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Penn State’s New Year’s Six Odds Look Slim Despite No. 12 Ranking

Michigan, you had ONE job. 

With Ohio State’s 62-39 domination of Michigan in The Game and Penn State staying at No. 12 in this week’s CFP rankings, the Nittany Lions’ chances at a New Year’s Six bowl are now very slim, according to the so-called experts.

Three Big Ten teams reaching New Year’s Six matchups is unlikely, which would leave Penn State right outside of college football’s premier bowl games unless Ohio State can do enough to qualify for the four-team playoff.

Here’s a look at what the experts are projecting for the Nittany Lions heading into championship weekend:

The Athletic: Citrus Bowl vs. Kentucky

The Citrus Bowl is once again looking like the probably destination for Penn State’s postseason matchup. Played in Orlando on January 1, it’s considered one of the strongest non-New Year’s Six games. 

Facing off against Kentucky is probably the most disappointing aspect of this outcome, as it’s a non-traditional football school that wouldn’t create much excitement for the game. The Wildcats started the year strong, but consecutive losses to Georgia and 5-7 Tennessee knocked them out of New Year’s Six contention.

ESPN: Citrus Bowl vs. LSU; Outback Bowl vs. Kentucky

A matchup with LSU would be the Citrus Bowl dream, but the Tigers are much more likely to land in a New Year’s Six game after a regular-season win over Georgia.

The Outback Bowl is certainly the more likely destination for Northwestern, unless the Wildcats pull of a miraculous upset in the Big Ten championship game.

CBS Sports: Citrus Bowl vs. Kentucky

Penn State’s last Citrus Bowl appearance was on New Year’s Day in 2010 — back when it was the Capital One Bowl — against LSU. The Nittany Lions earned a 19-17 win. 

SBNation: Citrus Bowl vs. Kentucky

Although not a traditionally strong football program, Kentucky as a school is known to have some of the strongest traveling fans in the country, which would at least provide an interesting storyline to see which fanbase dominates the stadium. As you might know, Penn State’s fans travel pretty well, too.

247 Sports: Citrus Bowl vs. Kentucky

Well, if you needed an excuse to go visit Orlando, here it is. 


Penn State’s bowl game won’t be announced until Sunday, but you can find information on how to get your tickets here.

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About the Author

Brian Bachman

Brian Bachman is a freshman in the school of communications and a contributor at Onward State. He is from northern Virginia but fell in love with Penn State a few years ago and knew after his first visit he wanted to come here. If you are a fan of the SUPER BOWL 52 CHAMPION PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (!!!) or sports in general, follow him on twitter @brianbachman_. Email is [email protected]

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