Cory Giger: Penn State Univ. vs. TCU would be a fun bowl matchup

Penn State running back Saquon Barkley, tight end Mike Gesicki and wide receiver DaeSean Hamilton link arms to sing the alma mater after an NCAA college football game against Nebraska, Saturday, Nov. 18, 2017, in State College, Pa. (Abby Drey/Centre Daily Times via AP)

Penn State running back Saquon Barkley, tight end Mike Gesicki and wide receiver DaeSean Hamilton link arms to sing the alma mater after an NCAA college football game against Nebraska, Saturday, Nov. 18, 2017, in State College, Pa. (Abby Drey/Centre Daily Times via AP)

Sure, Penn State vs. Notre Dame or Miami would make for a fantastic and nationally prominent bowl game, and either is possible.

But do you know what would happen if those teams were to play? All of the story lines would be about the past. About the 1987 Fiesta Bowl upset. About Notre Dame’s rich history and where Penn State fits into it.

I love sports history, and all of that would be fun.

But I would prefer to see something new. A new opponent, new story lines, new intrigue. A matchup that is all about this game, this year, not the past.

Given that, TCU is the opponent I would most like to see the Nittany Lions play. It could happen in the Cotton Bowl, and it would be a terrific matchup.

How many of you Big Ten fans watch the scoring explosions in the Big 12 and say to yourself, “They don’t play any defense in that league.”

I say it all the time.

Well, TCU is an exception. The Horned Frogs have a strong offense and actually do play good defense.

That matchup would have a chance to be a wonderful showdown between a PSU program with tremendous tradition against a TCU program that has found a way to become a national power under coach Gary Patterson, even against long odds.

TCU used to be the little team that could. Now it’s a consistent force to be reckoned with, which is amazing.

One of the great things about bowl season is it gives us a chance to see matchups that we would otherwise never see. I personally would love to see Penn State schedule a Big 12 opponent every now and then, but that’s not likely.

This is about the best chance we have of making that happen.

Would it be better than a game against Notre Dame or Miami? Probably not. Would the ratings be anywhere near as high? Absolutely not.

But it would be a fun game, no doubt about it.

The fact that it would be played at the Cowboys’ AT&T Stadium is another enticing factor.

If not Notre Dame, Miami or TCU, I wouldn’t mind seeing another opponent that we’re not likely see the Lions play any time soon. Mississippi State would be a possibility, although that game wouldn’t have a great deal of allure to most people.

Auburn would be a whole lot of fun this season, maybe in the Citrus Bowl. But Penn State will play Auburn in 2021 and 2022, and a bowl matchup this season would take some of the luster off that upcoming home and home series.

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