Will Penn State Go Bowling?
The Big Ten conference wrote a memo to the league athletic directors Wednesday, stating that the conference could have too many bowl eligible teams and not enough bowls to send them to, depending upon the outcome of games this weekend.
Nationally, there are 80 bowl eligible programs for 76 spots. Considering the new College Football Playoff, a Big Ten team could end up in the Orange Bowl, which many project would be Michigan State. That means no Big Ten team would be in the Citrus Bowl, because of an agreement that the conference sends only one team to the Orange or Citrus. That puts even more importance on tonights championship game.
Once the Big Ten Championship game wraps up between Wisconsin and Ohio State, the conference bowl picture will start to shape up. Along with Penn State, Illinois (6-6), Maryland (7-5), and Rutgers (7-5) will be watching this game intensely, hoping its that not their program missing out on post-season play.
A win by Wisconsin, should assure that everyone is going bowling because the Big Ten would likely have three programs (Ohio State, Michigan State, and Wisconsin) in a New Year's bowl. If Ohio State wins though, the league could be left with just one team in a playoff semifinal or a New Year's bowl. That means the conference would have eight eligible teams for seven contracted spots.
Given Penn State's large fan base and following, it seems unlikely they would be left out, and many have them projected to be invited to play in the Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium. Tonights game, will certainly have a determining factor in that scenario. The College Football Bowl selections, will follow the announcement of the inaugural College Football Playoff pairings on Sunday.