The current College Football national championship odds for the Penn State Nittany Lions are . Penn State is coming of an 11-2 season, its fourth 11-win campaign of the James Franklin era. The 2022 season ended with a win in the Rose Bowl, and Franklin will be hoping this upcoming season will end with a win in the National Championship in Houston, Texas.
Penn State National Championship Odds & Futures 2023-2024
|Penn State Buckeyes National Championship Odds||Odds (Updated November 2023)|
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Penn State was blessed with Joe Paterno, whose astounding 409 victories as head coach, the most in NCAA FBS history, defined a dominant 45-year run of Nittany Lion football. James Franklin has done well early in his run as the head coach, but he has yet to reach the mountaintop and win a national championship like Paterno did before him.
Mediocre quarterback play from Christian Hackenberg, Trace McSorley, and Sean Clifford has limited Penn State’s offensive upside under Franklin, but the expectation is that will change this year. Drew Allar, a five-star recruit and the top quarterback in the 2022 class per 247, is poised to become the full-time starter this season.
Supporting Allar’s offense will be an excellent defense that ranked fifth in EPA in Manny Diaz’s first season as defensive coordinator. The pass rush was especially dominant as the Nittany Lions had a 38.9% pressure rate, the highest in the FBS. That pressure should be nasty once again with the trio of Chop Robinson, Adisa Isaac, and Dani Dennis-Sutton.
Penn State plays in the Big Ten East, so they’ll have to get through Michigan and Ohio State in order to win the conference. That’s easier said than done, but given their strength of schedule and the reputation of their conference, the Nittany Lions could be one of two Big Ten teams in the Playoff this year.
Penn State National Championship Odds Analysis
Allar will be aided by what should be a dominant run game featuring fellow five-star recruit Nicholas Singleton, who averaged 6.8 YPC as a freshman, and Kaytron Allen, who had 10 touchdowns last year. The offensive line appears to be elite, as well, with left tackle Old Fashanu the headliner as a likely future top ten pick in the NFL draft.
I’m left with questions about Penn State’s wide receiver room, however, after they lost their three leading receivers from last season. Kent State transfer Dante Cephas will have a huge burden in replacing Parker Washington and Mitchell Tinsley. Keep an eye on junior KeAndre Lambert-Smith who averaged 16.2 YPR last year, albeit in a limited sample size.
The other potential problem spot for the Nittany Lions is in the secondary after Joey Porter jr. and Ji’Ayir Brown left for the NFL. Karen King and Johnny Dixon have pro aspirations of their own, and senior Keaton Ellis is a steadying presence at safety, but the depth could be tested against the likes of Ohio State and Michigan.
The Nittany Lions didn’t have the same caliber of transfer class as their Big Ten peers as they were 52nd in 247’s transfer portal rankings. They were, however, 13th in recruiting, and they’re expected to reap the full benefits of a 2022 class that featured three five-star and 13 four-star recruits.
Ultimately, Penn State’s true championship upside will come down to how good Drew Allar is. We didn’t learn a ton over the course of his freshman season as he attempted just 60 passes, but if he can play at a Heisman level like some are forecasting, Penn State can run through a tough Big Ten and make noise in the Playoff this season.
Penn State Strengths & Weaknesses
- Drew Allar has tremendous upside as the top quarterback recruit in 2022 per 247
- Nicholas Singleton and Kaytron Allen headline a tremendous run game behind a stout offensive line featuring Old Fashanu
- Manny Diaz’s pass rush should be dominant once again after leading the FBS in pressure rate last season
- Will Allar’s inexperience lead to growing pains for the Penn State offense?
- Who will step up in an unproven wide receiver room for Allar?
- Does the secondary have enough pieces in place to compete after losing Joey Porter Jr. and Ji’Ayir Brown to the NFL?