves forward of pretty extra deserving one-loss groups comparable to Notre Dame, Clemson and Oklahoma….

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