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College Football Experts Still Smelling Roses For Penn State Football

Penn State football is one of nine remaining unbeaten FBS teams, and because of that, many are smelling the roses for the Nittany Lions.

Once again, the popular bowl-game prediction for Penn State among national outlets is the Rose Bowl against the winner of the Pac-12 — assuming the conference’s champion doesn’t make the playoff and Ohio State qualifies for the Playoff as the Big Ten’s champion.

CBS, 247Sports, The Sporting News, Bleacher Report, and Sports Illustrated all picked the Nittany Lions to make their second trip to Pasadena in four seasons in their predictions this week. The most common opponent in the Granddaddy of Them All projections seems to be Oregon. The Ducks are currently ranked No. 7 in the nation and are coming off a big 56-24 win over USC in which ex-Penn State wideout Juwan Johnson hauled in three touchdown passes.

Ryan McGee — one of ESPN’s fourteen college football writers — was the only one to tab Penn State to qualify for the College Football Playoff for the first time this year. He had the Nittany Lions sneaking in at No. 4, surprisingly ahead of Ohio State.

Elsewhere, Wayne Staats of NCAA.com predicted Penn State to edge out Clemson for the fourth playoff spot. He mentions Clemson’s lack of top-25 wins and Penn State’s victories over Iowa and Michigan as his reasoning behind the ranking.

With a win this week against Minnesota, the Nittany Lions’ odds of making the playoffs the Playoff could go from 24% to 29%, according to FiveThirtyEight. Ohio State is clearly the team’s biggest remaining hurdle. That game is set for November 23 in Columbus and could decide the division.

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