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On3's Andy Staples predicts Penn State to make College Football Playoff

Mug-Shot 4x4by:Ryan Snyder08/30/23


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Penn State is a trendy pick this season to make the College Football Playoff. With Michigan coming off back-to-back Big Ten championships, the Wolverines remain the most popular pick, but the Nittany Lions certainly have their fair share of believers this upcoming season.

Count On3 national analyst Andy Staples among those who think this is the year for head coach James Franklin and his team. During Tuesday night’s show, Staples picked the Nittany Lions to finish No. 2 overall in this year’s final College Football Playoff

“If you’ve heard this show all along, you know why I’ve been hinting at this,” Staples said. “I think Penn State, in terms of very special players, has closed the gap on Ohio State and Michigan. Michigan, at this point, in terms of pure NFL talent on the roster, might actually have the most, but Penn State has quite a bit and has some very special players. Ohio State always has that.

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“Penn State now has Olu Fashanu, who might end up being the first offensive lineman off the board, Chop Robinson, who could be a very early-round edge rusher, Abdul Carter, who’s a sophomore, so he’s not eligible until the 2025 draft but is very similar to Micah Parsons. Because they already had Micah Parsons, they know much better what to do with Abdul Carter and how to play him.”

Staples went on to add that he thinks the Lions will actually beat both of its primary rivals this season.

“I’m saying that Penn State is going to beat Michigan and Ohio State,” he said. “They get Michigan in State College. [Penn State] doesn’t beat them in Ann Arbor, so they got a shot there. They play Ohio State tough seemingly everywhere but have not been able to get over the hump since 2016. I think they can get over the hump now. That doesn’t mean I think they’re going undefeated. They could drop another one along the way, but I think Penn State is in there at two.”

In addition to Penn State, Staples picked the back-to-back defending national champions, Georgia, to be the No. 1 seed in this year’s playoff. Clemson was his pick at No. 3 with Alabama being his No. 4 seed. Michigan and Oregon are his first two teams out.

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