The Penn State Nittany Lions football program is going to continue to suffer for what former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky did for a long time. Right now they have to deal with the constant distractions as they're trying to prepare for key football games to win a Big Ten Championship.
Once the regular season comes to an end, it becomes even more interesting. Of course if the Nittany Lions win the Big Ten, they'll receive an automatic bid to the Rose Bowl. But if they don't win the Big Ten or appear in the conference championship, every other bowl game gets to extend an invite and that's when you grab the popcorn and see what happens.
Just because Penn State is bowl eligible does not mean that bowls have to invite them. There are currently seven other bowl games that will hold a Big Ten team (not including the Rose Bowl) and nine Big Ten teams that could possibly be bowl eligible. Somebody is going to be left out in the cold.
If Penn State is denied a bowl game from all of the Big Ten, they could end up in a bowl game from a conference that hasn't filled its requirements. But what are the chances they would want Penn State either?
Penn State used to be a team that any bowl would kill to have. They're one of the most prestigious programs, have a winning history and would always have great stories to talk about leading up to the bowl game.
This year the main story is what Jerry Sandusky allegedly did to those children and that would be the main topic of conversation. Forget about the accomplishments that Penn State did on the football field this year. Forget about the opposing team and what they did to reach a bowl game. It would all be about Sandusky.
That's really not fair to either team.
"I am not too sure if I was on a bowl committee I would be too anxious about inviting Penn State to a bowl game given the situation up there," presidential candidate Rick Santorum said, according to the Des Moines Register. "I think it would probably be best to take a pass on a bowl game this year. It is a tough thing for the [players], but this is way beyond the football team right now."
Interim head coach Tom Bradley already said that he will not back out of the bowl season and that Penn State will play if someone extends the invite.
The problem is there is really nothing for the bowl to gain by inviting Penn State. Except backlash from the college football world and a whole truckload of distractions.
The bowl season is supposed to be a happy time of the year as we celebrate all of the teams accomplishments. Add Penn State, and it will be the complete opposite.
Randy Chambers is a B/R Featured Columnist that covers College Football and the NFL. You can contact him @Randy_Chambers or Randy.Chambers7@yahoo.com
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