3 expectations that Penn State football must meet in 2024

After another 10-2 finish last year, Penn State football needs to check these three boxes in season 11 of James Franklin's tenure in Happy Valley.
Delaware v Penn State football
Delaware v Penn State football / Scott Taetsch/GettyImages
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For decades now, Penn State football has been searching for its third official national title. Of course, seasons like 1994 saw the Nittany Lions go undefeated and come close, yet the old poll-based system awarded Nebraska the title instead.

Now, with Drew Allar returning for year two as a starter, the CFP expanding to 12 teams, and all the tools necessary for a playoff run, here are three expectations that the Nittany Lions must meet in 2024.

1. Penn State football must make College Football Playoff in 2024

Ever since the CFP was introduced a decade ago, Penn State football has come close. The Nittany Lions were just outside of the four-team field in 2016 and came very close in 2017 and 2019. In 2022 and 2023, Penn State once again found itself on the verge of a playoff berth, yet fell to 10-2 and settled for a standard New Year's Six bowl on both occasions.

Now, with the Big Ten getting rid of its divisions and the playoff field expanding from four to 12 teams, James Franklin no longer has a reason to be on the outside looking in.

At the very least, Penn State football must earn a spot as an at-large team in this year's CFP field, especially given the talent of the roster and coaching staff, as well as the experience that the Nittany Lions retain in key areas (such as quarterback).