It’s been said that there are only two certain things in this world — death and taxes.
Since the middle of last week, however, there seemed to be another certainty for the Penn State football program. Namely, a bid to the TaxSlayer Bowl.
The bowl tipped its hand on its Twitter feed midweek when it asked fans to vote on one of two possible matchups: Penn State vs. Georgia or Penn State vs. LSU. Bowl officials quickly said the Nittany Lions were under strong considerations (wink, wink), but that other teams were in play for the spot opposite an SEC opponent.
But when the conference championship games all went as expected Saturday, it set the stage for 7-5 Penn State — which had the seventh-best record in the Big Ten — to land in the TaxSlayer (formerly Gator Bowl).
The Lions will face Georgia (9-3) in the Jan. 2 game at EverBank Field in Jacksonville, Fla. The game kicks off at noon and will be carried by ESPN.
“We are excited to be heading to the TaxSlayer Bowl,” Penn State coach James Franklin said. “We are looking forward to this opportunity to keep our family together for another month and spend more time with this fantastic group of seniors. Jacksonville is a great destination for our fans and we would love to see Nittany Nation in full force in Florida on Jan. 2.”
“I'm excited for our football program and our student-athletes who have worked so diligently for this result,” PSU athletic director Sandy Barbour said. “This is a reward for them, and an opportunity to continue to represent our University, which they do so well on a daily basis. I'm also pleased that our Penn State community will get to gather in Florida for the first time in five years to celebrate the Penn State family! Sincere thanks to Rick Catlett and the Jacksonville volunteers for their work to make this bowl experience possible. We know that Penn Staters will descend on Jacksonville in abundant numbers.”
Stay tuned for more on the game.