Phil Steele has been slowly releasing his 2010 college football preview, and the Penn State Nittany Lions recently on the list, landing at #18 on the regularly reliable list. Pitt does not appear on the list, surprising many who feel the Panthers are poised for a solid year behind all-world running back Dion Lewis. The Mountineers of West Virginia crack the Top 25 at #22.
As for the Lions, Steele predicts a return to the Capital One Bowl, this time to take on the Auburn Tigers. Of note in the individual rankings, Stefan Wisniewski is the best guard in the country, according to Steele, while Evan Royster is ranked as the fourth best running back.
Steele's previews are meticulously jam-packed with facts and figures (not to mention confusing-at-times abbreviations), but he prides himself on his reliably accurate projections. The 2010 preview is taking some heat, however, as Steele has Oklahoma ranked #1 in the country, coming off of a 5-loss 2009. Boise State, who returns 21 of 22 starters, is ranked #6, well below their average ranking in other polls. Finally, Notre Dame places 16th, surprising many as the Irish replace not only a solid quarterback in Jimmy Clausen, but also a head coach (and many staff members).