Despite not playing this weekend, Penn State has reached its highest spot in the polls in the 21st century.
Thanks to Clemson’s stunning loss at Syracuse on Friday, the Nittany Lions moved up one spot to No. 2 in both the Associated Press and coaches’ top 25 polls on Sunday. They are behind only fellow unbeaten Alabama, with the Crimson Tide receiving every first-place vote in both sets of rankings.
Penn State had not reached No. 2 since Nov. 6, 1999, prior to a loss to Minnesota that unraveled the Lions’ shot at a national title.
They will take that lofty ranking into Saturday’s 7:30 p.m. game against No. 19 Michigan at Beaver Stadium. ESPN has announced that it will bring its traveling “College GameDay” show to town for the Lions’ annual White Out game.
It will be the sixth time GameDay has visited Happy Valley and the first since a September 2009 game against Iowa. The show airs from 9 a.m.-noon Saturday on ESPN with the game being broadcast that night on ABC with Chris Fowler and Kirk Herbstreit on the call.
The Wolverines survived a fourth-quarter rally by Indiana on Saturday in Bloomington, needing overtime to earn a 27-20 win over the Hoosiers.
Michigan boasts one of the top defenses in the nation but has struggled on offense, even before backup quarterback John O’Korn replaced injured starter Wilton Speight.
Fight costs Jersey recruit his scholarship offer from PSU: The fallout of a fight between players on a New Jersey high school football team has cost a Penn State recruit his scholarship.
According to multiple outlets and first reported by Lions247, defensive end Dorian Hardy had his offer from the Nittany Lions rescinded this week after Hardy was allegedly involved in an altercation that included a teammate and his father, who is an assistant coach.
Reports from NJ.com detailed the Oct. 6 incident at Paramus Catholic High School, where Hardy and another senior are alleged to have been the instigators in a fight that ended up with a freshman teammate, Miles Mitchell, being diagnosed with a concussion and being admitted to the hospital on Wednesday after suffering a seizure at school.
The player’s father, Michael Mitchell, was also involved and told NJ.com he has been fired as a coach at Paramus while Hardy has left the school.
Both Mitchell and Hardy’s parents have provided differing accounts of the fight. Hardy’s father told NJ.com that Miles Mitchell had hit another teammate with his helmet and that Dorian had entered in his defense before being punched by Michael Mitchell.
According to the report, charges are expected to be filed “in the next couple days.”
Rated the nation’s No. 174 overall player in the 247Sports Composite rankings, Hardy had committed to the Lions in June and was the team’s only defensive end in the 2018 class, which now stands at 22 members.
A four-star prospect, Hardy also held offers from a who’s who of college football — Alabama, Florida, LSU, Miami, Michigan, Ohio State, Tennessee, Virginia Tech, Wisconsin and reigning national champ Clemson, among others.
Penn State remains in pursuit of several other high-profile defensive ends, including No. 1-ranked Micah Parsons, the Harrisburg High School talent who had previously been committed to the Lions before reopening his recruitment earlier this year.