After going 10-2 in the regular season and capping things off with a convincing victory in the Rose Bowl, the bar for expectations for Penn State has been raised heading into the 2023 season. Despite some key roster changes from last year’s program, the hype is already beginning for the Nittany Lions as spring football practices are underway in State College. And because it is never considered too early to start looking ahead to the upcoming football season, 247Sports has put together a list of what they expect to be the most intimidating atmosphere in college football this upcoming season. And a key Penn State home game ranked respectably high on the list.
Penn State’s home game against two-time defending Big Ten champion Michigan checked in at the fourth spot on the ranking organized by 247Sports. The ranking looks for specific games on the schedule as opposed to overall environments, and few would argue the home game against the Wolverines is not the biggest game being played in Penn State’s Beaver Stadium this season. It should absolutely be a raucous environment and the stakes could be considerably high as well.
Penn State is scheduled to host Michigan on November 11, with just two games in the regular season remaining. It is possible the game could carry Big Ten East Division championship stakes with the winner getting an inside track to a division crown. Penn State will have already played Ohio State (Oct. 21 in Columbus), and Michigan will end the regular season at home against their bitter rivals as they traditionally do (Michigan’s home game against Ohio State ranked second on this list by 247Sports and is the only Big Ten game ranked higher). The winner of this game will likely remain in the division race or have the inside track as a result.
All that is still left to be determined is what time the game will air and whether or not it will get the official whiteout treatment. It is widely expected the game will get the whiteout call as home games against Michigan and Ohio State generally do, although exceptions have been made, like last season’s game against the Buckeyes. Penn State likes to hold a whiteout in front of a primetime audience, as it does look spectacular at night, but if FOX gets the game, it will likely be a Big Noon Kickoff Game. But a new media contract with CBS and NBC going into effect this season could allow for a later kickoff.
Regardless, consider the Michigan game the easy pick for a whiteout game no matter when the kickoff is scheduled.
“Whiteouts at Beaver Stadium provide one of the most iconic pre-game looks in all of sports and you know Happy Valley will be busting at the seams for this game,” 247Sports says. “Penn State’s only losses last fall came against Ohio State and Michigan, so this is one of two games all Nittany Lions fans have circled for 2023. Expect this to be an extremely difficult-to-get ticket in the Big Ten this fall.”
Penn State opens the 2023 season with a home game against West Virginia in the first meeting between the two former regional rivals since before Penn State joined the Big Ten. It is the first game in a home-and-home series that will continue in Morgantown to start the 2024 season. Penn State will also host Delaware, Iowa, UMass, Indiana, and Rutgers this season.
See the full list of the most intimidating atmospheres for this college football season via 247Sports.
Follow Kevin McGuire on Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook.
Follow Nittany Lions Wire on Twitter and like us on Facebook for continuing Penn State coverage and discussion. Let us know your thoughts by leaving a comment on this story below. Join the conversation today.