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Citrus Bowl Provides Penn State With Potential For Historic Program Accomplishment

Despite the disappointment of falling just short of a third straight New Year’s Six bowl bid, Penn State is in a prime position to make program history against Kentucky in the Citrus Bowl. 

When James Franklin’s team takes the field in Orlando on January 1, it’ll have the opportunity to win 10 games in three consecutive years for the first time since the early 1980s.

The current streak began in 2016 when Penn State reached 11 wins after beating Wisconsin to claim its first Big Ten Championship since 2008. The Nittany Lions once again picked up 11 wins during their 2017 season thanks to a Fiesta Bowl victory over Washington. This was the first back-to-back 10-win season stretch since 2008-09, but those two excellent seasons were followed up by a lowly 7-6 campaign in 2010.

The last stretch of three years of 10-win seasons concluded with Penn State’s first national championship victory in 1982, defeating Georgia in the Sugar Bowl. Beating Kentucky in the Citrus Bowl obviously won’t mean as much as a national title, but a third straight year of double-digit victories is a tremendous accomplishment nonetheless.

In addition to this historic stretch, a Citrus Bowl victory would also potentially allow Penn State to finish in the top 10 of the final AP Top 25 for a third straight season, a sign of consistency only a few programs can claim.

To put it simply, James Franklin’s program has the opportunity to make history on New Year’s Day — missing out on a New Year’s Six bid against a “traditional” football program like LSU might sting, but the higher possibility of reaching double-digit victories in three straight campaigns is a solid consolation prize.

Kentucky is no pushover, but the opportunity Penn State has is fascinating to speculate on, if for no other reason than it simply hasn’t happened all that often.

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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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