STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — It's called respect and the Nittany Lions have earned it from the Associated Press pollsters. Despite having not played a down of football this season, Penn State jumped right back into the AP Poll at 10th in the country. It probably irked their rivals at Pitt to see the Nittany Lions 0-0 and now ranked 14 positions higher than the 3-0 Panthers who just beat a previously ranked opponent Louisville and slid back three spots.
Penn State's players make no secret of the fact they think this could be the year they make the College Football Playoffs. If they take care of business in the Big Ten, the opportunity will exist. In the meantime, Coach Franklin is trying to build chemistry but says it's difficult to do that under current restrictions.
"Usually, I'll have the guys over my house a lot," he explained. "Whether it's in the house, in the basement watching games and eating or whether it's a barbecue or taking them to Champs or taking them to the bowling alley and just having some fun. When I talked to my trainer, I said 'Hey, I want to have the freshman over my house for dinner next Sunday. Are you ok with that? He said, ok, you can do it but you can't do this, you can't do this, you can't do this, you can't do this and you can't do this.' By the end of it, it didn't sound like a whole lot of fun."
Penn State opens up their season with an away game at Indiana on October 24th.