One of the great things about college football is the moment you think you've figured something out, it slaps you in the face to remind you that you never knew anything at all.
Throw all your College Football Playoff projections out the window and start over, because Penn State beat No. 2 Ohio State 24-21 on Saturday night. The Nittany Lions, who were 17.5-point underdogs at home, pulled off the upset thanks to some special teams miscues by the Buckeyes in the fourth quarter.
The biggest one occurred in the final five minutes. Ohio State had been driving, up 21-17 and looking to put the Nittany Lions away with a touchdown when Penn State's defense came up big and forced Ohio State to settle for a field goal attempt. Unfortunately for the Buckeyes, Penn State's Marcus Allen blocked the 45-yard field goal attempt, and Grant Haley scooped up the loose ball before taking it 60 yards to the house to give Penn State its first lead of the game.
Ohio State would attempt to put together another drive in an effort to at least tie the game, but it didn't go anywhere. The drive ended with J.T. Barrett, who threw for 245 yards on the night, being sacked by Evan Schwan and Kevin Givens on 4th-and-29 to turn the ball over on downs, and allow Penn State to kill the rest of the clock.
So what does it all mean? Here are some major takeaways.
1. This is easily the biggest win of James Franklin's tenure at Penn State. Coming into the game Penn State had been 0-6 against ranked teams under James Franklin. It's 1-6 now, as the Nittany Lions beat a team ranked in the top two of the AP Top 25 poll while they themselves were not ranked for the first time since 1964. Combine that with the Cubs winning the National League pennant, and it seems a lot of dry spells were ending on Saturday night.
2. This win thrusts Penn State right into the Big Ten East title race. It still needs plenty of help, however. First of all, Michigan needs to lose twice, or Ohio State has to lose another game, even if the Nittany Lions win out. Michigan needs to lose twice because it already has a win over Penn State. The Nittany Lions also need Ohio State to lose again, because if the three teams all finish tied at 7-1 in conference, Penn State's loss to Pitt will knock it out due to the Big Ten's tie-breaker rules. Still, all Penn State can control is what it does from here on out, and if you look at Penn State's remaining schedule, 7-1 in conference play isn't impossible to do at this point.
3. Do not write off Ohio State. Plenty of people are going to want to, because it's always fun when a top-ranked team loses, and we always love to declare teams are done, but Ohio State isn't. It's still 3-1 in the conference, it's still going to be favored in the rest of its games, and it's still gets to play Michigan in Columbus. It's also incredibly talented. If it wins out it will be Ohio State going to Indianapolis, even if Penn State wins out. If the Buckeyes win there, we all know a one-loss Ohio State team will be selected for the College Football Playoff. So no matter how tempting it is, don't go thinking that just because Ohio State -- which was playing its second consecutive road game against an opponent coming off a bye -- is done, or it was a fraud. It's still very capable of winning the Big Ten and getting to the CFP.