Penn State and Big Ten Media Days: What to look for Monday in Chicago
Penn State head coach James Franklin receives the Big Ten Championship trophy from commissioner Jim Delaney after Penn State defeated Wisconsin during the Big Ten Championship held at Lucas Oil Stadium on Dec. 3, 2016. Joe Hermitt | firstname.lastname@example.org
The 2017 college football season is still more than a month away but you know things are beginning to heat up when the major conferences hold their Media Days. The SEC Media Days have come and gone and now it’s the Big Ten’s turn. The conference’s coaches and top players (well most of them) will convene in Chicago on Monday and Tuesday. And there will be plenty to talk about.
You can start with James Franklin’s Nittany Lions, the surprise of the 2016 season. Penn State started 2-2 and got waffled by Michigan early in the year. But the Lions rebounded as the defense got healthy and Trace McSorley, Saquon Barkley and the rest grew comfortable in new coordinator Joe Moorhead’s offense. Penn State reeled eight consecutive victories, including an upset win over Ohio State at Beaver Stadium.
Penn State defenders Brandon Bell, Shareef Miller and Marcus Allen gang tackle Ohio State running back Mike Weber at Beaver Stadium on Oct. 22, 2016. Barry Reeger | Special to PennLive
And then the Lions spotted Wisconsin a huge lead in the Big Ten title game before shredding the Badgers during the final 30 minutes to claim the title. PSU came up short in its bid to make the national college football playoff but earned a trip to the Rose Bowl against USC, losing a 52-49 thriller.