The 2017 season didn’t conclude with the type of hardware James Franklin and his Nittany Lions of Penn State hoped to win, but that doesn’t mean they went home empty handed. Penn State won the Fiesta Bowl as a consolation prize for coming this close to winning the Big Ten East and facing off with Wisconsin in a de fact College Football Playoff quarterfinal, and on Monday it was announced that Penn State had won the Lambert Trophy.
Given to the top college football team in the East, the Lambert Trophy was established by a pair of brothers, Victor and Henry Lambert, as a tribute to their father in 1936 and awarded annually ever since.
Penn State went 11-2 this season, losing only at Ohio State (by one) and at Michigan State (by three) in back-to-back weeks. The Nittany Lions were the only team in FBS to finish among the top seven nationally in scoring offense and scoring defense. Penn State finished the season ranked No. 8 nationally in both polls, the program’s second straight Top 10 finish.
This year’s win marks Penn State’s 31st Lambert Trophy honor, making Penn State far and away the most-honored program in the eight-decade history of the award. Army, who has not won since 1958, is holding steady in second place with seven Lambert trophies. In fact, Penn State’s nine back-to-back honors (the Nittany Lions also won in 2016) would stand in first place alone.
Penn State will accept the honor at the Eastern College Football Awards Banquet on Feb. 22 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.