Penn State Makes First Bowl Since 2012; Temple Snubbed

Although Penn State and Temple finished with the same 6-6 record, only the Nittany Lions are headed to a bowl game.

The Nittany Lions are Bronx bound. Penn State’s players learned yesterday the team will play Boston College in the Pinstripe Bowl on December 27th. It’s the first bowl game since 2012 for the Nittany Lions, who were banned from bowls the next two seasons in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal.

A team needs just six wins (and a .500 or better record) to qualify for a bowl. Penn State went 6-6 this year, its first under new coach James Franklin. The Lions opened the season 4-0, but lost 6 of its final 8 games. With its Big Ten Conference bowl tie-ins, that was enough to get the Nittany Lions into a bowl.

The 6-6 record was not enough to get Temple into the a bowl game, however.

The American Athletic Conference qualified six teams for bowls, but had just five bowl game tie-ins. Temple, at 6-6 and 4-4 in the conference, was not selected for any bowls. Eighty-one college football teams became bowl eligible, and five were left out. (One of them, Alabama-Birmingham, is disbanding its football team entirely.)

Coach Matt Rhule said some players cried upon learning the news. “But for me, the hurt is telling the seniors that they are not going to play another game in a Temple uniform,” he told the Inquirer. “I really wanted that for them.” Penn State became bowl eligible by defeating Temple, 30-13, on November 15th.

The Pinstripe Bowl began in 2010, the year after the new Yankee Stadium opened. In last year’s game, Notre Dame beat Rutgers, 29-16. Boston College, Penn State’s opponent in this year’s game, went 7-5 this season and 4-4 in the ACC.