It’s the offseason, which means looking towards to future and there’s nothing to say that looking forward means only 2021-22. In fact Penn State has out of conference games scheduled all the way out to 2027 at this point. Of course that’s so far out that everything could be drastically different both at Penn State and elsewhere. Heck, football might be played on the Moon by then.
While a lunar pigskin seems unlikely, the games are very much real – assuming this isn’t all just a simulation. So here are the five most interesting coming up down the road. As a matter of context, Penn State has one opening in 2025 and another in 2027.
Honorable mentions: at Virginia Tech and Virginia at Beaver Stadium.
These games get an honorable mention because technically they’re both supposed to be on the schedule. Penn State as supposed to play at Virginia Tech in 2020 – something that clearly never happened – and a confluence of scheduling shenanigans led to Penn State’s previously scheduled home game against Virginia never happening. That game would have been the second-leg of the Nittany Lions’ loss to Virginia in 2012. Safe to say the Cavaliers got their win and got out of there.
As for the Hookies – they don’t have an open date until 2032, and they’re already playing Wisconsin that year.
The rest: ranked lightly in order of most interesting but up for debate in that department.
- at Auburn 
This seems fairly obvious considering it has been a hot minute since Penn State made that 2010 trip to Alabama deep in the heart of the south. Auburn – at least as it stands right now – is in a state of flux with a new head coach and some of its punching power in the past. That being said it should be a fun trip for everyone involved to make it all the way down south to see a crowd, stadium and atmosphere that comes with the same passion as Beaver Stadium. On the field it will either be Sean Clifford’s fourth year at the helm [not entirely impossible] or one of the first games for a new quarterback. Welcome to the big show indeed.
2. at West Virginia 
The Mountaineers haven’t been what they once were but a lot can change in short order. Mountaineer Field is really an underrated venue in the college football landscape and one imagines that Penn State coming to town will bring out the crowd from the Keystone state’s neighbors to the south. It’s hard to know exactly what to expect from either program in 2024 with WVU now just in a third year under new-ish head coach Neal Brown. That aside, one imagines that this game has some potential under the lights and anyone old enough to remember the days of Pat White running rampant will get a kick out of seeing a game in person. At least this author will.
3. Nevada  Marshall  Bowling Green  San Jose State 
All four of these games are a pick’em in the interest department but check the same kind of boxes. Penn State has never played Marshall so that’s interesting and in theory could still be led by former Penn State assistant Charles Huff. There will be a surplus of We Are that weekend. San Jose State has cool helmets so that’s fun. Nevada has always been a fun program to follow for the hardcore college football fan and Bowling Green has tailed off a bit from its four-year run at bowl games in the mid 2010s but who knows what life will be like in 2024. You could add either Delaware game to this list as well.
4. at Temple 
Temple has always been the anti-Pitt in Penn State’s eyes. I’m not sure if that’s an actual mission statement, but its a series that has benefited both programs with a lot less drama and animosity. Penn State gets some time in Philly, Temple gets some time sharpening its teeth – everyone is happy.
And to the Owls’ credit they’ve put up a fight. Temple hasn’t really gotten blown out in any of the last six meetings, somewhat famously also winning the 2015 game in fairly convincing fashion with a really solid team. Penn State might be racking up the wins, but the other five games have been close ones:
So again, the future is a long way away, but road wins in the southeast corner of the state haven’t come as easy as they once did.