There are just six FBS programs that have won at least 11 games in three of the past four seasons: Alabama, Ohio State, Clemson, Oklahoma, Georgia and Penn State. Five of those have appeared in the College Football Playoff during that span. Penn State has been left on the doorstep, knocking furiously in a prolonged attempt to crash the party of the sport's elite. The Nittany Lions aren't going away anytime soon, however, as they enter the 2020 season armed with a revamped staff and a roster loaded with promising talent.
Will it be enough to get Penn State through the door? That could be decided in October when it plays at Michigan and hosts Ohio State in what figures to be the decisive month of James Franklin's seventh season as coach. Franklin has proven to be one of the game's elite motivators since arriving in Happy Valley following a historic run at Vanderbilt.
Consider that Michigan and Ohio State each had 10 players drafted this year. The Nittany Lions had only five taken, but managed to beat Michigan and challenge Ohio State on the road in 2019. The program is in good hands. Now it just needs a final push to break down the door to the CFP.