The Action Network’s Brett McMurphy has Penn State out of the College Football Playoff but in a New Year’s Six bowl game in his latest projections.
My new @ActionNetworkHQ bowl projections: @CFBPlayoff: Georgia-Texas, FSU-Michigan; Fiesta: Oregon-Fresno; Peach: Ohio St-Washington; Citrus: Bama-Maryland; Gator: Clemson-Arkansas; PopTarts: Louisville-UCF; Gasparilla: Auburn-Rutgers; Liberty: UK-BYUhttps://t.co/ddm8qa98Ke pic.twitter.com/7eEc5DDkH6
— Brett McMurphy (@Brett_McMurphy) September 11, 2023
McMurphy has Penn State going to the Orange Bowl— a place it hasn’t gone during coach James Franklin’s near-decade-long tenure— and playing North Carolina.
He has Michigan, who Penn State plays Nov. 11 at Beaver Stadium, representing the Big Ten in the Playoff, fittingly in the Rose Bowl Game against Florida State.
The only way a Big Ten team can get to the Rose Bowl, from this year on out, is to make it to the playoff. Penn State was the last team to make it to the “Grandaddy of Them All” in the previous format, in which the Big Ten and PAC-12 would each send representatives. Despite finishing third in the Big Ten East last season, Penn State made it to the game since the Big Ten’s top two teams, Michigan and Ohio State, made it to the Playoff.
PSU took on PAC-12 champ Utah and won the game, 35-21.
McMurphy doesn’t have Ohio State, who Penn State plays Oct. 21 in Columbus, returning to the Playoff. He has OSU playing the day before New Year’s Eve against Washington.
It seems that McMurphy feels Penn State would have a favorable matchup with North Carolina.
Although UNC has one of the country’s best QBs in Drake Maye, coach Mack Brown’s team almost had a big letdown this past Saturday, needing two overtimes to beat Appalachian State at home. The Action Network has the hypothetical Orange Bowl line set at -6.5 for Penn State.