Penn State Football has one regular season game left, but it’s time to see what the bowl season will look like for the Nittany Lions
Penn State Football would like to finish 10-2 this season and go to a big bowl game, but which bowl will it be?
Penn State shouldn’t look past Michigan State this Saturday. The Spartans may be 6-5, but they are a talented team and love to play spoiler.
While the Nittany Lions can’t look ahead, we can, as we’re just fans and don’t prepare for and play in Saturday’s game.
With that said, let’s take a look at what bowl game Penn State Football might be playing.
At this point, the general consensus is that Penn State will play in the Citrus Bowl. The path to the Cotton Bowl or Orange Bowl looks pretty tough as four SEC teams currently face Penn State.
Goergia will likely go to The Playoff, but Alabama, LSU and Tennessee could all end up in a New Year’s Six bowl, including the Cotton and Orange bowls. Unless one of those three teams is upset this Saturday, it is very likely that they will all move ahead of Penn State in the standings.
While rankings are not directly related to receiving a bid for a NY6 bowl, higher-ranking teams always have the advantage.
So if you’re a Penn State football fan and want to see the Nittany Lions return to an NY6 bowl for the first time since the 2019 Cotton Bowl, it could be Rose Bowl or bust.
Penn State has a path to the Rose Bowl. If Michigan and Ohio State both make the Playoff, the Nittany Lions would be the next highest ranked Big Ten team, giving them the Rose Bowl nomination.
In order for both Michigan and Ohio State to make the Playoff, the game between the two must be close on Saturday. Each winning team has its pros and cons, so it really comes down to the game being competitive.
That’s step one.
Step two is USC losing to Notre Dame this week or next week in the Pac12 Championship game. That would knock the Spartans out of playoff contention. The other team that should probably lose is Clemson. The 10-1 Tigers are oddly ranked No. 8, behind two teams that have two losses each.
Maybe the committee doesn’t respect Clemson’s body of work and would take the Michigan/Ohio State loser over Clemson, but it’s just easier when the Tigers lose.
If this scenario materializes, Penn State will go to the Rose Bowl, likely facing USC, the last team the Nittany Lions played in the Rose Bowl on New Year’s Day 2017.