Penn State football’s dreams of a Big Ten championship and College Football Playoff berth are dead, but based on bowl projections, it still has a strong chance of playing in a New Year’s Six game.
On Sunday, Andy Staples of On3Sports placed his projection for Penn State to play in the Fiesta Bowl against Oregon.
The next morning, Brett McMurphy of the Action Network projected Penn State to play in the only New Year’s Six bowl game it hasn’t yet.
McMurphy has Penn State playing Tulane in the Peach Bowl, which is located in Atlanta, Georgia.
My new @ActionNetworkHQ bowl projections. @CFBPlayoff: UGA-FSU, Michigan-Oregon; Orange: UL-Ohio St; Fiesta: Bama-Washington; Cotton: Mizzou-Texas; Peach: PSU-Tulane; USC drops to bottom of Pac-12 bowls, Sun Belt could get 12 in & how many 5-7 teams? ⤵️https://t.co/xH2udjQam2
— Brett McMurphy (@Brett_McMurphy) November 20, 2023
This would be Penn State’s first trip to the Peach Bowl, but it wouldn’t be the first time it’s played a Group of Five school in a New Year’s Six game.
Penn State beat Memphis in the 2019 Cotton Bowl.
That was one of four New Year’s Six games Penn State’s played in since 2016. It’s been to the Rose Bowl twice, having lost to USC in January 2017 and beat Utah six years later. It’s been to the Fiesta Bowl— which is a strong possibility this year— once in that time, beating Washington in 2017, and it beat Memphis in the Cotton Bowl. Penn State would need to be wary of Tulane due to its current team (10-1) and recent history. On the same day Penn State beat USC in the Rose Bowl this past January, Tulane upset USC and Heisman Trophy winner Caleb Williams in the Cotton Bowl.
To have any chance at a New Year’s Six game, Penn State must beat Michigan State on Black Friday to keep the bowl projections alive. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 on NBC at Detroit’s Ford Field.