Penn State football will conclude the 2022-23 season by playing in the Rose Bowl
Sunday’s final College Football Playoff rankings made it official that Penn State football will face Utah in the Rose Bowl.
The 10-2 Nittany Lions earned the Big Ten tie-in to the Rose Bowl because both Michigan and Ohio State made the Playoff. Penn State came in at No. 11 in the final rankings. It dropped three spots from last week despite not playing, but the three teams behind Penn State won over the weekend.
Penn State’s opponent, Utah, won the PAC-12 on Friday night with a 47-24 victory over USC. The Utes finished the season with a 10-3 record and the No. 8 ranking in the Playoff rankings.
This will be the very first matchup between these two programs, and no better time to do so than in the Rose Bowl. The Utes are a physical team and will be a tough challenge for the Nittany Lions.
This year’s Rose Bowl will take place on Jan. 2, 2023, instead of New Year’s Day. The reason is because Jan. 1 falls on a Sunday, and the bowl games try not to compete with NFL games.
It’s also worth noting that this is the final traditional PAC-12 vs Big Ten Rose Bowl that will be played for the foreseeable future. Next year, the Rose Bowl is one of the College Football Playoff semifinal games, and the following year the Playoff expands to 12 teams, meaning the New Year’s Six bowls will always be playoff games.
This is the fourth NY6 bowl berth for Penn State football under James Franklin. The Nittany Lions are 2-1 in the previous three contests with the one loss coming in the Rose Bowl against USC back in 2017. The game was an instant classic as USC won 52-49 on a last-second field goal.