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‘They Need the 3rd Team to Arrive’: CBS Sports Lead Analyst Gary Danielson Believes Penn State is in the Big Ten Mix

ATHENS, GA - SEPTEMBER 21: CBS Sports Anchor Gary Danielson and Notre Dame Fighting Irish Head Coach Brian Kelly talk before the game between the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and the Georgia Bulldogs on September 21, 2019, at Sanford Stadium in Athens, GA.(Photo by Jeffrey Vest/Icon Sportswire)

CBS Sports lead college football analyst Gary Danielson is back in the saddle calling Big Ten football games, and he could see Penn State making some noise this season.

The former Purdue quarterback has been an analyst for more than 30 years working with ABC, ESPN and CBS after 13 years as an NFL QB.

Speaking to reporters at a CBS Sports media availability before the official start of Big Ten Media Days last week, Danielson was asked numerous questions about Penn State and if the team’s are in the mix.

“They should be,” Danielson said.

Danielson broadcasted Big Ten games earlier in his career and is in his second stint pairing up with play-by-play broadcaster Brad Nessler. 

“I think Penn State epitomizes the bigger picture that the Big Ten needs,” he said. “They (the conference) need the third team to arrive. That’s the strength of the SEC. One year it’s Georgia, then it’s Auburn, then it’s LSU, then it’s Florida, Tennessee.”

Danielson joined CBS Sports in 2006 and had been one of the main voices for the “SEC Game of the Week” before the network signed a deal with the Big Ten. Danielson received a preview of Penn State last season when the team crushed Auburn on the road 41-12.

“Penn State would be good for the conference. There is no real excuse this year. They’re good enough,” Danielson said. “They have enough good players. They have a schedule that is what it is, and in any league, you have to win the big games, and they need to win a couple [against Michigan and Ohio State].”

 Danielson pointed to returning stars, including Olu Fashanu, Nicholas Singelton and Drew Allar, as critical points of emphasis for coach James Franklin and co. to depend on.

“Singleton, their running back. How can you not (be impressed?),” Danielson said. “They’re loaded. They’ve got elite linebackers like they’ve always had.”

He believes the Big Ten can send two teams to the College Football Playoff again and feels Penn State is close to Ohio State and Michigan. After winning the 2023 Rose Bowl Game, Penn State opens the 2023 season hosting West Virginia on Sept. 2. 

CBS has the call of Iowa-Penn State during the 2023 White Out at Beaver Stadium Sept. 23 at 8.

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