Although bowl season is nearly 300 days away, Stadium's Brent McMurphy has released his first round of bowl projections. The longtime college football writer has the Nittany Lions traveling to New York for a Pinstripe Bowl matchup with the North Carolina
Fighting Mack Browns Tar Heels.
This projection indicates McMurphy is not terribly high on the Nittany Lions in 2019. Since it's inaugural season in 2010, the Pinstripe Bowl is consistently played by two average to mediocre Big Ten and ACC teams. Of the 18 teams to participate in the Pinstripe Bowl, 10 teams finished the regular season with a 7-5 record, five finished 6-6, and three finished 8-4. The past two Pinstripe Bowls have been played by a pair of 7-5 teams.
Penn State undoubtedly needs to replace a lot of talent, but SBNation stat lord Bill Connelly's number have the Nittany Lions as a top-15 team in his first round of projections. That's a big drop off from one of the 15 best teams in the country to a Pinstripe Bowl participant. If anything, these conflicting predictions show just how much of an unknown Penn State is heading into the season.
McMurphy's entire projections can be found here.
Penn State is 1-0 in Pinstripe Bowl appearances, with their lone win coming on Sam Ficken's (RE97PECT) walk-off overtime extra point in 2014.
What say you, Nittany Lion fans? Is Penn State more likely again be one of the top teams in the country, or are James Franklin and Co. heading back to a lower tier bowl?