College football bowl projections: Penn State in the New Years Six – Nittany Lions Wire

  • September 29, 2022

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Penn State surged into New Years Six bowl scenarios after a big road win at Auburn in Week 3. After a Week 4 win over Central Michigan, those projections have held firm pretty much across the board with a New Years Six or bust outlook for the Nittany Lions. However, one particular bowl destination pits Penn State with a new opponent in the updated projections going into a pivotal Week 5.
One of the biggest developments in the bowl projections this week came with the loss by Oklahoma at home against Kansas State. The loss by the Sooners dropped Oklahoma in the national polls, and as a result has shaken up some playoff projections, which has had a slight ripple effect on specific bowl lineups for a particular conference.
Here is a look at some of the updated bowl projections for Penn State after week 4.
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The loss suffered by Oklahoma this past weekend has led to a bit of a shakeup in the College Football Playoff picture. With the Sooners falling out of the top four in a number of projections, including Brad Crawford’s at 247Sports, Clemson moves into playoff position. That leaves the ACC’s spot left for the next highest-ranked team. At the moment, that would be NC State, who plays Clemson this weekend. And with Ohio State in the playoff and Michigan in the Rose Bowl, Penn State is sitting in a very good spot to be heading to the Orange Bowl.
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Brett McMurphy is sticking to his Rose Bowl prediction for Penn State. This is because McMurphy still has a College Football Playoff field consisting of two Big Ten teams (Michigan and Ohio State) squaring off with two SEC teams (Alabama and Georgia). With two Big Ten teams in the playoff, the Rose Bowl would take the next highest-ranked option, which would be Penn State in McMurphy’s estimation.
A matchup with USC would certainly be an interesting one.
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Just like last week, Jerry Palm of CBS Sports has Penn State making its way into the Orange Bowl to face an ACC opponent. But Palm has elevated Clemson into the College Football Playoff after their exhilarating win last weekend at Wake Forest. And with the ACC’s spot vacant, the next best option from the conference slides into the Orange Bowl. For now, that team is NC State.
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College Football News has also bumped Clemson up into the College Football Playoff field, which allows NC State to move up into the Orange Bowl spot out of the ACC. Clemson and NC State play this weekend in a matchup that could impact the bowl projections in a good way, particularly with the Orange Bowl.
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Richard Jefferson of Sports Illustrated keeps Penn State in the Cotton Bowl this week, although with a new potential opponent as the Group of 5 representative in the New Years Six. Jefferson has UCF coming out as the champion in the AAC, bumping Tulane out of his projection from a week ago. The Group of 5 race appears to be pretty wide open heading into October with no clear runaway favorite so far, so expect the Group of 5 projections across the board to be in flux on a week-to-week basis.
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Chalk up another Orange Bowl matchup with NC State to round things out. That’s the current projection from Erick Smith at USA TODAY Sports going into Week 5 of the college football season. Like most other projections, Oklahoma’s loss last week damaged the Sooners and their bowl outlook and opened a door for Clemson into the playoff, which allowed NC State to slide into the Orange Bowl spot out of the ACC.
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Editor of Nittany Lions Wire, part of the USA TODAY Sports Media Group. Contributor to Athlon Sports. Previously of College Football Talk of FWAA member. Philadelphia-area resident. Trombone player. Amateur runner. Rescue dog owner.

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