Penn State Football

Playoff Path for Penn State Football Goes Beyond Beating Michigan | Tiebreaker Breakdown

Penn State Football will get a big game do over this Saturday afternoon when Michigan comes to town.

The Nittany Lions‘ loss to top-ranked Ohio State three weeks ago hurt Penn State‘s chances of making the College Football Playoff, but it did not end them.

Their path to their first ever playoff berth starts with beating Michigan, but a win sets up the possibility of a potential three-way tie atop the Big Ten East if Michigan could take down Ohio State in Ann Arbor at the end of the season.

How Big Ten Tiebreakers Impact Penn State Football

In the event of a three-way tie, the Big Ten has a list of tiebreakers and you would need to work your way down all the way to number five on that list which indicates the east division would go to the team with the highest winning percentage among western division opponents.

This is good news for James Franklin and Penn State right now, as they would hold the tie breaker over Michigan and Ohio State in this instance, as their opponents (Northwestern, Iowa, Illinois) have a combined record of 8-10, while UM and OSU’s opponents are 7-11 thus far this season.

Michigan and Ohio State both have two common opponents in Minnesota and Purdue. The Buckeyes other western opponent is Wisconsin, while Michigan’s is Nebraska. With three weeks left in the season, there is a lot of football to be played but being up a game right now leaves Penn State in a good spot if they can take down the Wolverines Saturday.

This weekend Minnesota will play Purdue which means obviously Michigan and Ohio State will get a win, but also get a loss so the Nittany Lions teams need to pick up some wins if they want to stay ahead.


We’ve put together a rooting guide below for Penn State fans this weekend:

Iowa vs Rutgers

Illinois vs Indiana

Northwestern at Wisconsin

Maryland at Nebraska

Asking Northwestern to walk into Camp Randall and take down the Badgers is a tall task, so Iowa and Illinois will really need to hold their ground at home.

Rutgers has been a tough out all season, and with Iowa only favored by a point at home, Vegas thinks that could go either way.

Obviously, none of this matters if the Lions aren’t victorious Saturday, but this is potentially a fun twist on what could be a very exciting November for Penn State fans.

MORE: What Color Should Your Section Wear for Penn State Stripe Out vs. Michigan?

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