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Penn State’s Latest Bowl Projections Anticipate New Year’s Six Miss

In its last game, Penn State dominated conference rival Maryland in a 30-0 win. This victory brings the Nittany Lions to 8-2 overall and 5-2 in their conference. Although, after seeing only one team drop out of this week’s AP Poll top 10, Penn State’s blowout win did little to sway new bowl projections.

Similar to last week, a majority of projections have Penn State playing in this year’s Citrus Bowl. CBS Sports, Sports Illustrated, Yahoo! Sports, ESPN, Bleacher Report, and College Football News all have the Nittany Lions matched up against Ole Miss down in Orlando. The game is normally a Big Ten-SEC matchup. Last year, Penn State transfer Will Levis and Kentucky defeated the Iowa Hawkeyes in the game.

Ole Miss is currently 8-2 on the season and 4-2 in its conference, with both losses coming from top 10 teams in LSU and Alabama. The Rebels are ranked No. 14 in the new AP Poll, dropping three spots from last week. Ole Miss was also ranked No. 11 in last week’s CFP Poll, but that will likely change.

This week’s outlier, 247 Sports, has Penn State taking on North Carolina in the Orange Bowl. The New Year’s Six matchup usually hosts an ACC team against an SEC or Big Ten opponent. Last year, the Orange Bowl was a semifinal game in the College Football Playoff, where future champion Georgia defeated the then-unbeaten Michigan Wolverines.

The Tar Heels are currently 9-1 overall and a perfect 6-0 in their conference. The Tar Heels’ only loss this season came at the hands of Notre Dame in week four. North Carolina is ranked No. 13 in this week’s AP Poll and was ranked No. 15 in last week’s CFP Poll.

With only two games left in the season, Penn State must win out against its remaining Big Ten opponents, Rutgers and Michigan State, in order to improve the odds of a New Year’s Six bid.

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About the Author

Brendan Wagner

Brendan is a sophomore majoring in print and media journalism. Born in Pittsburgh, he now lives in Charlotte, North Carolina. As a die-hard Pittsburgh sports fan, you can find him on Twitter, @brchwags, often complaining about the Pittsburgh Steelers and Tom Brady.

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