DICKSON CITY -- It was supposed to be years of rebuilding before Penn State's football program was back to prominence. The Jerry Sandusky scandal led to sanctions and numerous transfers.
Now, the team will have a chance for a Big Ten championship for the first time since 2008.
Inside Happy Valley Sports Bar in Dickson City, fans were happy as the Nittany Lion football team defeated Michigan State 45-12 and clinched a spot in the Big Ten championship.
"(I) never expected it, never! I was thinking next year!" said John Cecconi of Swoyersville.
Penn State football hasn't won a Big Ten championship since 2008 and has not been the same since the Jerry Sandusky scandal.
"Because of all the bad that Penn State's been through in the last five or six years, those kids really deserve everything that's coming to them this year. They deserve a lot of good," said Holly Scacchitti of Dunmore.
Alison Walsh, a Valley View graduate, made the trip from New York City just to soak in how far this team has come from a lackluster start against Pittsburgh.
"I thought this is another rough and tumble Penn State season, and it was sad and as the season wore on, it was more and more inspiring, and it meant so much to our community and to our family," Walsh said.
All of the TVs in the bar were tuned to the Penn State game on Saturday, but earlier in the afternoon, fans were actually rooting for Ohio State.
A tiebreaker meant Ohio State needed to beat Michigan in order to clear the way for Penn State to play for the title.
"This is probably the first and only time I've ever cheered for Ohio State," said Scacchitti.
"I can't believe I rooted for them. I can't believe it," said Cecconi.
"I never rooted for Ohio State. I rooted against Michigan," Walsh reasoned.
A series of unexpected stars aligned just right to extend this year's Penn State football season.
The Nittany Lions head to Indianapolis next week for the Big Ten championship game where they will take on Wisconsin.