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Penn State Football Bowl Projections Mixed As Nittany Lions Cross Eligibility

Thanks to Penn State football’s impressive win over Maryland this past weekend, the Nittany Lions are finally bowl-eligible. And while the College Football Playoff seems pretty far out of reach, Penn State still has plenty of chances to increase their standing through a strong finish to the regular season.

In many of the preseason bowl projections, most college football analysts predicted that the Nittany Lions would end up playing in a New Year’s Six bowl. But after Penn State’s sluggish month of October, those projections seem a bit out of reach.

With just three games remaining in the regular season, let’s take a look at what bowl games those same analysts are predicting for Penn State:

CBS Sports’ Jerry Palm projects that the Nittany Lions will square off against the Arkansas Razorbacks in the Music City Bowl in Nashville, Tennessee. Kyle Bonagura of ESPN also believes that the Nittany Lions will find themselves in Nashville.

Mark Schlabach, also of ESPN, disagrees and predicts that Penn State will once again circle the bases in Yankee Stadium in the New Era Pinstripe Bowl, this time against the Virginia Cavaliers. Penn State last played in the Pinstripe Bowl back in December 2014 against Boston College.

In their most recent bowl projection, College Football News provides perhaps the most intriguing possible matchup for the Nittany Lions. The site predicts that Penn State and Auburn will rematch in Tampa Bay for the Outback Bowl. Penn State took the first matchup of these two teams earlier this season in Beaver Stadium during the annual White Out game, beating the Tigers 28-20.

Likewise, Stewart Mandel of The Athletic projects Penn State in the Outback Bowl, too. However, he thinks the Nittany Lions would face Kentucky. The two teams previously matched up in the 2019 Citrus Bowl, which the Wildcats won.

Yahoo!, meanwhile, thinks the Nittany Lions might head out to Vegas to battle Arizona State in the Las Vegas Bowl. The Pac-12 matchup would certainly be interesting for Penn State, considering west coast teams rarely match up with Penn State.

ESPN and CBS Sports aren’t the only major outlets that predicted that Penn State will end up in the Music City Bowl. Brad Crawford of 247Sports also believes that the Nittany Lions will hit Nashville in late December. However, Crawford sees the Ole Miss Rebels as the opponent, not the Razorbacks.

No matter where the team winds up, Penn State has the opportunity to right the ship and give itself a shot to play in a meaningful bowl game against a more respectable Power Five opponent.

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About the Author

Devon Craley

Devon is a junior studying sports journalism. He has the genuine misfortune of being a Philadelphia sports fan...IYKYK. Send your hot takes and preferably your freezing cold takes on Twitter to @devon3134. Devon is also your friendly, neighborhood State College movie nerd.

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