Staff Predictions: Penn State’s Bowl Destination
There’s still a handful of conference championship games left before the bowl slate is rolled out, but Penn State’s regular season is over and now it’s just a waiting game to see where the Nittany Lions will head this December/January.
Coming off a 10-2 season, James Franklin’s ninth-ranked squad looks bound for a New Year’s Six bowl game. Here’s where our staff predicts the Nittany Lions will land when bowls are announced on Sunday:
David Abruzzese: Cotton Bowl vs. Auburn
An all-time classic SEC Championship propels Georgia to the playoff as late-charger Auburn gets left out. This sets up a favorable matchup between the Nittany Lions and the Tigers as Penn State searches for its first major bowl victory since the 2006 Orange Bowl.
Ethan Kasales: Orange Bowl vs. Miami
After a close Clemson win in the ACC title game, Miami seems a perfect fit to face Penn State in the Orange Bowl. The Nittany Lions and Hurricanes have plenty of history together, and a rekindling of this great series would be just the type of matchup to draw huge contingencies of Penn State fans to Hard Rock Stadium.
Gabi Stevenson: Rose Bowl vs. Clemson
There is literally no chance of making the playoff and a return to Pasadena, BUT A GAL CAN DREAM!
Nathaniel Pinskey: Cotton Bowl vs. Big 12 Championship Game Loser
Either Oklahoma loses and misses the playoff or TCU falls to Oklahoma and would be the logical selection to end up in AT&T Stadium for this New Year’s Six game. Where better for Penn State to send off Saquon than in Arlington, Texas which is the home of the 2018 NFL Draft. If Saquon performs like he did against USC in the bowl game last year, he might as well just stay there and train until he hears his named called with first pick in the draft.
Anthony Colucci: Any Game vs. Alabama or Ohio State
Give me one of the two most handsome head coaches not name James Franklin or give me nothing. Just please don’t give me Sam Darnold and don’t expect me to watch TCU.
Mikey Mandarino: Peach Bowl vs. Georgia
Georgia can still qualify for the College Football Playoff if it beats Auburn in the SEC title game, so this prediction is a pure guess. I picked this particular bowl/opponent combination out of pure hope; my sister goes to Georgia, which means that this would be the first matchup between our schools since we started college. Unfortunately, I was still a senior in high school for the 2016 TaxSlayer Bowl. My dad wouldn’t even have to pay for a hotel room; the Peach Bowl is played in Atlanta so that means we could all crash at my sister’s house in Athens, which is a short drive away from downtown Atlanta! Sorry Emma, but Georgia’s going to lose in the SEC Championship Game and we’re crashing at your house before and after the Georgia Bulldogs lose to the best school that anyone in our family goes to, Penn State!
Elissa Hill: Bourbon Bowl vs. SCLSU Mud Dogs
If the Waterboy shows up at halftime, better hope Jimmy Franks has some member of the band that can play offensive line.