Penn State bowl projections: Ohio State could determine College Football Playoff path

At the start of each week, Land of 10 will break down the postseason implications, and projections, to come out of the Penn State Nittany Lions’ latest contest …

What happened: The Nittany Lions (7-0, 4-0 Big Ten) scored 14 points within their first seven plays and were off to the races Saturday night before a record home crowd and an emphatic 42-13 stomping of Michigan. Saquon Barkley’s 69-yard touchdown run on a direct snap opened the floodgates early, and a strip-fumble of Wolverines quarterback John O’Korn lit the fuse for a 14-0 run at the finish. Quarterback Trace McSorley threw for 1 score and ran for 3 more.

What it means: Michigan had allowed 3 rushing touchdowns in its first six contests. The Nittany Lions lit up the Wolverines for 5 in one night. Whatever questions national pundits had about how complete Penn State was on offense and defense, they were largely answered in prime time. The first of three massive Big Ten East Division tests was passed — and run through — with flying colors. As the Nittany Lions remain at No. 2 in the polls and with the first College Football Playoff rankings coming next week, the stakes only get higher from here. Bring on the Buckeyes, baby.

Projected record: Massey Ratings — 11-1; TeamRankings.com — 11-1

(Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Projected postseason destination: Peach Bowl, Jan. 1 in Atlanta, versus an at-large opponent

Cheapest seat on TicketCity.com as of Sunday: $108

Up next: At Ohio State (6-1, 4-0) on Saturday. The Buckeyes are coming off a bye, which may or may not be a good thing given how well the Fighting Urbans have played during their last four contests — clubbing UNLV, Rutgers, Maryland and Nebraska by an average margin of 57-12. Ohio Stadium is hosting the league’s two hottest — and most talented — teams going, in a potential East Division elimination game. The Buckeyes can be beaten at home, as Baker Mayfield and Oklahoma proved in Week 2. But that early defeat also means the Buckeyes have no more margin for error as far as the CFP is concerned, and they’ve been playing lately as if they know it.

The post Penn State bowl projections: Ohio State could determine College Football Playoff path appeared first on Land of 10.

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