Penn State has a strong chance to close the season by winning out for a 9-3 overall record and their bowl season destinations are coming into focus.
Right now most projections have Michigan winning out, winning the Big Ten and securing a spot in the College Football Playoff. That would mean a win over Ohio State, which would still mean a Rose Bowl berth for the Buckeyes pretty much across the board. The Rose Bowl this year will be the classic Big Ten vs. Pac 12 matchup no matter what happens with playoff berths. A Big Ten team will not play in the Sugar Bowl this year.
Beyond that, though, things are a little murky in the Big Ten. Conference bowl tie-ins run:
- Citrus Bowl vs. ACC or SEC (Orlando, Fla.)
- Outback Bowl vs. SEC (Tampa, Fla.)
- San Diego County Credit Union Holiday Bowl vs. Pac-12 (San Diego, Calif.)
- Taxslayer Bowl vs. SEC (Jacksonville, Fla.) OR Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl vs. SEC (Nashville, Tenn.)
- New Era Pinstripe Bowl vs. ACC (New York, NY)
- RedBox Bowl vs. Pac-12 (Santa Clara, Calif.)
- Quick Lane Bowl vs. ACC (Detroit, Mich.)
- SERVPRO First Responder Bowl vs. C-USA (Dallas, Texas)
The Fiesta and Peach Bowls have no direct tie-ins, but the highest-ranked champion from a non-Power 5 conference will automatically get a spot in one of those two games if not selected for the College Football Playoff.
As each week passes, Penn State’s destination could get a little clearer. The Nittany Lions will undoubtedly move up in the College Football Playoff rankings this week with several teams falling over the weekend. Penn State hopped from No. 21 in the AP Poll to No. 16 and will find out where they sit in the updated playoff rankings on Tuesday evening. If the Nittany Lions sneak into the top 12 of the final rankings they could still land in a New Year’s Six Bowl game.
Here’s a look at the latest projections from around the web.