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On Saturday, Penn State Will Play Its Super Bowl

Few teams have the honor of sharing a field with the almighty SEC.

Penn State quarterback Sean Clifford gets ready to call a play against Ball State. Matthew OHaren-USA TODAY Sports

Penn State has played some meaningful games in its somewhat tenured history. Who can forget the nail biter against Georgia in the 1983 Sugar bowl, or the 1986 Fiesta Bowl against Miami. Those are two of the biggest games in Penn State’s entire history, and there are others, of course.

But on Saturday, the Nittany Lions will face nothing like they’ve ever seen before. They will face, for the first time in State College, the Auburn Tigers of the SEC. As we all know, the SEC is the premier college football conference, and it’s only going to get better. As we also know, Auburn has one of the best coaches in the game in Bryan Harsin, who won three conference titles at Boise State, while appearing in three other Mountain West championship games. That kind of storied history is something Penn State simply can’t match in its coaching lineage.

Furthermore, the Tigers have two national titles to their name, the first one in 1957, and the second in 2010, when Cam Newton ran wild over the SEC. The two national championships are substantially greater that Penn State’s two national championships, so you have to give Auburn all the credit here for their substantial success at the highest levels of competition.

Auburn also has 782 all time wins in its history, which is good for a .630 win percentage. When you compare that to the Nittany Lions’s 902 all time wins (.686 win percentage), it’s easy to tell why Auburn is the superior program overall.

About The Game

So, dear reader, why did I go through the effort to write this piece? Because Auburn fans are right. Penn State should be so honored to be on the same field as the Tigers, and everyone needs to know.

It is my privilege to be alive in an era where the Nittany Lions can host the biggest game of their entire history, as will be the case when Auburn makes the trip up north on Saturday, and it should be your privilege to read about it too!

This is the year. Bo Nix has improved so much under this new offense. He’s focused. He’s having fun. I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s a dark horse for the Heisman.

Tank Bigsby is not only the best running back Auburn has ever seen, but he’s the best running back college football has ever seen.

Auburn’s defense is allowing five points per game this season! And they did so against a schedule that may very well be the toughest slate a middle school team will ever play. Might be even harder than that!

Meanwhile, Sean Clifford, going for 62% on 477 yards through the air, Noah Cain is averaging 4.17 yards per carry, and Jahan Dotson, with 10 receptions for 167 yards in the past two games, can only be described as insufficient. Auburn’s defense will have an easy time eating this offense alive, the way Wisconsin did in the opener, and, to a much greater extent, Ball State did last week.

Last, but not least, the whiteout. How do I know this is the biggest game in Penn State’s history? Because the Nittany Lions devised such a gimmicky trick as the an all-stadium color coordination trend is played out. As we all know Georgia did an all stadium blackout in 2008, well before Penn State did their student section whiteout in 2004 when they hosted Purdue. Regardless of who copied who, the point stands. If the Nittany Lions didn’t think this is their biggest game, ever, why didn’t they assign the Whiteout to Michigan, as they have every odd since 2011 against Alabama?

On the other hand, Auburn sees better environments than Beaver Stadium in a whiteout on a weekly basis. Auburn does, after all, play in the SEC! They get to visit LSU, Florida, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Alabama, South Carolina, Georgia, Vanderbilt, and a host of other stadiums that simply blow anything the Big Ten can come up with out of the water. This will simply not phase Auburn at all.

All in all, the only thing I can hope on Saturday is that Auburn has some mercy on Penn State. When they inevitably go up 60, like they have against their two previous opponents, please start a running clock so the game can mercifully end sooner.

Auburn 77, Penn State 3