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Bowl Projections: Where does 1 Analyst Have Penn State?

Penn State ranking James Franklin Franco Harris
Penn State Athletics

With its chances of making the College Football Playoff out the window, Penn State and its fans can still hope for a New Year’s Six bowl, and there will be plenty of projections over the next two weeks.

According to one bowl projection, that’s where Penn State’s going.

Andy Staples of On3Sports has Penn State going to the Fiesta Bowl and playing Oregon.

Penn State hasn’t been to the Fiesta Bowl since the 2017 season, the only time it’s played there since James Franklin took over as coach in 2014. In that game, Penn State beat another PAC 12 school, Washington, 35-28. Staples projects this year’s Washington team, currently 11-0, to make it to the College Football Playoff, where it would play Michigan in the Rose Bowl game. In the other Playoff game, Staples has two-time defending national champion Georgia playing Texas.

Michigan is responsible for the most recent of Penn State’s two losses this season. The other team that beat Penn State in 2023, Ohio State, is projected by Staples to play Louisville in the Orange Bowl. In the other two New Year’s Six games, Staples has Alabama playing Florida State in the Cotton Bowl and Oklahoma playing Tulane in the Peach Bowl.

Penn State has played in four New Year’s Six bowl games since 2016. It’s played in the Rose Bowl twice, losing to USC in January 2017 and beating Utah six years later. It beat Washington in the Fiesta Bowl and Memphis in the Cotton Bowl.

Before Penn State can think too much about bowl projections, it has to worry about Michigan State. Penn State takes on Sparty on Black Friday at Detroit’s Ford Field. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 on NBC.

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