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Penn State football team again is Beast of the East: Wins Lambert Trophy for 31st time

JERRY DiPAOLA
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (TNS)
  • Penn State has won the Lambert Trophy for the 31st time, and the second consecutive year.
  • The trophy goes to the top college football program in the East.
  • Penn State finished last season at 11-2 overall and ranked No. 8 in the final AP poll.

The Lambert Trophy, symbolic of the best college football team in the East, is back at Penn State for the second consecutive year.

Head coach James Franklin has led Penn State to back-to-back Lambert Trophy honors. The award goes to the top college football program in the East. AP FILE PHOTO

Penn State finished 11-2 this season, punctuated by a 35-28 victory against No. 11 Washington in the Fiesta Bowl. Penn State was ranked No. 8 in the final Associated Press poll, its second consecutive finish in the top 10 since 2008-09.

The Nittany Lions have claimed the trophy 31 times. The next five schools on the list — Army, Pitt, Syracuse, Navy and Boston College — have won it a total of only 30 times.

The Lambert Trophy was established in 1936 by brothers Victor and Henry Lambert in memory of their father, August. Pitt won the first two in ‘36 and ‘37, finishing No. 1 in the nation in the latter year.

Penn State captured its first Lambert Trophy in 1947 under coach Bob Higgins. Coach Rip Engle won three (1961, 1964 and 1965).

Joe Paterno won 24 between 1967 and 2009 and Bill O'Brien was the coach in 2013 when Penn State won its first in the post-Paterno era.

James Franklin has guided Penn State to two Lambert titles in his four years.

Army won it seven times (second-most to Penn State), followed by Pitt, Syracuse and Navy (six) and Boston College (five). Navy shared it with Yale in 1960.

A total of 19 schools have won it, including West Virginia four times (most recently in 2011) and Carnegie Tech (now Carnegie Mellon) in 1938.