After an efficient and dominant victory over Indiana, Penn State football climbed two spots to No. 14 in the latest AP Top 25 Poll. The Nittany Lions’ win and Alabama’s loss certainly shook up some analysts’ opinions in this week’s round of bowl projections.
Differing from their previous projections, CBS Sports, 247Sports, Yahoo! Sportsand Kyle Bonagura from ESPN predict the Nittany Lions will play in the Citrus Bowl. CBS Sports, Yahoo! Sports, and ESPN have Penn State facing Ole Miss, while 247Sports believes the game will be played against Florida. Last season, the Kentucky Wildcats defeated the Iowa Hawkeyes in the Citrus Bowl, dropping the Big Ten to 1-3 against the SEC in the last four matchups in the annual game.
Ole Miss, ranked No. 11 in both the latest AP Poll and CFP Poll, is currently 8-1 on the year and 4-1 in conference play, with its only loss coming to LSU in late October. Florida, on the other hand, is 5-4 on the season and only 2-4 in the conference. Contributing to its losses are three top-10 teams in LSU, Tennessee, and Georgia.
However, some projections continue to place Penn State in a New Year’s Six Bowl. Mark Schlabach of ESPNas well as Pro Football Network, have the Nittany Lions taking on Oregon in the Rose Bowl. The last time Penn State played in the Rose Bowl was in 2017 when the Nittany Lions suffered a heartbreaking shoot-out loss to USC.
This season, Oregon is 8-1 overall and a perfect 6-0 in conference play. Currently ranked No. 6 in the latest AP Poll and No. 8 in the last CFP Poll, the Ducks’ only loss this season came at the hands of Georgia.
With three games left in the season, all against conference opponents, Penn State finds itself in a dire must-win situation if it wants to have any chance at a New Year’s Six bid.