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Why is this news?: Penn State sanctions lifted, Jim Delany holds out hope for Big Ten

All the big Ohio State news in one helpful place.

Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports

In a move that had been hinted at for months, the NCAA has lifted the unprecedented sanctions that it placed on the Penn State program in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky scandal. The bowl ban is gone effective immediately and the scholarship reductions will be lifted after the season. According to its release, the NCAA’s reasoning for the change is as follows:

"Through the second year of the Consent Decree, Penn State has not wavered in its commitment to fulfilling the requirements of the AIA and to implementing the recommendations made in the Freeh Report." Senator Mitchell said. "The initiatives undertaken in the first year have begun to take root as a result of Penn State’s continuing focus on these reforms," Senator Mitchell continued. "Chief among the University’s accomplishments has been the institution of a wholly new and comprehensive compliance program that places oversight of athletics compliance outside of the Athletics Department and ensures direct access to the University’s senior leadership and Board of Trustees," Senator Mitchell noted. Penn State also made significant strides toward installing a new human resources information system, fostering an ethical culture, and enhancing security at athletics and recreational facilities.

I will leave it to others to debate the rightness or wrongness of the decision, but I will point out that it has absolutely nothing to do with Ohio State and the two situations aren't comparable.

From a football perspective, expect PSU to sign a massive class this season as 24 slots (PSU is estimated to be at 61 of 85 possible scholarships) just opened up in an already solid class. A top two or three national ranking is certainly not out of the question.

"It's September 7, not December 7. I would hate to think after two weeks we'd pick any teams for anything."

-Jim Delany, Big Ten Commissioner

After a weekend that saw the Big Ten conference collectively fall all over itself, Commissioner Jim Delany is already trying to limit the damage. By now you know the story, the two best programs in the conference lost; Michigan State was blown out by Oregon and Ohio State lost at home to arguably the third best team in the ACC. Add in Nebraska’s near-miss against McNeese State and Michigan’s 31-0 shellacking at the hands of Notre Dame and the conference’s reputation is in tatters. Still it’s Jim Delany’s job to rearrange the deck chairs on the sinking ship that is the Big Ten’s playoff chances and that’s exactly what he’s doing.

He tells ESPN.com:

"In the three primetime games, we didn't win any. That's disappointing. I would say this: I said they would be disproportionately impactful but I didn't say they would be dispositive. We're not feeling very good but the facts are the facts. I would just say with 50 percent of the nonconference games and 100 percent of conference games remaining, it's premature to make any judgments.

"It's September 7, not December 7. I would hate to think after two weeks we'd pick any teams for anything."

Delany is right. Nothing is for certain yet, but one would imagine that it would take a bevy of two-loss teams and a minor miracle for a Big Ten squad to qualify for the inaugural college football playoff.

The WIN magazine preseason rankings are out and the Buckeyes check in at number four in the first 2014-2015 edition of the poll. Individually, six Buckeyes rank in the top ten at their respective weights.Logan Stieber is #1 at 141 pounds. Joining him in the individual rankings are Johnni DiJulius (seventh, 133), Logan Stieber (first, 141), Hunter Stieber (third, 149), Josh Demas (eighth, 157), Bo Jordan (seventh, 165) and Kenny Courts (sixth, 184).

True Freshmen are not ranked in the poll, which explains 197-pounder Kyle Snyder’s absence. While the Buckeyes are ranked fourth in the preseason poll, many believe that when factoring in the potential of its freshman class it would be first. In fact, WIN says that had it included Snyder in its rankings, the Buckeyes would have topped its list.

No, I did not. Maybe that’s why the Franklin County Sherriff’s office is always parading around German Shepherds on gameday.

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