Penn State slides down in 247Sports post-spring top 25 for 2023
The end of the spring football practice season has given outlets time to reflect and re-evaluate their opinions on teams across the country heading into the dog days of summer, and eventually fall camps. So before the preview magazines start making their way to newsstands and grocery store magazine racks, 247Sports joined the fun in updating an early top 25 ranking for the 2023 college football season, but the update was not kind to Penn State.
Penn State was ranked fifth in the way-too-early top 25 from 247Sports following the bowl season, which included Penn State’s impressive victory over Utah in the Rose Bowl. But now that spring football practices have wrapped for the year, the shine was dulled just a slight bit in a re-evaluation of the Nittany Lions by the 247Sports voters.
Penn State is now ranked eighth in the 247Sports post-spring college football top 25 for the 2023 season, a drop of three spots from the beginning of the calendar year. It doesn’t seem to be so much that Penn State has taken a step back from the end of last season as much as other teams perhaps coming on stronger with a bigger finish on the recruiting trail and more positive gains overall out of the transfer portal. And showing some dazzle in spring games didn’t necessarily hurt some programs.
The biggest reason for the slight step back in the rankings from the 247Sports staff seems to boil down to a rather underwhelming showing in the Blue-White Game. Although there were some inclement weather conditions, it was not enough to completely diminish the quality of play. The defense was solid in the spring game, which left the offense looking like it may need a little more work than anticipated to those watching. The potential is there, but the results for the offense were minuscule in comparison to the defense. Of course, in fairness, Penn State’s offense won’t be facing many defenses as good as the one it faced in the spring game later this year.
Two of our voters were close to putting Penn State inside the top 4 to open next season prior to spring, but mixed reviews following the spring game pushed the Nittany Lions to No. 8 at this point. However, given what the Nittany Lions have coming back with two rising sophomore sensation running backs and former five-star signee Drew Allar taking the reins under center, this offense looks high-powered. On paper, this is James Franklin’s most talented team in Happy Valley and is the first of three Big Ten squads inside our post-spring top 8.
While Penn State fell three spots from five to eight, USC moved up from no. 8 to no. 7, Florida State moved up from no. 6 to no. 5, and LSU moved up from no. 7 to no. 4. Alabama actually took a harder tumble within the top 10 by falling from no. 2 down to no. 6.
ESPN had a similar ranking for Penn State in its post-spring top 25 power ranking. USA TODAY Sports was more optimistic about the Nittany Lions, however.
See the full post-spring top 25 from 247Sports to see how the rest of the ranking looks.
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