Inside the Big Ten’s Bowl selection process

Nittany Nation

Penn State heads into Bowl Season without Defensive Coordinator Brent Pry. The Nittany Lions will find out where they go on Sunday, but some wonder how the selection process is decided. The Big Ten has a different system than other conferences.

“With the Big Ten it starts with the New Years Day Six and then those New Years Day Bowls like the Citrus and Outback are always coveted spots.”

Bill Bender writes for Sporting News, he says the Big Ten uses the quality of the matchup and different criteria to assign Bowl Games. In 2014 the conference revamped its system using what it called a “tiered system,” then Commissioner Jim Delany said the Big Ten wanted to offer a fresher approach.

“The Bowl games to me that create the most interest to me are SEC vs Big Ten matchups and if you’re a Big Ten school you probably wanna play against an SEC school,” said Bender.

The Big Ten had a strong showing in 2021 and has nine Bowl eligible teams.

“The Big Ten has a chance to have a playoff team and two New Years Day Bowl teams.”

Right now most analysts are projecting Penn State to be in the Vegas Bowl, the Music City Bowl, or the Pinstripe Bowl.

“I do have Penn State playing Texas A&M in the Music City Bowl,” said Bender. “So that’s an example where the tie ins are good, the records are similar, those are two pretty big brands. I can’t remember the last time Penn State played Texas A&M so all those things check out and then you get Jimbo and James Franklin on the same field. That’s not bad.”

Despite a 7-5 record Penn State is a school that Bender feels will be more coveted than other schools in the conference with better records.

“Penn State will be one of those schools that maybe leapfrogs a Minnesota or Purdue in terms of Bowl slot because of the brand and everything that comes with it.”

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