Greg McElroy understands that Penn State fans have been through plenty of ups and downs over the years. Especially if you start with the championship highs of the 1980s, and go through the end of the Joe Paterno era and Bill O’Brien tenure.

Now that James Franklin is at the helm and has coached 9 seasons, what should their expectations be?

McElroy said he believes Penn State would be one of the biggest beneficiaries of the new-look Big Ten. While he admitted that the Big Ten East is brutal, and has been for years, McElroy said when divisions are eliminated, the Nittany Lions’ schedule will immediately become more manageable.

McElroy said while Penn State has played Ohio State as well as most teams in recent years, the Nittany Lions have also had some inconsistencies.

The positive is Penn State has a dynamic group of young players in its nucleus, and that’s why McElroy said, “I’m really optimistic about Penn State, not just this year, but next year as well. You could even make a case that 2024 may be the best case for Penn State to get over that hump.”

“I look at Penn State’s schedule, and while I love their young core, love their nucleus, I am not necessarily convinced at this moment, right now, April, early April, that they are going to make a Playoff run in 2023,” he said. “I’m not convinced this year. But I am pretty convinced that they are going to be around for a while, and when the Playoffs expand, Penn State’s going to be in a great spot.”

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