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Penn State Bowl Projections Leaning Toward A New Year’s Six Game

After an impressive 45-17 White Out victory over Minnesota, Penn State finds itself officially bowl-eligible once again. Sitting at 6-1, a bid to the College Football Playoff, while very difficult, is not out of the question.

Many analysts think a New Year’s Six bowl game is still very much possible, as Penn State could find its way into one of those games if it continues to win. Here’s a look at where those analysts see Penn State playing at the end of the season.


CBS Sports’ Jerry Palm is one of the many who believe that the Nittany Lions will play in a New Year’s Six game. The popular pick has been the Orange Bowl with Penn State’s opponent being the Wake Forest Demon Deacons.

Mark Schlabach of ESPN, Brad Crawford of 247Sports, and Erick Smith of USA Today all agree that the Nittany Lions traveling to Miami for the Orange Bowl seems like a likely option. A matchup with Wake Forest would be the first for Penn State since a 55-0 blowout win in 1974.

Pro Football Networks’ Oliver Hodgkinson, however, thinks a return to Pasadena, California, could be in the cards. He believes that both Michigan and Ohio State will sneak into the College Football Playoff, leaving Penn State to fill the Big Ten team spot in the Rose Bowl.

Meeting them in the Rose Bowl would be Oregon, led by former Auburn quarterback Bo Nix. If Hodgkinson’s prediction holds true, this would be the first Rose Bowl appearance for Penn State since 2017.

Yahoo! Sports thinks a different New Year’s Six game would be more likely for the Nittany Lions. The team there believes that Penn State will return to the Cotton Bowl, this time against Cincinnati. This would be the two teams’ first meeting since 2005.

Still, not everyone believes a New Year’s Six game is destined for Penn State. Richard Johnson of Sports Illustrated thinks the Nittany Lions will make the trip to Nashville for the Music City Bowl to take on Ole Miss.

While there is still a lot of play left in the regular season, winning against No. 2 Ohio State will be a key step in Penn State earning a spot in a meaningful bowl game.

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About the Author

Matt Brown

Matt is a Junior majoring in broadcast journalism and minoring in Sports Studies from Bensalem, Pa. Matt is a huge Philadelphia sports fan and an overall sports fan in general. When not watching sports, you'll find him watching reruns of "The Office" or "Friends." To reach him, follow him on Twitter and Instagram: @matt_brown63, or email him at [email protected]

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