The Penn State Nittany Lions is the college football team of the Pennsylvania State University. The Nittany Lions enjoy a large fan-base, attracting thousands of visitors to its campus during football season and autumn Saturdays. The Penn State has one of the largest stadiums in the country, the Beaver Stadium, which has a seating capacity of more than 107,282. The surrounding area around the stadium is aptly called the “Happy Valley.”
The Best Linebackers in College Football
The Nittany Lions has a reputation for training and producing some of the best linebackers in college football and thus earning Penn State the reputation of “Linebacker U.” Since 1956, the team has been under the guidance of head coach Joe Paterno, regarded to be one of the best national coaches. The Nittany Lions plays in two major football trophy games, the Governor’s Victory Bell and the Land Grant Trophy, together with other member of the Big Ten.
Eastern Football Supremacy
Before Penn State joined the Big Ten, the Nittany Lions was one of the strongest teams in the college football independent schools. They played regularly with various schools such as West Virginia, Maryland, Notre Dame, Syracuse, Pitt, and Alabama. As of 2005, the Nittany Lions has won the Lambert-Meadowlands Trophy a record of twenty-six times, which is awarded for Eastern football supremacy.
The Legacy of Coach Paterno
Under coach Paterno, Penn State won the National Championships in 1982 and 1986. The 1987 Fiesta Bowl, where Penn State defeated the University of Miami, remains to be the most watched game in the history of college football. The Nittany Lions has the best winning percentage in the bowl games, more than any other university, with an unbeatable record of 25-12-2.
Producing Players Fit for the NFL
When it comes to college football players advancing to the professional level, particularly the National Football League (NFL), Penn State is among the top players. A total number of twenty-nine Nittany Lions players and coaches were included in NFL teams as of 2006, making the school as having the tenth highest placement rate in the country. In the forty-one times that the Super Bowl Championships have been played, thirty-seven of these games had at least one player in a team that came from Penn State. In a recent poll, the Penn State’s college football program has been ranked twelfth in the whole country when it came to economic contributions to the program’s conference, athletic department, community and university. The poll was based on sponsorships, ticket sales, expenses of the football program and athletic department, shared conference profits, and home football games county revenues. From this poll, it was shown that the Nittany Lions was worth around sixty-three million dollars.
2008 Bowl Championship Series
As of November 2008, The Nittany Lions remains number three in the recent (BCS) Bowl Championship Series and the Associate Press poll. It came number two in the Harris Interactive Polls and the USA Today Coaches. Penn State has a total of .928 trailing in the BCS trailing Alabama with only a few points at .974 as of November 2, 2008.