If the PSU administration had any class they would not accept a bowl invite this year. They need to end the season as fast as possible and work on healing their wounds.
For decades, the Penn State brand had been one of the greatest in college football.
Now I’m not one of those people calling for the death penalty for the Nittany Lion athletic department, the razing of the school, or anything else far over-the-top. Bad people do bad things all over the place. From churches to hospitals to, yes, college campuses. If those bad people get the boot from Penn State, then I don’t believe current athletes on the State College campus should be punished for the deeds of others.
That said, you can bet every SEC football program is praying right now that it doesn’t get paired with Penn State during bowl season. Such a matchup would insure that said SEC team — the players and the coaches — would be peppered with questions about Penn State, Joe Paterno, protection of children, pedophilia, etc, etc, etc.
That’s not a fun way to spend the holidays. And no school should want to be connected to the saga playing out in Happy Valley… even if that connection is innocent, distant and short-lived.
Trouble is — the SEC has three bowl ties to the Big Ten (Capital One Bowl, Outback Bowl, Gator Bowl). The Nittany Lions have played five different SEC squads in bowl games in the past 14 seasons (Florida last year, LSU in 2009, Tennessee in 2006, Auburn in 2002 and Kentucky in 1998).
Working in the SEC’s favor is the fact that most bowl committees aren’t going to want to attach themselves to PSU’s scandal anymore than league schools will want to. At 8-2 right now — and who knows how Penn State will finish the season? — the Nittany Lions could drop all the way to the TicketCity or Meineke bowls in the Big Ten pecking order, which would put them below any possible meetings with the SEC.
Still, it’s a situation that bears watching. And you can bet athletic directors across the Southeastern Conference are doing just that.