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Brett McMurphy has Penn State-UNC Orange Bowl Matchup

College football insider Brett McMurphy of the Action Network had Penn State playing North Carolina in the Orange Bowl.

Penn State hasn’t been to a New Year’s six bowl game since 2019, when it beat Memphis in the Cotton Bowl.

2019 was also the last time Penn State finished a season with 11 wins, which is something this year’s team (7-2, 4-2 Big Ten) has a realistic chance of accomplishing. Penn State’s last three regular season games— at home against Maryland, at Rutgers and against Michigan State on Senior Day at Beaver Stadium Nov. 26– are all ones that Penn State is likely to be favored in.

Penn State would also be favored against North Carolina, according to McMurphy. The Action Network pegs Penn State at 6.5-point favorites against UNC, who is 8-1 and ranked No. 15 in the latest AP Poll, which is right behind No. 14 Penn State. PSU and UNC have only played once, and that was during World War II. The 1943 Tar Heels beat the Nittany Lions, 19-0.

Elsewhere in McMurphy’s projections, Michigan is going to the Rose Bowl and playing Oregon.

McMurphy has Ohio State winning the Big Ten and flying conference’s proverbial flag in the college football playoff. In what might come as a surprise, McMurphy has Ohio State playing UCLA, who is currently 8-1. McMurphy would have Ohio State as 17-point favorites, and he projects Ohio State to play Georgia in the national championship game.

Other Big Ten teams that McMurphy has in bowl games are Illinois (Citrus Bowl against Ole Miss), Wisconsin (MusicCity Bowl against Florida), Minnesota (PinStripe Bowl against Pitt), Michigan State (QuickLane Bowl against Bowling Green), Iowa (Duke’s Mayo Bowl against NC State), Purdue (Guaranteed Rate Bowl against Kansas State).

Interestingly, Maryland isn’t on the list despite having secured bowl eligibility at 6-3. Penn State plays Maryland this Saturday at Beaver Stadium.

As of now, McMurphy’s four college football playoff teams are Georgia, Tennessee, Ohio State and UCLA.

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