Penn State could end up in the Rose Bowl

Penn State could be selected for the Rose Bowl despite being well behind Ohio State in the College Football Playoff rankings.

While the Rose Bowl traditionally selects the top-ranked Big Ten and Pac-12 teams if the champion is in the College Football Playoff, It is not obligated to do so. This is important, because Ohio State went to the Rose Bowl and played Utah a season ago.

One of the reasons the Rose Bowl out picks the highest-ranked teams is based on the last time those teams played in the game. Since Ohio State played in the game last year, the Rose Bowl may be open to picking Penn State and Washington if the Huskies don’t move ahead of Utah in the rankings if USC wins the Pac-12 title.

We’re going with the Penn State vs. Washington scenario right now with Ohio State sliding into the Orange Bowl against Clemson. Meanwhile, Utah could find itself in the Alamo Bowl against Texas.

Penn State is in the Rose Bowl in our latest set of bowl projections.  (AP Photo/Barry Rieger)

Penn State is in the Rose Bowl in our latest set of bowl projections. (AP Photo/Barry Rieger)

Right now, there are 79 teams with at least six wins. Buffalo was heavily favored for its sixth win of the season on Friday against Akron and we’re expecting the Bulls to pick up that victory.

This would make 80 teams with six wins in 41 ball games. New Mexico State is 5-6 and has applied for a waiver for the ball game after its game against San Jose State was canceled earlier this year due to the death of San Jose State’s Camdan McCright.

If NMSU gets its waiver, that still leaves one more spot. And this spot should be for Rice. The Owls have the best academic progression rate of teams that finished the season at 5-7.

Right now, we have New Mexico State getting their waiver and Rice entering a bowl game to get to a full bowl field. If you need a refresher, here’s a list of all the currently qualified teams below.

AAC (7): Tulane, UCF, Cincinnati, SMU, Houston, East Carolina, Memphis

ACC (9): Clemson, North Carolina, Florida State, Pitt, Duke, NC State, Syracuse, Louisville, Wake Forest

Page 12 (8): TCU, Kansas State, Texas, Texas Tech, Oklahoma State, Baylor, Oklahoma, Kansas

Big Ten (9): Michigan, Ohio State, Penn State, Purdue, Illinois, Minnesota, Maryland, Iowa, Wisconsin

USA Conference (5): UTSA, Western Kentucky, North Texas, Middle Tennessee, UAB

Independent (4): Notre Dame, Liberty, BYU, UConn

Mac (6*): Ohio, Toledo, Eastern Michigan, Bowling Green, Miami, Buffalo*

Mountain West (7): Boise State, Fresno State, Air Force, Wyoming, San Diego State, San Jose State, Utah State

Pac 12 (7): USC, Washington, Oregon, Utah, Oregon State University of California, Washington State

SEC (11): Georgia, LSU, Tennessee, Alabama, South Carolina, Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Kentucky, Arkansas, Florida, Missouri

Sun Belt (7): Troy, Coastal Carolina, South Alabama, Marshall, Georgia South, South Miss, Louisiana

The Six Cup Games for the New Year

Orange Bowl (30 December)

Clemson vs. Ohio State

Sugar Bowl (December 31)

Kansas State vs. Alabama

Peach Bowl (31 Dec [CFP semifinal]

Georgia vs. USC

Fiesta Bowl (December 31) [CFP semifinal]

Michigan vs. TCU

Cotton Bowl (January 2)

Tennessee vs. Tulane

Rose Bowl (January 2)

Pennsylvania vs. Washington

Other bowl games

Bahamas Bowl (December 16) [Confirmed]

UAB vs. Miami (Ohio)

Cure Bowl (December 16)

UTSA v. Troy

Fenway Bowl (December 17)

Louisville vs. Cincinnati

New Mexico Bowl (December 17)

BYU vs. Western Kentucky

La Powell (December 17)

Boise State vs. Washington State

LendingTree Bowl (Dec. 17)

Toledo vs. New Mexico State

Las Vegas Bowl (December 17)

UCLA vs. Mississippi State

Frisco Bowl (December 17)

Rice vs. SMU

Myrtle Beach Bowl (December 19)

Liberty vs. Coastal Carolina

Potato Bowl (December 20)

San Jose State vs. Bowling Green

Boca Raton Bowl (December 20)

Marshall vs. East Carolina

New Orleans Bowl (December 21)

North Texas vs. Southern Miss

Armed Forces Cup (22 December)

Air Force vs. Louisiana

Gasparilla Bowl (December 23)

Utah vs Georgia South

Independence Bowl (23 December)

Houston vs. O’Conn

Hawaiian Bowl (December 24) [Confirmed]

San Diego vs. Middle Tennessee

Kwik Lane Basin (Dec. 26)

Maryland vs. Buffalo

First Responder Bowl (December 27)

Fresno State vs. Baylor

Birmingham Bowl (27 December)

Memphis vs. Florida

Camellia Bowl (December 27)

Ohio vs South Alabama

Guaranteed Rated Pot (December 27)

Wisconsin vs Oklahoma State

Military Bowl (December 28)

Duke vs. UCF

Liberty Bowl (December 28)

Kansas vs. Missouri

Holiday Bowl (December 28)

North Carolina vs. Oregon State

Texas Bowl (December 28)

Texas Tech vs. Arkansas

Striped bowl (December 29)

Syracuse vs. Minnesota

Cheez-It Bowl (December 29)

Wake Forest vs Oklahoma

Alamo Bowl (December 29)

Texas vs Utah

Duke’s Mayo Bowl (December 30)

North Carolina vs Iowa

Sun Bowl (December 30)

Oregon vs. Pete

Crocodile Bowl (December 30)

Florida vs. South Carolina

Arizona Bowl (December 30)

Wyoming vs. Eastern Michigan

Music City Bowl (December 31)

Illinois vs. Kentucky

ReliaQuest Bowl (January 2)

Notre Dame vs Ole Miss

Citrus Bowl (January 2)

Purdue vs. LSU

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