Penn State 15th all-time in bowl appearances and 12th in bowl wins. They've been to a bowl game in 38 of the last 45 years. But when will they be back?
The NCAA threw the hammer on Penn State. This is worse than the death penalty in my opinion. The have to pay $60 million, lose 10 scholarships a year and can't have more than 65 scholarships for the next five years...plus no postseason for the next four years. I'm fine with the punishment, but this will hurt really bad.
Penn State is now basically a FCS team with a really big stadium. We'll see how many of their current players jump ship, I'm guessing it will be at least a handful. Recruiting is where this in going to kill them. How can they possibly convince anyone to commit to the 2013 class knowing they will not be able to compete for any kind of championship until their senior year....and by then Penn State will suck.
With the players that will leave, coaches that won't want to stay after a year or two, lack of recruiting and reduction in scholarships and, in turn, depth, I see 2013 - 2016 being 2-10 years...4-8 at best. They won't be able to at least sell the chance at postseason play for half their college careers to recruits until the 2014 class. The 2012 class is likely to break up, and 2013 will be beyond horrible.
Once they get past all the probation they'll be able to start over. But it will be like they are moving from FCS to FBS since they go from 65 scholarships to 85. Of course, they do have a 100,000+ seat stadium and a ton of money so it isn't exactly like the transition of South Alabama.
Penn State will be eligible for a bowl game again in 2016. They might be able to muster 6 wins by 2018 but it wouldn't be any more. They will need at least 4-5 years after all the probation is over before they can get back to sustained success. And by sustained success I mean back-to-back bowl games. I think we are looking at 10+ years from now until they can get to the point of trying to win 8-9 games. It will probably be 12-15 years before they can be a legit threat for a Big Ten championship again.