School name: The Pennsylvania State University
Location: University Park, PA
Mascot/nickname: Nittany Lions
School colors: White, dark blue and royal blue
Distance from College Park: 211 miles
B1G Member since: 1991
Notable achievements: 41 NCAA Championships, most of any Big Ten school and 7th nationally. Famous alumni include Mark Parker, CEO of Nike; Ty Burrell, actor; and Lavar Arrington, former NFL star and current radio host.
We've been in the ACC since forever. Tell us which ACC school this is most similar to and why.
Penn State checks in at #37 on the U.S. News and World Report rankings. The closest ACC school to that would be Georgia Tech, which is ranked 36th.
In terms of football, PSU is probably most similar to FSU. Penn State has won two national titles to Florida State's three, both previously had generational coaches who arguably coached longer than they should have and have since turned the program over to a new, much younger coach. Historically, they have a very similar winning percentage (.688 PSU, .674 FSU) and spent several decades as an independent school.
In basketball, Penn State is most similar to another ACC team from the state of Florida, but this time it's Miami. PSU has only appeared in nine NCAA Tournaments (Miami has made the dance seven times). Both basketball programs live in the shadow of a much more popular football team and haven't been too successful on the hardwood.
Beaver Stadium is another one of those amazing, gigantic Big Ten venues that seats over 100,000 people. Its official capacity is 106,572, which trails just Michigan Stadium in the United States in terms of total capacity.
The basketball teams play in the surprisingly large Bryce Jordan Center, which seats 15,261 and was built in 1995.
Penn State supports an amazing 31 sports teams and those sports tend to do well. PSU has never finished outside of the top 25 in the final NACDA Director's Cup poll.
And if you're going to support 31 sports teams, you're probably going to have pretty nice facilities for those teams. Penn State has exactly that.
Food, beer, & Town:
University Park, PA is kind of in the middle of nowhere. It's an hour and a half northwest of Harrisburg, but is surrounded by some fantastic state parks.
It does have some really good and tasty food options, like Big Bowl Noodle House, Incorporated.
How likely is Maryland to develop a rivalry with this school?
While some like to poke fun at Maryland's move to the Big Ten, calling it nothing more than a money grab, it really presents an opportunity for Maryland to develop a true rival. Maryland had Virginia, but Virginia always had Virginia Tech. West Virginia continues to be a good football rivalry, but aside from one Saturday each Fall, there isn't that true rivalry hate that exists like you see in Michigan and Ohio State or Duke and UNC.
Penn State gives Maryland that opportunity to finally have a true, hate to the bone rival who is themselves looking for a rival to tango with. Penn State was once in Maryland's shoes, not too long ago. A eastern school, joining a midwestern conference that none of the B1G traditionalists wanted. Now, after always seeming to be a school's second tier rival, Penn State is poised to develop into a great border state rivalry that I think most fans from each school are looking forward to reigniting.
And that's even before you get into the James Franklin aspect of all of this.
There is a great opportunity for a rivalry to nurture and develop. The seeds have been planted. Now it just needs to grow.