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Penn State football drops out of latest New Year’s Six bowl projections

Penn State was the No. 1 seed in this College Football Playoff prediction a few short weeks ago. Now, the Nittany Lions are on the outside looking in of these latest New Year’s Six bowl game projections.



Penn State Football, James Franklin, New Year's Six bowl projections, Andy Staples, College Football Playoff

A win is a win, but Saturday’s 33-24 victory over the 2-6 Indiana Hoosiers was probably too close for comfort for many in the Penn State football program. Fighting to prove they still belong in the College Football Playoff discussion, the 7-1 Nittany Lions missed an opportunity to rack up style points against inferior competition. And evidently, James Franklin and Penn State have been penalized for it. On3’s Andy Staples, who has been high on Penn State football all year, now has the Nittany Lions outside of his College Football Playoff and New Year’s Six bowl projections for the first time this season.

Penn State on the outside looking in of latest New Year’s Six Bowl projections

Each week, Andy Staples of On3 releases updated College Football Playoff and New Year’s Six bowl projections. Following Week 9 of college football action, the latest projections from Staples include two Big Ten teams in the Playoff, with Ohio State and Michigan making the cut.

The full projections are as follows:

  • Sugar Bowl (College Football Playoff game): No. 1 Georgia vs. No. 4 Ohio State
  • Rose Bowl (College Football Playoff game): No. 2 Michigan vs. No. 3 Florida State
  • Orange Bowl: Louisville vs. Alabama
  • Cotton Bowl: Oklahoma vs. Oregon
  • Peach Bowl: Texas vs. Notre Dame
  • Fiesta Bowl: Air Force vs. Washington

This is the first time all season that Staples does not have Penn State football making the cut for a New Year’s Six bowl. The On3 analyst has been one of the biggest proponents of James Franklin and the Nittany Lions all year, including Penn State in his College Football Playoff projections for much of October. Staples even ranked Penn State as high as the No. 1 seed in his Week 6 Playoff predictions.

Nittany Lions looked unsteady coming off first loss of 2023

It certainly appeared that Penn State football was battling a hangover after the emotional loss at Ohio State when it took the field against Indiana on Saturday.

The Nittany Lions defense uncharacteristically gave up three chunk-play touchdowns to allow the Hoosiers to hang in the game. The offense still looked sluggish early after its worst performance of the season in Columbus. But the unit put things together for a three-play, 78-yard drive headlined by a 57-yard touchdown pass from Drew Allar to give Penn State the lead with 1:46 remaining.

Penn State football now faces what could be its toughest three-game stretch of the season. The Nittany Lions travel to 5-3 Maryland on Saturday before welcoming 8-0, second-ranked Michigan and 6-2 Rutgers to Beaver Stadium over the following two weeks.

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A third-generation Penn Stater, Matt is Editor-in-Chief for Basic Blues Nation, co-host of the podcast PSU Tailgate Talk, and a credentialed member of the Penn State football media. Matt also works as a staffer in the Pennsylvania General Assembly. Matt lives in central Pennsylvania with his wife and a small army of pets.