On3Sports’ Andy Staples had PSU missing out on the New Year’s Six despite having it in the Fiesta Bowl the week prior and Penn State ending its season by beating Michigan State 42-0 in the meantime (read more about Staple’s projection here).
But the Action Network’s Brett McMurphy has PSU in the New Year’s Six, and the general consensus seems to be that the team will play in one of those games.
My new @ActionNetworkHQ bowl projections. We know who’s in, so where are they going? @CFBPlayoff: UGA-FSU, Michigan-Oregon; Orange: UL-Ohio St; Fiesta: Bama-Washington; Cotton: Mizzou-Texas; Peach: PSU-Tulane; Sun: Miami-USC; Citrus: Ole Miss-Iowa ⤵️https://t.co/mK17lt3N8a
— Brett McMurphy (@Brett_McMurphy) November 27, 2023
Just like last week, McMurphy has Penn State playing in the Peach Bowl against Tulane in his bowl projections. This would be the second time Penn State’s played a major bowl game against a Group of Five school. The first took place in December 2019 against Memphis, also in the Cotton Bowl. Penn State won that game, 53-39. Since 2016, the team’s played in four total New Year’s Six bowl games. It’s 1-1 in the Rose Bowl, losing to USC in January 2017 and beating Utah this past January. It also won the aforementioned Cotton Bowl and beat Washington in the Fiesta Bowl after the 2017 season. Tulane is 11-1 and plays SMU Saturday in the American Conference Championship Game. Tulane played in the Cotton Bowl last season– before Penn State beat Utah in the Rose Bowl– and upset the Trojans, 46-45.
On a side note, one of Penn State’s quarterbacks, true freshman Jaxon Smolik, was initially committed to Tulane but ended up picking Penn State.
This would be Penn State’s first trip to the Peach Bowl. It’s the only New Year’s Six game Penn State hasn’t won yet.
Correction: McMurphy projects Penn State to play in the Peach Bowl, not the Cotton Bowl, as previously reported by Nittany Sports Now