Penn State looking to upgrade Future Football Schedules

By Kevin Kelley -

Penn StateIn the wake of their four-year postseason ban and $73 million in fines, the Penn State Nittany Lions are looking to upgrade their future football schedules.

Several options have been considered by Penn State acting athletic director Dave Joyner and head coach Bill O’Brien. Chief among those is scheduling home-and-home series or neutral site games against high profile teams.

Penn State has also considered playing a 13th game in Hawaii and is in discussions with Wisconsin to make their annual match-up a trophy game.

Non-Conference Scheduling

To generate more revenue, Penn State will seek high-profile non-conference opponents for “single games, home-and-home series and neutral-site games,” the Pocono Record reports. Dave Joyner said he has already had discussions with several schools but declined to identify them.

Scheduling tougher BCS opponents to play at Beaver Stadium and/or neutral sites should help the Nittany Lions reach that goal. It will also help them save on payments to lower level teams for non-conference games, which often ranges from a few hundred thousand dollars up to around $1 million.

Penn State’s schedules in 2013 and 2014 are currently full, but a game or two could be canceled if necessary. In 2013, the Nittany Lions are scheduled to play Syracuse at MetLife Stadium and host Eastern Michigan, Kent State, and Virginia. The 2014 season includes home games against Temple, Akron, and UMass and a game at Rutgers.

The Nittany Lions currently have one opening on both their 2015 and 2016 non-conference schedule.

Hawaii as a 13th Game

On Wednesday, Penn State head coach Bill O’Brien said that he wanted to play at Hawaii to “act as our bowl game at the end of the year.” Under the Hawaii Exemption, teams that play at Hawaii are allowed to schedule a 13th game.

But there are some issues with teams on probation adding Hawaii as a 13th game. USC was barred from playing a 13th game in 2010 and 2011 as a result of NCAA sanctions. The Trojans were eventually allowed to play at Hawaii in 2010 because the game had been on the books for over five years.

A 13th game was not specifically mentioned in the consent decree that Penn State agreed to on Monday. But a spokesperson for the University of Hawaii told the Pocono Record that “teams under NCAA sanctions cannot take advantage of the exemption.”

“We will have to look into that,” Joyner said. “Within the [12-game] regular-season structure, we could do anything we want.”

Trophy Game with Wisconsin

Penn State and Wisconsin are set to meet in both schools’ regular-season finale for the next five seasons. The two are in discussions to award the winner of the game a trophy, reports.

“Our marketing guys are working with theirs,” Joyner said Friday. “We are going to have a trophy for the Wisconsin game. Don’t know what it is. We have our own inside names. We will figure out what we want to call it.”

Wisconsin head coach Bret Bielema supports the idea. “I’d still go ahead with it 100 percent,” Bielema said. “It’s the story and the history of who they are and what they are, is what I was trying to focus on. … I wanted to give us something at the end of the year. Obviously, there’s the Ohio State-Michigan thing. I wanted us to have something that has a little bit of value.”

Both teams currently play two trophy games. Penn State battles Michigan State for the Land Grant Trophy and Minnesota for the Governor’s Victory Bell. Wisconsin plays Iowa for the Heartland Trophy and Minnesota for Paul Bunyan’s Axe.

Comments (41)

Maybe Penn State will now finally agree to play West Virginia on a home and home. Since WVU upgraded its program, Penn State has not wanted to play unless it was 7 home versus 3 away.

Not sure what’ll happen with WVU. They’ve only got three OOC games to play with now, and two of them (for the foreseeable future) are apparently Maryland and East Carolina.

I suppose that since they’re now in the Big 12, it might be advantageous for them to schedule another relatively local game, since they won’t have any in conference (other than home games).

Maybe we can get a home and away with Penn State….I think a Spartans -Nittany Lions game would be good match-up.

Pemm State v West Virginia would be perfect. They could have the “Hillbilly Trophy”. We let Penn State join the Big Ten because we felt sorry for Michigan State being on the bottom academically and wanted to bring in someone for Spartie to flame. Maybe they could schedule Notre Dame and commiserate about how hick teams from hicktowns don’t get any respect in the 21st century. Oh, traveling to Happy Valley every two years at least gives me a chance to buy moonshine.

Very funny, Penn State was #1 in the Academic Bowl last year with an 87% graduation rate.

Is this some kind of a joke. There is moonshine in Ohio. Just stay there and drink your own.

Funny. As an easterner, we always thought that Pittsburgh PA was at the remote end of the east and civilization as we know it and that it was all hicks and farmers from there to California and the West Coast. You know, like Ohio.
This is exemplified in that your mascot is a tree , or a nut, or a nut tree.. whatever.
Most easterners would agree w/ that Ohio is far from contemporary it.

Having spent the first 60 years of my life living in Southern California, I was surprised to find so many hicks and hillbillies living in Pennsylvania. Don’t misunderstand my comment …. I have met lots of really nice people here. However, there are a lot of bigots and low-lifers here in the coal region. I think that a West Virginia v/s Penn State game would be perfect for this area. They could knock each other’s teeth out … what’s left of them ….lol

I’ve heard comments from other !@#$#$%, but you top them all. Buckeye fans suck and !@#$%^ like you haven’t a clue about what’s going on.

Comment edited by admin for profanity.

Would a 13th game for Penn State played in Europe, Mexico, or Asia be permitted under NCAA rules ?

I don’t think so.

A “foreign tour” is an option for teams once every four years, but if I understand the rules correctly, Penn State would not be eligible for it. One part of the bylaws (17.28) talks about the foreign tours, and one of the sections calls a foreign tour a “postseason opportunity” for football, and states “A foreign football tour shall be considered that institution’s postseason opportunity for that season …”

Since PSU is banned from postseason play, I don’t think they could go on a foreign tour.

See Chip’s answer. Also, the NCAA rule for a 13th game explicitly states Alaska, Hawaii or Puerto Rico. I don’t think it would apply to another country and would then be considered a “foreign tour.”

Chip, I don’t believe you are correct. A game outside the US does not count a as bowl game. Navy and Notre Dame play in Ireland to open the season. Obviously, both are also eligible for a bowl game. If they weren’t then why would any school play a game outside of the US? So, playing internationally is a possibility for PSU and is allowed as part of a 12-game schedule.

Oh….in other words,like Georgia,right? How many players have been kicked off the team? Good thing Richt doesn’t let “character” get in the way of recruiting….*wishes Georgia would quit ducking us*

It would be like scheduling another cupcake to anyone who plays Penn St. now. Thus, it is not a good idea for anyone except Penn St.

I disagree, have you seen Penn St.’s recruiting haul for next year? Right now they have the top QB and TE in the country reaffirming their commitments just yesterday. Trust me, PSU football isn’t going to be 1-11 over the next five years, far from it. Plus, another big recruiting tool is going to be the increased playing time of those 65 on scholarship. Less kids more playing time. Kids LOVE playing time.

What the NCAA never counted on was that the Penn St. family would rally around players and coaches who have done nothing wrong. It has really galvanized Nittany Nation and in the end football might be bigger under BOB than it was the last 10 years or ever under Paterno.

Uh …. PSU just got reaffirmed commitments from the number one rated qb, number one rated te and top 5 wr and others. I think they’ll be just fine, not great but enough for 8 wins in big ten. Btw – Columbus is a dump.

If Penn st. biggest worry is trying to upgrade their sked and have a quasi bowl game with Hawaii, then they really dont “get it”. Next four years is about paying a pennance for putting football above the welfare of children.Had they not agreed to this Penn St. would have received a four year death penalty. They have Ohio st, Nebraska and Wisconson annually as their bowl game. If i were any bcs school id tell Penn St to take a hike for non conference game.

Good take Anthony….while I wouldn’t tell Penn State to take a hike….I only agree to a game if it was at my school,I wouldn’t travel to Happy Valley.

Good comments Anthony. Penn State players and coaching staff should not be rewarded with a trip to Hawaii after receiving sanctions from the NCAA. Maybe a game played locally with all proceeds donated to abused children would be acceptable. But the NCAA would probably rule that to be post-season play also.

Anthony your an idiot!!! Obviously the folks in PSU country get it. But nobody now or in any future teams has or had anything to do with what happened. Continuing to play football is not a bad thing nor is it wrong to try and play ein exciting locations. Your thinking is what’s wrong. Everyone is moving past the horrific events.

Penn St. should rekindle non-conf. games with W Va. and Pitt……..nothing else makes much sense. Local foes who travel well.

Well I think they can play in Hawaii. LOU Houtlz said they are eligible each year,

Doesn’t look like the culture has changed a bit at Penn State. Regardless, It’s only a matter of time until some Booster/Alumni gets caught shuttling cash to players, and with Penn St on probation – it’ll be the end of the program for years.

The current players,coaches,students and fans did nothing wrong. If the NCAA wanted to change the culture of football and have schools first priority to not be where your team is going to a bowl then they should cancel all bowl games.Culture of football at Penn State? How about Roll Tide,War Eagle,Go Gaters,Dawgs,Hookem Horns,OH..IO,the list goes on.When the NCAA handed down the sanctions at PSU it thought it would destroy a reputable program and gain some power for an agency(nsaa) that is lacking of respect. What it did not expect is that PSU doesn’t need to go to a bowl or anywhere else to claim what it already undisputedly is…..’WE ARE. .PENN STATE’ Penn State was founded in 1855 and will be here ‘[PENN STATE}forever’ Will the NCAA? Probably not.

Gene, you’re correct on the culture of football. If the NCAA is so concerned about the “culture of football”, then why agree to changes in the BCS? It’s all about the $$$$$. NCAA and Emmert are frauds…check out his comment about the importance of LSU football when he was chancellor in Baton Rouge. The “culture” exists at every major program…Ohio State, Alabama, LSU, Michigan, Oklahoma, the list can go on.

Penn State should schedule BYU–home and home. BYU needs to fill a full schedule each (because of independence) and Penn State needs to beef up their schedule.

I attended the BYU Penn State game in ’92. It was a blast.

WVU alumnus here; attended games since 1946. WVU-Penn State should resume series. WVU has staggered this year but so has PSU. Game would be big attraction for eastern audience now that both teams are in midwest power conferences. Penn State did home and home for years when WVU football was definitely not at the same level. Same is true with Pitt-PSU, Pitt football should improve with new ACC alignment.

These are long-standing traditional foes and that should count for something. A good way to upgrade schedules for all three.