CBS Sports predicts that Joe Paterno and Penn State will head to the Gator Bowl to face the Florida Gators. The Gator Bowl will feature a mid-tier team from the Big Ten along with a mid-tier team from the SEC, so this makes some sense. Penn State is currently tied with Iowa for fourth in the Big Ten standings, behind Michigan State, Ohio State and Wisconsin. The Gator Bowl will select its Big Ten team after the BCS, Capital One and Outback Bowls get theirs.
The Gator Bowl hopes it can take Florida as its SEC team. The Big Ten team could be Penn State, Iowa or Michigan. Much could happen that would affect the college bowl schedule before that, though, and the Nittany Lions’ only remaining regular-season game is a very tough matchup against Michigan State. A key factor will be the likely possibility that the BCS decides to take a second Big Ten team, bumping the remaining teams up. In that scenario, Penn State could get as high as the Outback Bowl, which is a rung higher than the Gator Bowl and would also be against an SEC team, but that only seems likely if PSU can beat the Spartans.
Black Shoe Diaries wrote a good piece earlier this week on Penn State’s likely bowl destination. With the Nittany Lions’ win over Indiana today, Penn State could very well wind up in the Gator Bowl even if it loses against Michigan State. Michigan State and Ohio State would go to the BCS, Wisconsin would go to the Capital One Bowl, Iowa would be next in line and go to the Outback Bowl, and the Gator Bowl would probably pick Penn State over Illinois.