ESPN’s college football factotum, Kirk Herbstreit, spies a mega-clash on the horizon with the Ohio State Buckeyes winding their way into Happy Valley to play Penn State at Beaver Stadium in two weeks. 

According to Herbstreit, the Nittany Lions are back to behemoth status under head coach James Franklin and in a position to both challenge the Buckeyes preeminence in the league and battle for a position as the Big Ten’s second team in the College Football Playoff.

On Thursday morning Herby appeared on Sportscenter to offer his insights. 

“With Penn State, James Franklin has built an incredible program on both sides of the ball … They’re going to be in a position to compete and in a position to challenge Ohio State next (Saturday),” he said. “It’ll be a big time game and we’ll find out what both teams are.”

The conditions will not be White Out or cacophonous at Beaver Stadium because of the Covid-19 restrictions regarding in-person attendance, but the Buckeyes and Nittany Lions have played tight games the last two seasons regardless of conditions. Back in 2018 they escaped Happy Valley with a 27-26 win in a matchup of top ten teams, while in 2019, in yet another top ten matchup, they were forced to hold fast to tenuous lead late in Columbus to win 28-17.

This year should be another college football conference classic.