Penn State Awaits Bowl Fate

EAST LANSING, Mich. -- Its first Big Ten championship since 1994 in hand, Penn State hurried home to a pep rally at Rec Hall late Saturday night. Now it will wait for a bowl venue and opponent.

The Nittany Lions (10-1) clinched the conference title with a 31-22 victory over Michigan State before 75,005 at Spartan Stadium.

With the win comes a berth in Penn State's first Bowl Championship Series.

They can land in the Orange, Fiesta or, perhaps, with the right breaks, even the Rose Bowl.

An orange was placed on the podium before Joe Paterno arrived at his postgame press conference.

"I have no idea where we're going," he said. "Until I know, I can't make a lot of plans."

The BCS title game will be played Jan. 4 in the Rose Bowl in Pasadena. That will pit the top two-ranked teams in the BCS standings. Penn State entered the weekend ranked No. 4, behind No. 1 USC, No. 2 Texas and No. 3 Miami. The Hurricanes lost to Georgia Tech and the Trojans had a scare from Fresno State Saturday. The Longhorns were off.

Barring upsets of either of the top two teams or Notre Dame, Penn State most likely will land in the Jan. 3 Orange. As things stand, the Fiesta gets the first pick of the available teams after the championship tilt is set and the conference tie-ins are accounted for, and it is reportedly leaning toward the Fighting Irish.

The Orange picks second and, as things stand, seems likely to grab the Nittany Lions. is already taking deposits on our exlusive tours to the Orange Bowl. Deposits are transferrable to the other BCS bowl if the current scenario changes. See this link for details: PACKAGES NOW AVAILABLE: CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS.

The BCS matchups will not become official until Dec. 4 -- a day after several conferences (Big 12, ACC, SEC) play their championship games. The Big Ten does not have a title game.

The Lions will root for upsets of the teams ranked ahead of them.

"We wanted to play for the national championship and hopefully if things go our way, it can be the dream season we talked about in the off-season," quarterback Michael Robinson said. "I try to stay away from hoping [against teams] but we need a little bit of help."

But after sitting out of the bowl picture in four of the last five years, the Lions are anxious to go wherever they land.

"Hopefully we'll still get to the Rose Bowl," senior center E.Z. Smith said. "But if not, we'll be happy to go anywhere that will have us, and we'll put on a good show."

Orange Bowl officials -- it was the only BCS bowl with two representative in the press box Saturday -- were tight-lipped about the possible scenarios.

"There is still too much football left to be played," Orange Bowl rep Jeff Roberts said. "Penn State has been one of the great storylines in college football all year. We'd love to see them as a part of our game."


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