Penn State Football

What Penn State Football Slide in College Football Playoff Rankings Means to New Year’s Six Bowl Hopes

Penn State Football moved down two spots to No. 12 in the latest College Football Playoff rankings Tuesday night, following a 24-15 loss to Michigan Saturday.

Penn State was ranked No. 10 before the loss to Michigan, and was passed Louisville, Oregon State, and Missouri following the loss.

The Nittany Lions’ resume on the season includes losses to number three Michigan and number two Ohio State and a win over number 16 Iowa.


Important for Penn State’s New Year’s 6 Bowl hopes, Penn State ranked ahead of both Ole Miss and Oklahoma in Tuesday’s rankings, which ranked 13th and 14th, respectively.

Oregon State, which ranked 11th in Tuesday’s rankings, has both number five Washington and number six Oregon still on the schedule. A Beavers’ loss in either game would increase Penn State’s chances for a New Year’s 6 Bowl game at number 11.

A wildcard for Penn State’s New Year’s 6 Bowl hopes will be whether Oklahoma can make the Big 12 championship game and potentially steal a spot in the New Year’s 6 as a conference champion, if the Sooners are able to beat Texas again. In order to keep ahead of both Ole Miss and Oklahoma (outside of the scenario laid out with the Big 12 championship) and stay in contention for a New Year’s 6 Bowl spot.

Penn State will need to avoid a slipup against either Rutgers or Michigan State and add some style points to the wins to further convince the College Football Playoff Committee and the New Year’s 6 Bowl selection committee’s that Penn State is deserving of a top 12 ranking.

With one automatic bid for the New Year’s 6 bowl going to the highest group of 5 team ranked, Penn State would presumably have to be ranked no lower than 11th at the end of the season to receive a New Year’s 6 Bowl slot.

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About Author

Robert Casturo

Expertise: College Football, Penn State Football Education: Saint Vincent College, Penn State Law School Location: Washington, DC Experience: Robert Casturo has covered Penn State football for NittanyCentral since 2022. Casturo previously covered Penn State football through a social media presence (@PSU_FB_Thoughts on X) since 2019. Casturo earned his bachelor's degree from Saint Vincent College in 2015, where he was a punter for 1 season on the Saint Vincent College football team and worked in the athletic department for 2 years as a student manager. Casturo earned his JD from Penn State Law in 2018 where he was a senior editor of the Penn State Law Review.