Located in State College, Pennsylvania, the Penn State Nittany Lions are the collegiate athletic program that represents Penn State University. Penn State’s intercollegiate program, which is a member of the Big 10 Conference, has 15 men’s and 15 women’s teams. Men’s teams include football, baseball, basketball, cross-country, fencing, golf, gymnastics, indoor and outdoor track, ice hockey, lacrosse, soccer, swimming, tennis, track, volleyball and wrestling. Women’s teams include basketball, cross-country, fencing, field hockey, golf, gymnastics, ice hockey, lacrosse, soccer, softball, indoor and outdoor track, swimming and diving, tennis, and volleyball. Penn State does not have one true rival, but has several fierce rivalries with Big 10 foes, namely Ohio State, Michigan, and Michigan State.
Penn State is one of only nine programs to finish in the Top 25 in every NACDA Director’s Cup final poll. The NACDA Director's Cup is a list compiled by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics that charts institutions' overall success in college sports. Penn State's highest finish came in the 1998-1999 standings when the Nittany Lions finished third. Penn State finished in fifth place in the 2013-14 standings; it was the fifth time the program finished in the top 5 and the tenth time the program finished in the top 10. In total, Penn State has won 78 national championships, which include 46 NCAA team national championships. Men’s gymnastics (12) and fencing (13) have won the most national championship. Penn State is best known for its football program, which attracts 100,000 fans and students on fall weekends. Penn State earned the reputation ‘Linebacker U’ for the number of high quality linebackers trained. Penn State has won two consensus national championships (1982, 1986). Penn State’s women’s volleyball program has the best winning percentage (.863) among volleyball programs and has won an NCAA-high 1,063 matches.
Penn State has one mascot named ‘Nittany Lion’, which is a cartoonish depiction of a mountain lion. Penn State’s fight song is “Fight On, State!” and the school’s official colors are blue and white. “Happy Valley”, the area surrounding the football stadium, is one of the most well-known locations in college sports.
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