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Games To Watch & Who To Root For During Penn State’s Bye Week

Just when it seems like they need it most, the Nittany Lions have a bye week. After four consecutive games at home followed by a grueling loss to Iowa at Kinnick Stadium, Penn State needs a break. But for fans, there’s still a lot to get invested in this weekend.

Despite the reactionary comments from some fans that the Nittany Lions’ season was over after their loss from Iowa, Penn State is still ranked seventh in the nation and has a strong possibility of making the College Football Playoff if it wins games and the cards fall its way. Even when Penn State has a week off, other teams’ games could have some big implications.

Let’s take a look at some of this weekend’s games and see who you should cheer on for the sake of Dear Old State.

No. 10 Michigan State at Indiana

As much as Penn State fans might hate the Spartans, especially when they face the Nittany Lions in November, you should actually be rooting for them in this game. Painful as that may be, the higher of a ranking Michigan State holds when we play them, the better. A quality win against a top-10 team may be just what Penn State needs to sneak into the College Football Playoff in a couple of months. If the Spartans lose to unranked Indiana, that game may not carry as much weight in Penn State’s favor come November.

No. 11 Kentucky at No. 1 Georgia

Former Penn State quarterback Will Levis has led Kentucky to a surprising 6-0 start, but the Wildcats have an extremely daunting opponent ahead of them in top-ranked Georgia. Of course, many Penn State fans will root for Levis and Kentucky just to support a Nittany Lion, but a win for Kentucky would benefit Penn State, too. Any shakeup of SEC powerhouses loosens the playing field a bit for a spot inside the College Football Playoff’s top four, and while chances of a Kentucky victory are slim, Penn Staters should be rooting for the Wildcats this weekend.

UCF at No. 3 Cincinnati

This game is a long shot for UCF. Cincinnati has shown to be a powerhouse team this year, at least so far, and for the Knights, playing the Bearcats at home could be quite the challenge. That said, this sort of loss could virtually eliminate Cincinnati from playoff contention, so if you believe in miracles and want Penn State to have a spot in the top four opened up this weekend, root for the Knights.

TCU at No. 4 Oklahoma

All season long, this Oklahoma team hasn’t inspired too much confidence, especially when beginning games. Somehow the Sooners pulled off an incredible comeback against Texas to move further up the rankings. Eventually, something’s gotta give, and I’d never put it past TCU to pull off an upset. We’re not saying it’s something to bet on, but keep an eye on this game. It could go either way. Oh, and if it wasn’t clear, Oklahoma losing would be very helpful for Penn State’s postseason chances.

Purdue at No. 2 Iowa

I mean, Iowa fans booed Penn State’s players when they got hurt. Throw any logic out the window here. You should want Iowa to lose. The Hawkeyes likely won’t, and if they don’t, I’m hoping Penn State will see them again in December. But for now, go Boilermakers.

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About the Author

Mikey DeAngelis

As well as being a contributor to Onward State, Mikey DeAngelis is also the creator of the Mad About Disney YouTube channel and an aspiring filmmaker. Mikey loves Philly sports, traveling and hiking in National Parks, and watching movies. To reach Mikey, feel free to reach out on Twitter (@mikey_deangelis) or by email ([email protected]).

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