WEST LAFAYETTE, In. (WTAJ) — The Penn State Nittany Lions are less than 24 hours out from the season opener at Purdue.

This is the seventh-straight year Penn State’s Big Ten opener is on the road. This is also the first time since 2016 the Nittany Lions have entered the season unranked.

But, history says that might not be the worst thing. The Nittany Lions won the Big Ten title in 2016, the only conference championship in the James Franklin era.

The Nittany Lions were not entirely forgotten in this preseason’s polls. Penn State is ranked 26th in the USA Today Coaches Poll and 29th in the AP Top 25.

But, given the 7-6 record in 2021, the unranked status makes sense.

“I guess I could understand it from a poll-ers [sic] standpoint when they’re talking about, you know, how we finished the season last year,” Joe Nastasi, a former Penn State wide receiver from 1995-1998 said. “It’s like, well, ‘prove to me that you belong up there.’ I think we’re a much better team than outside of the Top 25 team.”

“I think, you know, and we have everything right in front of us to prove it. So, it doesn’t really bother me in the sense that we’re not in the Top 25 little surprise, but at the same time, we win those first two, three, four games. We’re right in the mix.”

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Nastasi was the weekly guest on Nittany Nation Overtime: 2022 Season Preview. This year, the show will also be available in podcast form. You can find the podcast on Spotify.

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