Some ‘different’ Penn State football rankings, hockey team seeks strong finish at Michigan and more

We hope you’ll start your day with us here at the as we work to prepare you for everything that you need to know – Monday through Friday – around the world of Penn State sports. Whether it’s football, basketball, wrestling, hockey, baseball or just a wild story we hope you’ll find interesting, we’re here to share it all with you.

This is your Penn State Wake-Up Call for Friday, March 10. Let’s get started.

Two other ways to keep score

Perhaps you thought football rankings were only for the fall. Not so. Two sets saw the light of day Thursday.

One, compiled by, assessed where Penn State’s football program ranked in the Big Ten in terms of profitability during the 2015-16 school year.

Not surprisingly, the Lions were third, behind No. 1 Michigan and No. 2 Ohio State. According to the Department of Education, the Lions had $75.5 million in revenue in 2015-16 and $36.2 million in expenses.

Another list, compiled by Money Magazine in partnership with Sports Illustrated, assessed where PSU ranked among the best schools for sports lovers.

The Lions were 55th.

Stanford was No. 1, followed by Notre Dame, Michigan, Duke, Virginia, North Carolina and Florida.

Fair enough.

Middlebury was eighth.

Come again?

There were more surprises. Yale and Bowdoin rounded out the top 10. And not only was PSU not in the top 50, it was fifth in Pennsylvania, behind No. 23 Lafayette, No. 29 Villanova, No. 35 Gettysburg and No. 49 Bucknell.

This wasn’t some willy-nilly, throw-stuff-against-the-wall exercise, either. Several factors were weighed to determine the rankings, involving the quality of the school (affordability, academic excellence, career outcomes), opportunities for athletes (graduation rate, national championships in the last 10 years, current pros, etc.) and the fan experience (attendance, intramural sports offered, student rating of the athletic scene, etc.).

That sound you hear is PSU fans scurrying to their keyboards, ready to inform the folks at Money Magazine just what they can do with their rankings.

Hockey team closes out regular season

The Lions’ hockey team has much on the line as it closes out the regular season with games at Michigan on Friday and Saturday.

PSU (21-9-2) is third in the Big Ten with 31 points, and as outlined by Gordon Brunskill of the Centre Daily Times, has an outside chance of catching second-place Wisconsin, which has 36.

Beyond that, there is the NCAA Tournament. Brunskill writes that the Lions are ninth in the PairWise Rankings, a mathematical formula which closely resembles the method used by the NCAA to determine the 16-team tournament bracket. That would appear to put them solidly in the field, but they would no doubt like to improve their position, if possible.

The Lions swept the Wolverines (11-18-3) in early December, but as coach Guy Gadowsky told Brunskill, that matters little now:

“These games are extremely meaningful, which is a privilege to be in.”

Lions sent packing

PSU’s men’s basketball team was ushered out of the Big Ten Tournament on Thursday, and rudely so, losing 78-51 to Michigan State.

The Lions’ 15-18 finish gives coach Pat Chambers much to ponder in the weeks and months ahead, as he told Fight on State’s Mark Brennan.

Also in the Land of 10