December 5, 2011
Houston vs. Penn State, TicketCity Bowl; Jan. 2, noon at the Cotton Bowl, Dallas; ESPNU Nickname: Cougars. Location: Houston. Record/finish: 12-1 overall, 8-1 Conference USA; lost conference title game to Southern Mississippi. Coach: Kevin Sumlin, fourth season, 35-17. Top rusher: Charles Sims, 782 yards, nine touchdowns. Top passer: Case Keenum, 5,099 yards, 45 touchdowns. Top receiver: Patrick Edwards, 79 catches, 1,524 yards, 18 touchdowns.
December 5, 2011 |
THERE ARE two ways to look at the second annual TicketCity Bowl pairing of Penn State (9-3) and Houston (12-1) on Jan. 2. The glass-is-half-empty view is that this is a disappointing, second-tier game for both the Nittany Lions and the Cougars, to be played in an historic but ancient stadium, the Cotton Bowl in Dallas. The glass-is-half-full outlook, though, is that two teams that had hoped for more prestigious, better-paying postseason destinations nonetheless lucked into a contest that could turn out to be very intriguing.
December 4, 2011 |
Penn State and the University of Houston plummeted in the bowl system but for entirely different reasons. Now, they will face each other in the TicketCity Bowl in Dallas on Jan. 2 (noon EST). The game, in its second season, is played at the Cotton Bowl. No. 24 Penn State (9-3), of course, fell as some bowl organizers did not want anything to do with the Nittany Lions in the aftermath of the Jerry Sandusky scandal. No. 20 Houston (12-1) was ranked sixth in the nation entering Saturday and could have had a chance at a BCS game had the Cougars beaten Southern Miss in the Conference USA title game.
November 28, 2011 |
The questions abound for Penn State during an anxious week of waiting. Will the Nittany Lions get into a bowl game? And if so, how far will they fall as they go down the order of games affiliated with the Big Ten? As they prepare to announce matchups on Sunday, bowl committees are faced with a dilemma they never encountered in the years when Penn State was a solid commodity. One with a large traveling fan base and the iconic Joe Paterno, known for graduating his players and running his program the right way, heading the team.
November 27, 2011
MADISON, Wis. - So Big Ten honchos can breathe a sigh of relief now that their inaugural Stagg (NoPa) Trophy, awarded to the conference title-game victor, won't be handed next week to Penn State. Obviously, not the association the conference wanted to have right now. Are you supposed to blame them if they were silently rooting for a Wisconsin-Michigan State rematch? There have been suggestions that Penn State, 9-3 after Saturday's 45-7 disaster at Wisconsin, should be done now - no bowl game.
November 18, 2011 |
The chief administrative officer of the Rose Bowl says if Penn State wins the Big Ten championship, the Nittany Lions will be free to play in the top-tier postseason game as far as he is concerned. Kevin Ash said Thursday the Big Ten will decide if there is a reason its champion should not play the Pac-12 winner on Jan. 2 in Pasadena, Calif. "Whoever the champions are, we'll welcome with open arms," Ash said. There have been calls for Penn State to decline a bowl bid in the aftermath of the child sex-abuse scandal stemming from the indictment of former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky.