The Penn State Nittany Lions notched a major road victory against the Auburn Tigers this weekend, blasting the Tigers 41-12 in Jordan-Hare Stadium. It was an impressive win, but based on recent comments from Penn State head coach James Franklin, don’t expect the Nittany Lions to play many more non-conference games against SEC opponents in the future.
When asked after the game if he would like to play more high-profile non-conference games against SEC teams like this year’s game against Auburn, Franklin had a surprising and blunt response.
“No,” Franklin said after the game, according to Sports Illustrated. “No.”
Franklin revealed that the program has no interest in scheduling difficult games against premier opponents going forward. Instead, Penn State plans to schedule its non-conference games against easier opponents that the Nittany Lions can beat easily and then focus its energy on winning the Big Ten conference title.
“There’s a reason that this is like one of the only games that’s been scheduled in the history of the Big Ten,” Franklin said. “All the data and all the analytics show you you’ve got to do whatever you can to win your conference.”
As a result, Penn State has just two Power Five non-conference opponents scheduled in the foreseeable future: West Virginia and Syracuse.