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Fox’s Joel Klatt Ranks Penn State Highly in Post-Spring Top 25

Photo by Eddie Provident, Nittany Sports Now: Drew Allar

The top four teams in the country will play in the College Football Playoff this season, and according to at least one college football analyst, Penn State isn’t too far away.

Fox’s Joel Klatt, an analyst who’s paired with play-by-play man Gus Johnson on Fox’s “Big Noon Saturday” games which often feature Big Ten schools, has Penn State at No. 5 in his post-sprinf top 25. 

Klatt has Penn State— which finished 11-2 and No. 7 in last season’s final AP Poll after beating Utah in the Rose Bowl— ranked No. 5 behind Alabama, Ohio State, Michigan and Georgia.

In his explanation, Klatt called this coming team the best one Penn State’s had “since they won the Big Ten Championship Game (in 2016.)”

“They’ve got two young running backs (Nick Singleton and Kaytron Allen), they’re fantastic,” Klatt said on his podcast, “The Joel Klatt Show.” “The best tackle in college football in Olu Fashanu, and a new QB in Drew Allar, who a lot of people are excited for.”

Klatt went on to say that he’s “very interested in Drew Allar.”

”This is the type of guy that I think could be a top-end talent,” Klatt said. “I think he could have a sophomore campaign similar to what we saw from (North Carolina quarterback) Drake Maye a year ago. That’s something to watch for when we’re watching the Big Ten.”

There’s still competition at the top. Alabama didn’t make the College Football Playoff last season, but Nick Saban’s powerhouse has made it there seven times in the nine seasons the four-team format’s been in place, with six national title game appearances and three championships.

Ohio State’s made it to the playoff five times since 2014, with a national title win in the first College Playoff tournament and a title game appearance in the 2020 season. Since 2014– also the year James Franklin took over as Penn State’s coach— Ohio State’s 8-1 against Penn State, with the most recent win coming last season, which is also Ohio State’s most recent playoff appearance.

Penn State plays Ohio State in Columbus Oct. 21.

Another Big Ten East foe, Michigan, is No. 2 in Klatt’s rankings. Michigan has beaten Penn State in each of the past two seasons and has gone on the win the Big Ten and make the playoffs in both years.

Penn State hosts Michigan Nov. 11.

The No. 1 team in Klatt’s rankings is two-time defending champ Georgia, for obvious reasons.

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