Penn State could be in major bowl if Lions win rest of games
UNIVERSITY PARK — Penn State will have a chance to go a prestigious bowl game if it finishes the regular season 10-2, but exactly where is still up for debate.
Depending on which expert prognosticator you believe, the Nittany Lions could wind up in the Rose Bowl. Or the Orange Bowl. Or the Cotton Bowl.
If Michigan beats Ohio State and wins the Big Ten championship game, a 10-2 Penn State would be a very enticing choice for the Rose Bowl. The Wolverines would be in the College Football Playoff, and by virtue of its win over Ohio State and possibly higher ranking, Penn State would seem to be a better choice for the Rose than the 10-2 Buckeyes.
But if Ohio State beats Michigan, wins the Big Ten title and reaches the College Football Playoff, Penn State’s bowl scenario becomes more cloudy. Michigan almost certainly would be headed to the Rose Bowl in that scenario.
The Orange Bowl would have the first crack at Penn State, or it could select an SEC team. The opponent would be from the ACC, most likely Louisville, since Clemson is projected to be in the College Football Playoff.
If the Orange Bowl passes on the Lions, they would end up in the Cotton Bowl as an at-large team, against another at-large opponent.
If Penn State loses one more game, there’s still a chance it could end up in the Orange Bowl, depending on many other factors and how other teams fare. At 9-3, the Lions also would be a strong possibility for the Outback Bowl.
Barkley on Heisman
Running back Saquon Barkley has made his way into the discussion for the Heisman Trophy, and Wednesday he talked about what that means to him.
“Growing up playing video games, playing NCAA, that’s what you dream about — being able to be in that talk,” Barkley said. “But (I’m) really not looking too much into it right now. I’m trying to stay focused at the task at hand, and that’s Indiana. I really appreciate (the speculation), but I’m focusing on Indiana.”
Coach James Franklin said Wednesday night the school isn’t doing a Heisman campaign for Barkley, one day after the program’s Twitter account publicized him for the award.
But, Franlin said, “I think his name is going to start coming up in some conversations, and rightfully so.”