B1G bowl projections after Week 8: Where do Nittany Lions fall after shocker?
Just a couple of weeks ago, Penn State was undefeated and angling for a possible College Football Playoff bid.
But in the Big Ten, life comes at you fast.
The Nittany Lions have lost consecutive games. The loss at Iowa was understandable, especially when quarterback Sean Clifford left that game with an injury. But then, in shocking fashion, Penn State fell to Illinois on Saturday in a 9-overtime game.
The PSU-Illinois game was the longest in FBS history but the path back to B1G East Division contention seems even longer for the Nittany Lions.
The remaining schedule includes a showdown this Saturday at Ohio State, then a home game against Michigan on Nov. 13, and the season finale Nov. 27 at Michigan State. All 3 of those teams are unbeaten in conference play.
Considering the current state of the offense, it’s tough to see PSU winning any of those games. Even if the Nittany Lions do take one of those 3, they are still looking at a projected 8-4 record and that will send them tumbling down our bowl projection pecking order.
In fact, we now project Penn State to the Las Vegas Bowl, as Michigan State and Minnesota move up on our chart this week.
Also, we now project that the B1G won’t have enough bowl-eligible teams to fill out all of its slots. One of five teams currently on the outside looking in for our projections — Illinois, Nebraska, Northwestern, Indiana and Rutgers — would have to get pretty hot to climb back in and occupy the league’s place at the Quick Lane Bowl. Right now they are all below .500 and face some really tough games in November.
As always, these projections reflect where we predict these teams will be in December, not where they stand now.
Here are our Week 8 B1G bowl projections: