UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Despite getting thumped 42-7 against Michigan Saturday afternoon, Penn State found itself at No. 20 in this week’s College Football Playoff poll.
Prior to being beaten at Michigan, the Nittany Lions were ranked No. 14 in both the CFP and AP polls and No. 13 in the Coaches’ Poll.
With the loss to the Wolverines, any chance of making it to the Big Ten Championship as well as a New Year’s Six bowl were ended. It would have been a long shot for either, but the loss all but sealed the postseason fate for Penn State.
The Nittany Lions host Wisconsin this week in what should be their hardest remaining regular season game. Following the Badgers, Penn State will head to New Jersey to take on Rutgers before returning home to face Maryland.
As a conference, the Big Ten boasts several bowl games with tie-ins including the Orange, Rose and Cotton bowls, all of which are associated with the playoff. Penn State won’t have to worry about any of those now.
The bowls most likely to be tied to the Nittany Lions will be the Citrus, Outback, Holliday and TaxSlayer Gator bowls. Should Penn State lose any of its next three games, it will drop a tier in bowl games and could find itself playing before Christmas.