The first B1G team to make the announcement of opting out of a bowl game came on Saturday night.

Just hours after Penn State clobbered Illinois to conclude the 2020 season, the team announced that it will not participate in a postseason event this year. The Nittany Lions join a growing list of teams who have decided to pass on playing in a bowl game this year.

Penn State was one of just two teams in the B1G (Rutgers) to play a full 9-game schedule in the B1G. The Nittany Lions finished with a 4-5 record, closing the year with four-straight wins.

From Penn State:

“Our student-athletes have made tremendous sacrifices this season in order to play the game they love,” said AD Sandy Barbour. “Because of their commitment to our process and protocols, we have remained healthy and are one of two teams in the Big Ten Conference to play in all nine scheduled games. Very few teams have handled playing during the pandemic as well as our program has, which fills me with Penn State pride. Our student-athletes will now have the opportunity for a well-deserved break to enjoy time with their families before returning for the spring semester. I would also like the recognize all of the coaches and support staff members who have also made numerous sacrifices of their own for our student-athletes to compete this fall and moving forward.”

“I couldn’t be more proud and encouraged by how our team conducted itself during this unprecedented season. One of our four core values is a willingness to sacrifice, and our student-athletes, coaches and staff have all made incredible sacrifices both on and off the field in order for us to compete this year,” said head coach James Franklin. “This has been a challenging nine months, but we are proud of how our student-athletes have navigated these difficult times. As you know, we rely on our captains and Leadership Council to provide a voice for our team, and our student-athletes made the difficult choice not to participate in a bowl this year in order to spend time with loved ones. We are fully supportive of their decision, knowing it has been many months since our students-athletes have been able to spend time with their families and the challenges they endured, both physically and mentally. This will be an opportunity for our guys to go home, see family and recharge for the spring semester.”

Penn State finished the season with wins over Michigan, Rutgers, Michigan State and Illinois. It’s likely that more B1G programs follow in the Nittany Lions’ footsteps regarding the postseason, though no other announcements have been made.