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Projections on Penn State 2012

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It is done.  The NCAA has brought down the punishment and penalties to the University and it’s current football program.  It will stand and there will be no appeal.  The only questions that remain with regards to Penn State football is what i going to happen.  From the CFBMatrix standpoint, it starts and ends with talent.

While I don’t know which kids will leave the program and which kids will have their scholarships pulled in the future, I can take their recruiting trends, averages and values to project what could happen to the program in 2012 and going forward.

24 Hours ago

24 hours ago, I felt that Penn State had the opportunity to produce a surprise dark horse type of a season.  they had a good schedule and all their talent was stacked in the 2009 and 2010 classes.  Veteran leadership in a weak division, no Michigan or Michigan State on the schedule and two of the three biggest games were in no-so-Happy Valley.  This team had 10-2 talent potential and at worst, the talent and schedule projected to 8-4. The projected losses were Ohio State and at Nebraska with the other tough games being Wisconsin, Iowa and Virginia.

Projecting 2012 Win/Loss

Kids can leave today and join another program.  Who and when they leave is impossible to forecast, but I can provide an average value per player and reassess the season projections on the potential numbers.  Let’s run down the CFBMatrix “What if” estimates on player loss and projected win totals.  I will start with the original projection of talent, schedule and new coaching at 9-3.

Losing 6 players

Every 3 players lost is on average a dip in 4 year talent projections of 2 to 3 spots in the CFBMatrix ranking.  If they lose 6 players, that projects to a talent rank drop of 4 to 6 spots.  That changes the projections from wins to loses in 2 games.  At Virginia and at Iowa.  The projected win total would be 7 (with a strong fade to 6.5).

Losing 12 players

This level of loss would drop PSU’s talent ranking levels into the low 30s to low 40s.  Keep in mind that they are currently between 82- and 85 scholarship players today.  Part of the NCAA’s sanctions is a drop of 10 full rides to 75.  If no one leaves, the team will have ten fewer players regardless of transfers.  This is the area of projected talent ranking for the Nittany Lions for 2013.  This talent ranking for 2012 results in 2 more loss projections to Illinois and Purdue.  If the 10 players that leave are of higher ability, Northwestern and even………..Indiana come into play.

Losing 18 players

If 18 or more players walk in the coming 5 weeks the season totally shot and 0-12 is now on the horizon.  Temple and Ohio would look like coin tosses and maybe a surprise upset at home for a weak Big Ten school.  The Over/Under total wins would likely be 3 games if they see this level of attrition.

The Future

No bowls, no playoffs, no championship games for 4 straight years.  Next year’s class and the subsequent one is simply playing out a 12 game schedule.  20 scholarships is losing an ENTIRE level of your depth chart.  The 2013 class may look normal in size given the number of seniors and player transfers.  But no bowls, no nothing could mean a class ranked in the 50s-70s.  2014 will have 12-15 scholarships and not look bad, just low on talent.  By 2014 this team will be down to 65 players and at the bottom of the Big Ten in overall talent.

2015 and 2016 will have classes in single digits for scholarships and be ranked in 90s-100s.   Their recruits will have all been born in years in which Penn State history has been wiped clean.  There are no beaches and sunny weather to sell.   This program will be a doormat for 6-8 years with 4 year talent rankings in the mid 50s to high 70s, at best.  Big Ten victories will be rare starting as early as now.  From 2014 to 2020 Penn State football will have accomplished much by winning over 30 total games.

In the end, none of this really matters.  There are no winners.  None of us claim any victory as we all lost in some way due to the inaction of self-serving cowardice.  It is just a game and time will march on.  I really don’t care how it turns out for Penn State football, the University, the Big Ten and college football.  My hope is no different today than it has always been.  I hope we can all learn from our mistakes.  I hope that this helps people in power be braver and to do the right thing .  And I hope that whatever actions are taken and paths chosen that we are one step closer to making this a safer and better world for children everywhere.

-Dave Bartoo, The College Football Matrix @CFBMatrix

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