After a three-game losing streak wiped out hope of a once-in-reach Big 10 championship, Penn State fans’ biggest wish for the rest of 2021 is that the team finishes the season strong enough to play its bowl game on or after New Year’s Day.
BowlSeason.com doesn’t have that happening, at least not right now. The website’s bowl projections released Nov. 10 have the Nittany Lions playing Syracuse in the New Era Pinstripe Bowl scheduled for Dec. 29. The Pinstripe Bowl pits the ACC against the Big 10, and Penn State hasn’t gone to Yankee Stadium since the end of James Franklin’s first season. In that game, the Nittany Lions beat Boston College 31-30 in overtime.
Syracuse current doesn’t have bowl eligibility locked up, and if the Orange don’t win at Louisville Saturday, they’ll be in danger of going 5-7 and missing out, with their last two games being at No. 16 NC State and at home against No. 21 Pitt.
Should this projection come into fruition, it would be the renewal of what was once an annual eastern football clash dating back to 1922. However, the Lions and Orange have only met three times in the 21st century, with Penn State winning all three. The most recent meeting was in 2013 on opening weekend at MetLife Stadium. The Bill O’Brien-led Lions beat the Orange 23-17 as part of New York’s College Classic. Penn State leads the all-time series 43-23-5.
This is the second batch of BowlSeason.com’s bowl projections. The first one, released Nov. 3, also had Penn State playing Syracuse in the Pinstripe Bowl.