If you were to list the handful of B1G teams who have looked like College Football Playoff contenders through the first five weeks of the season, Penn State would be in that conversation. The Nittany Lions are off to a 4-0 start with blowout victories in three of those games.

Penn State was a topic of conversation on Saturday morning, during College GameDay’s trip to Gainesville. The biggest question is whether James Franklin’s bunch is capable of competing with the likes of Ohio State and contend for a B1G title.

Desmond Howard and Kirk Herbstreit have been impressed by what they’ve seen so far, but both are a little cautious right now. They want to see how Penn State handles tougher competition before crowning it a contender.

“I think they are [a contender], especially defensively,” Howard said of Penn State. “I want to see how they respond when they’re challenged”

Howard brought up the fact that Penn State’s biggest challenger so far, Pitt, held the Nittany Lions offense to just 17 points. Though the defense played well in the game, they’d need more offensive production to beat a team like Ohio State.

Herbstreit admitted that he wasn’t sold on PSU coming into the year and has been surprised by the fast start. Like Howard, though, he wants to see how the Lions handle the likes of Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State and Ohio State.

“Penn State, because they lost Trace McSorley, I thought they were on the backburner,” Herbstreit said. “They’re going to have to do it against better competition, but James Franklin has a really good football team.”

The Nittany Lions put their 4-0 record on the line against Purdue on Saturday. The competition gets a lot tougher next week, as they head to Iowa City to take on the Hawkeyes.