Penn State is the biggest challenger to Ohio State in 2020.

That’s the consensus heading into the unique season this fall, and it appears ESPN’s Football Power Index (FPI) agrees with that thought. The Nittany Lions will be the favorite in each game the season on the schedule, with the exception of the Week 2 showdown against the Buckeyes.

In 2019, Penn State ended with an 11-2 record with its only losses coming to Minnesota and Ohio State — both ranked opponents on the road. But James Franklin’s bunch is looking to win a second B1G title in five seasons and have the talent to do so. A loaded running back room led by Journey Brown, a returning quarterback in Sean Clifford and tight end Pat Freiermuth will lead the offensive charge along with new OC Kirk Ciarrocca.

Penn State’s defensive line is in good hands with Shaka Toney and Jayson Oweh back, though the linebacker position took a hit with Micah Parsons opting out.

In 2020, Penn State will be one of the teams to keep an eye on. Here’s how ESPN’s FPI is predicting each game on the Nittany Lions schedule this fall:

  • Oct. 24: at Indiana — 73.7% chance of victory
  • Oct. 31: vs. Ohio State — 27.9% chance of victory
  • Nov. 7: vs. Maryland — 96.7% chance of victory
  • Nov. 14: at Nebraska — 82.6% chance of victory
  • Nov. 21: vs. Iowa — 81.8% chance of victory
  • Nov. 28: at Michigan — 71.4% chance of victory
  • Dec. 5: at Rutgers — 93.8% chance of victory
  • Dec. 12: vs. Michigan State — N/A