December 06, 2010
Posted by Joe Chuba
Steve Jones on how Penn State ended up facing Florida in the Outback Bowl.
Penn State and Florida seemed destined to meet in the post-season whether it was in Jacksonville or in Tampa. Tampa ended up the choice because the Outback Bowl had a higher pick than the Gator Bowl and tickets became the driving force. South Carolina has been to the Outback Bowl before but the last time they were there they sold only 6,000 tickets. In the end the people in Tampa knew that Florida would sell tickets and decided they wanted the Florida-Penn State matchup instead of seeing that game happen in Jacksonville.
The Big Ten had a great season with a record setting eight bowl teams but an odd season at the same time. Three schools finished 11-1 and the next three schools finished 7-5. Penn State, Michigan and Iowa all finished in that 7-5 logjam. Penn State went 4-2 in the second half of the season and travels well for bowl games thus the door opened to January 1.
Florida went 7-5 and Urban Meyer has promised to rebuild it right. I’m sure he is looking at the Outback Bowl as the first step in this process. Meanwhile the Nittany Lions enter the game with 59 sophomores and freshmen thus the game is critical for building momentum for the winter program and 2011.
Let’s not discard 2010. This game is also the finish to this season and it would be great for this team and these seniors to walk out of Tampa 8-5.
Next week we will breakdown the matchup of what should be a very intriguing game.
Big Ten bowl picture:
Rose: Wisconsin vs. TCU
Sugar: Ohio State vs. Arkansas
Capital One: Michigan State vs. Alabama
Outback: Penn State vs. Florida
Gator: Michgan vs. Mississippi State
TicketCity: Northwestern vs. Texas Tech
Texas: Illinois vs. Baylor
Insight: Iowa vs. Missouri
Author: Joe Chuba
Bio: Sports Producer for WPSU-TV
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