Nittany Lions Rich in "BCS" Bowl History

Though the Nittany Lions have never been part of the BCS since its inception in 1998, Penn State has a rich history with the four bowl games that make up the Bowl Championship Series — the Rose Bowl, Fiesta Bowl, Orange Bowl and Sugar Bowl.

Under Joe Paterno Penn State has played 15 times in the current BCS bowl games, including one Rose Bowl (1995), four Orange Bowls (1969, 1970, 1974 and 1986), four Sugar Bowls (1972, 1975, 1979 and 1983) and six Fiesta Bowls (1977, 1980, 1982, 1987, 1992 and 1997).

Amazingly, 50 percent of Paterno's bowls as head coach at Penn State have been at these four bowl games. At these games Penn State has wrapped up five undefeated seasons (1968, 1969, 1973, 1986 and 1994), played for four national championships (1978, 1982, 1985 and 1986) and won two of them (1982 and 1986).

In these 15 bowl games Paterno's squads are a stellar 11-4 (73 percent), beating teams like LSU (1974 Orange), Ohio State (1980 Fiesta), USC (1982 Fiesta), Georgia (1983 Sugar), Miami (1987 Fiesta), Oregon (1994 Rose) and Texas (1997 Fiesta) — all of which coincidentally are currently ranked in the BCS Top 25.

Amazingly, of the four losses, two each came at the hands of just two teams - Alabama and Oklahoma. Oklahoma beat PSU in 1972 (Sugar) and 1986 (Orange) where the Sooners won the national title. Alabama beat the Lions in 1975 (Sugar) and 1979 (Sugar) where the Crimson Tide won the national title.

Individually under Paterno, PSU's record in each bowl is:

Fiesta: 6-0 (100 percent)
Orange: 3-1 (75 percent)
Rose: 1-0 (100 percent)
Sugar: 1-3 (25 percent)

The Lions have one more game to win before they can think about the BCS, however if they are able to beat Michigan State they will not only continue a long, rich history of Penn State's participation in "BCS" bowls (a history spanning four decades), but also open a new chapter as the first Nittany Lion squad to officially participate in the BCS and add a new decade to which this history will span under Paterno.

You'll get a chance to see that history if you join us on one of our exclusive Fight On State Bowl Packages. We are already taking reservations for the Orange Bowl, Penn State's most likely destination.

Should Penn State land in a bowl other than the Orange, all deposits are transferrable or refundable.



Fight On State Top Stories