Now that spring football practices have wrapped up across the country, another page toward the start of the 2022 season has officially been turned. As such, we have a fresh opportunity to evaluate where teams stand heading into the summer as spring ball has allowed observers and coaches to get a better feel for what they have to work with before the new college football season.
Erick Smith of USA TODAY Sports has done just that with his post-spring top 25. There are not a tremendous amount of changes from Smith’s postseason early top 25 earlier this year. Most teams in the top 10 just swap places with the team ahead or behind them, with Texas A&M dropping three spots, BYU moving up four spots, and NC State jumping all the way up from unranked to No. 10 being the most notable exceptions.
Penn State is one of the few teams to actually remain in its postseason early top 25 ranking. The Nittany Lions are No. 20 in Smith’s post-spring top 25.
Here is what Erick Smith had to say about Penn State.
An 11-11 record in the past two seasons has killed much of the momentum James Franklin had generated with the Nittany Lions. Too many losses in close games, mostly due to an inconsistent running game, has created an urgency to turn things around. The return of Sean Clifford brings good in the way of veteran guidance at quarterback, but he is also limits how dynamic the offense can be. Parker Washington and KeAndre Lambert-Smith provide two quality wide receivers who need to get the ball more often. There has to be better play on the offensive line to bring more balance. The defense took several hits at all three levels. New coordinator Manny Diaz will have the benefit of lineman PJ Mustipher and defensive backs Joey Porter Jr. and Ji’Ayir Brown to build with.
Penn State is looking like a wild card factor in the Big Ten this…