In bowl projections news, Penn State is generally thought to be close to a lock for a New Year’s Six bowl game.
But it might not be the sure thing people think it is.
Last week, On3Sports’ Andy Staples projected Penn State to play in the Fiesta Bowl against Oregon.
Although Penn State pounded Michigan State Friday night— 42-0 in Detroit— to finish the regular season 10-2 for the fifth time in the past eight seasons, Staples now has Penn State out of the NY6 picture.
Week 14 College Football NY6 Bowl Predictions via @Andy_Staples‼️
— On3 (@On3sports) November 26, 2023
Everybody knows Penn State won’t be in the playoff.
For those matchups, Staples has Georgia playing Florida State in the Rose Bowl. After that, things get interesting as far as Penn State’s concerned. Staples has Oklahoma— who, like Penn State, also has two losses— playing Washington in the Fiesta Bowl. He has two-loss Ole Miss playing Texas in the Cotton Bowl and Alabama playing in the Peach Bowl against Tulane. Perhaps most interestingly, Staples has Louisville— with losses to 3-9 Pitt and 7-5 Kentucky— going to the Orange Bowl and playing Ohio State.
At the beginning of his bowl projections article, Staples said Florida State’s win over Florida Saturday night “may have cost Oklahoma, Missouri, Ole Miss or Penn State a spot on a New Year’s Six Bowl.
“Because the Rose and Sugar bowls are College Football Playoff semifinals this season, the only New Years Six bowl with a contractual stipulation to take a team from a certain conference is the Orange Bowl,” Staples wrote. “Either the ACC champ or the highest ranked ACC team not playing in the CFP gets one of the spots in the game. Had Florida State lost to Florida, the Seminoles might not have made the CFP if they beat Louisville in the ACC title game. Now, Florida State is likely in the CFP with a win. Louisville, which would be 10-3 in this scenario, would get the Orange Bowl slot.”
“A Louisville upset of Florida State probably doesn’t help those teams either,” Staples explained. “Louisville would go to the Orange as the ACC champ, but a 12-1 Florida State would still merit inclusion in the New Years Six over all the 10-2 teams mentioned above. The only hope to get three out of that group of four into the NY6 is if a 13-0 Florida State somehow gets left out of the CFP. The most obvious path to that is an Alabama win against Georgia in the SEC title game. Or the committee might simply decide it thinks a 12-1 Texas is better, but I doubt the committee would do that.”
Staples went onto say that “the current CFP rankings would suggest they’ll go to Missouri and Penn State, but I’m betting the committee seriously re-evaluates these teams’ resumes either this week or next.”
Penn State is currently No. 10 in the CFP rankings. Missouri is slightly ahead at No. 9, and Ole Miss and Oklahoma are 12 and 13.