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College Football Analysts Smelling Roses For Penn State

Now more than halfway into the 2019 season, No. 6 Penn State remains unbeaten, and analysts across the sports world have certainly taken notice as their bowl-game predictions take shape.

While the Nittany Lions missed a third-consecutive New Year’s Six game last season, they’re widely projected to land the Big Ten’s bid in this year’s Rose Bowl. Such an appearance would be the team’s second trip in four seasons.

Kyle Bonagura of ESPN, Mark Schlabach of ESPN, Jerry Palm of CBS Sports, Bill Bender of Sporting News, and Brad Crawford of 247 Sports are all predicting the Nittany Lions to play No. 11 Oregon in the Grandaddy of Them All.

The logic is that, especially after then-No. 6 Wisconsin’s loss to Illinois this weekend, if Penn State wins out, but loses to eventual conference champion Ohio State, the Nittany Lions would be the Big Ten’s highest, non-Playoff team and secure the bid to Pasadena.

At 6-1 and 4-0 within the conference, Oregon sits comfortably atop a bad Pac-12 North and remains the favorite to win the conference. With one loss already though, a trip to the College Football Playoff seems unlikely for the Ducks in a year where the top two teams in the nation are from the SEC.

This is looking a bit far down the line with more than a month still to play, but should the Nittany Lions play the Ducks in the Rose Bowl, it’d be a rematch of the 1995 Rose Bowl, which Penn State won 38-20 to cap off an undefeated season. It’d also be a meeting between the Nittany Lions and an old friend: former wide receiver Juwan Johnson, who transferred to Oregon this spring.

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About the Author

Anthony Colucci

Anthony Colucci was once Onward State’s managing editor and preferred walk-on honors student who majored in psychology and public relations. Despite being from the make-believe land of Central Jersey, he was never a Rutgers fan. If you ever want to know how good Saquon Barkley's ball security is, ask Anthony what happened when he tried to force a fumble at the Mifflin Streak. If you want to hear the story or are bored and want to share prequel memes, follow @_anthonycolucci on Twitter or email him at [email protected]. All other requests and complaints should be directed to Onward State media contact emeritus Steve Connelly.

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