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If invited, should Penn State play in a bowl game this year?

Having a chance to practice more would be one benefit of going to a bowl game.

Penn State is 0-5 with only four games remaining, so it cannot finish with a winning record. That won’t matter this year, however, when it comes to being bowl eligible.

All teams are bowl eligible this year, no matter what their record. That means, theoretically, even a team that goes winless could conceivably be picked for a bowl game, although that would be so embarrassing for all parties that it would not happen.

If the Nittany Lions could win three games the rest of the way, that would leave them at 3-6 and could put them in position to be chosen for a bowl game.

Again, theoretically.

And there are three potential wins left on the schedule. Even if the Lions lose at Michigan on Saturday, they could finish up with wins over Rutgers, Michigan State and whatever team they play from the Big Ten West in week nine.

In the unlikely event that Penn State were to win out and finish 4-5, a strong case could be made for the Lions to accept a bowl invitation.

But what if PSU finishes 3-6? If there would be some bowl out there that would want the Lions, do you think they should accept the bid?

Certainly, there would be advantages to doing so. The Lions would have gained some confidence and started playing better if they can get to three wins, so playing in a bowl game would give the team a chance to finish on a high note with another win.

There also would be the extra bowl practices, which are always good for a team, especially the younger players.

And hey, what if it meant the possibility of playing Pitt, if such a matchup could be worked out? Who wouldn’t want to see that?

The flip side, though, is that this year has been crazy enough already, so why bother extending it another 3-4 weeks with a bowl game? The PSU players already have gone through a bunch of bizarre circumstances because of the coronavirus, and sticking around campus another 3-4 weeks just to play in one game does not sound like a good idea.

All of this probably will be a moot point because it’s highly doubtful Penn State will receive a bowl invite. There were 44 bowl games scheduled at the beginning of the season, but eight already have been canceled, the latest being the Pinstripe Bowl just today.

Of the remaining 36 bowls, look for several more to be canceled. Bowls exist for two reasons: so fans can travel and spend money in the destination cities, and also TV revenue. With no fans going to the games, many of these bowl operations are deciding it’s just not worth it to hold their games.

I asked fans on Twitter if they think Penn State should accept a bowl bid if offered. These are some of the responses, starting with the great idea about playing Pitt.

 

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Written By

Cory Giger is a 15-year veteran of the Penn State beat and a journalist with 28 years of experience. He has won more than 100 state and national journalism awards during his career, plus he's a voter for the Heisman Trophy in football and Wooden Award in basketball.

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