I thought I told y’all to hold off those New Year’s Pasadena travel plans for a while! The Turkey will not be gentle in dealing with premature bowl euphoria. Knock it off!
There is still much work to be done. Michigan first. Then Illinois. And so forth. The season did not end after the Ohio State victory. Proud programs will not roll over for the Nittany Lions.
The probability of going to Pasadena is slim enough at this juncture that buying a non-refundable airline ticket is a bad bet. Chances are, the bowl picture will not become clear until the Wisconsin game is played. The [still somewhat mythical] national championship game will be played in the Rose Bowl. To get there, or to any BCS bowl, Penn State would have to end up with no more than one loss, and that loss would have had to be early in the season against a well regarded opponent; furthermore, they would have to finish first in the Big Ten. Back to the Rose Bowl, a lot of solid teams would have to screw up. USC would have to lose to Notre Dame this weekend. Texas? Well, they would have to lose to somebody, which is not likely, looking at their schedule. Georgia would have to not win the SEC championship, but if they lost to Alabama, then they would trade places and Alabama would be the BCS team. Virginia Tech would have to stumble hard, but if that happened, Florida State is right there. There are just too many teams up at the top of Division I-A now to believe that—unless Penn State runs the table—we can beat down the doors of that vaunted pinnacle.
So, let’s temper our expectations for now. Pasadena would be nice, but there are other bowls and other worthy opponents. To go from 4-7 shitty to a [still somewhat mythical] national championship in one year is so unlikely that those of you who have already made Pasadena plans must have been smoking some funny cigarettes. The Capital One or Outback Bowls, in Orlando and Tampa, respectively, would be ambitious and still prestigious goals. The Rose, Sugar, Orange, and Fiesta Bowls might just be a little bit beyond our reach this year.
We’ll revisit this bowl issue several more times before the bids actually do go out. We all harbor secret hopes that the Nittany Lions will figure in the [still somewhat mythical] national championship this year, but let’s wait a while before we get serious about those hopes.
Take a look at College Football News’ Bowl Projections. Seeing the matchup they have projected for Penn State brought back memories, and the bowl they slated for Penn State did as well, albeit clouded by the heavy tailgating partying indulged in by this Turkey in past iterations of this particular bowl.