There’s one New Year’s Six bowl game that has eluded Penn State: the Peach Bowl. It just so happens the Peach Bowl has been a projected landed spot for Penn State by quite a few in the national media, as well as us at NSN.
My new @ActionNetworkHQ bowl projections. @CFBPlayoff: UGA-FSU, Michigan-Oregon, Cotton: Texas-Mizzou; Orange: Ohio State-Louisville; Gator: UNC-Tennessee; Gasparilla: UCF-USF; Texas: Auburn-Oklahoma State; Holiday: Oregon State-Clemsonhttps://t.co/xH2udjPCwu pic.twitter.com/3rjtFCh97Z
— Brett McMurphy (@Brett_McMurphy) November 20, 2023
The Peach Bowl is more than just a bowl game. It was the first one created for charity and is the ninth oldest bowl game in the country.
“We are a 501C3, founded in 1968,” Peach Bowl president and CEO Gary Stokan told Nittany Sports Now. “We’ve maintained our mission over the years. We’ve given $62 million dollars back in charitable donations, which places us first out of all the bowl games in the country.”
The mission of the Peach Bowl is to use college football for the greater good and that’s exactly what the bowl does year in and year out for the Atlanta community and Georgia community as a whole.
“Our mission is to be the most charitable bowl organization. We use college football to impact people’s lives in a positive fashion,” Stokan said. “This year we’ll give over $6 million to charity, $4 million of that will go to our Peach Bowl Legacy Fund, which we’ve established at the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta to fund trials and cures to eradicate childhood cancer.
Working to cure cancer and raising funds to do so is something Penn State and its community are no strangers to with their annual THON fundraiser that generates millions for childhood cancer research.
“We now have 12 trials with 37 kids in them. Our leukemia trial is now going to its second phase,” Stokan said. “I think they’re going to use the Children’s Hospital in Pittsburgh to test in this next phase. Our goal is to use college football to do the greater good and we do that humbly, but we do it proudly that we’re able to have such a positive impact on people and communities.”
The Peach Bowl is also the only New Year’s Six game that Penn State has yet to appear in. Penn State playing in the Peach Bowl would make sense as a brand name out of the Big 10 and potentially a two-loss team entering bowl play.
For Stokan, he, much like Penn State and the rest of the bowl-eligible teams, will find out during the selection show who they will get to play in the Peach Bowl, something he’s used to now in his 26th year as president and CEO.
“We’re kind of like kids at Christmas on December 3 when ESPN will announce and we get to see who are who our two teams are,” Stokan said. “It’s kind of like our Christmas presents so it doesn’t matter to us. We have a lot of relationships and a lot of friends with a lot of athletic directors and coaches out there. It’s just fun to see what two teams we get and who we get a chance to host.”
While Stokan and the Peach Bowl have no say in who they get to host in their bowl game, Penn State could find itself in a great situation come December 3 if they are selected to appear in the game.