The 2023 regular season has ended for Penn State football after a 42-0 win over Michigan State for the Land Grant Trophy.
Penn State is ranked 10th in both the College Football Playoff Rankings and AP Poll after finishing with a 10-2 record. The two losses came to second-ranked Michigan and sixth-ranked Ohio State. Penn State’s best win was against 16th-ranked Iowa.
Barring any wild happening during conference championship games, Penn State should get an invite to a New Year’s Six bowl game, but which one?
Current Penn State football bowl projections:
CBS has Penn State taking on ninth-ranked Missouri in the Peach Bowl.
247Sports has Penn State taking on ninth-ranked Missouri as well but in the Cotton Bowl.
FOX Sports also has Penn State taking on ninth-ranked Missouri in the Cotton Bowl.
ESPN’s Kyle Bonagura has Penn State playing seventh-ranked Texas in the Cotton Bowl.
ESPN’s Mark Schlabach has Penn State playing fourth-ranked Washington in the Fiesta Bowl.
Every prediction has Penn State headed to another New Year’s Six bowl and I believe it’s well deserved.
Why well deserved?
Penn State’s preseason ranking was seventh and their over/under win total was 9.5, well they finished 2023 with 10 wins and being tenth in the rankings.
The offense struggled and ranked 60th in total offense with 391 yards per game but the defense ranked first in the NCAA in total defense with 223.2 yards per game.
Drew Allar finished 2023 playing in all 12 games, passing for 2,336 yards, throwing 23 touchdowns, and only 1 interception.
This may not seem like an explosive stat line but Allar protected the ball and did the best he could with the limited weapons.
This defense can keep the Nittany Lions in any game with any opponent but will the offense look like the same offense that showed up to the Michigan State game?
My Prediction (What I want vs. What I believe):
What I want is for Penn State to take on Alabama in the Peach Bowl but why?
Penn State has won every New Year’s Six bowl except for one, the Peach Bowl.
If Penn State won the Peach Bowl, they would be the first team to win every New Year’s Six Bowl.
Most projections have Penn State going to the Peach Bowl. What I believe is that Penn State will take on the highest-ranked Group of Five team which is most likely Tulane in the Peach Bowl.
Although no one has this in the above projections, I believe that the Peach Bowl wants Penn State but I also believe that they won’t give them a Power-5 team like Alabama or Texas.
No matter who Penn State takes on in their bowl game, I believe they will compete with that team.