Penn State hopes to name its new football coach before the team plays in its bowl game, but even if that happens, interim coach Tom Bradley still expects to be in charge of the squad for the contest.
"No one has said anything to me about not coaching the bowl game," Bradley told the Mirror late Wednesday night.
Penn State President Rodney Erickson said earlier Wednesday at a town hall meeting on campus that the school hopes to hire Joe Paterno's successor before the bowl game.
Bradley said he had not heard about Erickson's comments when contacted by the Mirror. Even if a new coach is hired before the bowl, Bradley said, "That doesn't mean he's going to coach the bowl game."
Bradley has said he would like the job on a permanent basis, but many people expect the school to make an outside hire. Erickson described the search Wednesday as "wide open" at this point.
Exactly where the Lions end up for their bowl trip could depend heavily on what the Insight Bowl in Tempe, Ariz., decides to do.
If there was no Jerry Sandusky scandal and the Nittany Lions were being judged solely on their 9-3 record, the Insight Bowl would be their most likely destination. That's if Michigan makes it to a BCS bowl game, which is a strong possibility.
Either Wisconsin or Michigan State will go to the Rose Bowl as the Big Ten champion, and Michigan also could go to a BCS game if it finishes in the top 14 of the standings. The Capital One Bowl and Outback Bowl then would divvy up Nebraska and the loser of the Big Ten title game.
The Insight Bowl, to be played Dec. 30 at 10 p.m., picks next and has a choice to make about its Big Ten representative. It would seem to be an easy choice taking a 9-3 Penn State team over a 7-5 Iowa squad that lost to the Lions, but the scandal has made everything involving PSU more complicated.
How much of a factor will the scandal be to the Insight Bowl committee?
"We're aware of it and we discuss it, and it's something that is out there, it's obvious," said Kristen Pflipsen, director of public relations for the Insight Bowl.
"We are not saying it's going to affect our decision negatively or positively at this point. It's not a deal breaker, and it's not a deal maker. It's just there kind of as something that we need to be cognizant of and aware of."
Pflipsen called it "an unprecedented situation for Penn State and all of the Big Ten bowl partners" and added the Insight Bowl committee always discusses "every ramification of every possible option" when deciding which teams to invite.
The Insight Bowl, which pits a Big Ten team against a Big 12 opponent, will not make its selections for the game until Sunday. Penn State's potential opponent for that game could be Oklahoma, Baylor or Kansas State.
One possible matchup for the Insight Bowl is Iowa versus Iowa State, two rivals that have already played each other this season. The Cyclones, who are just 6-5 with a tough game this week at Kansas State, defeated the Hawkeyes on Sept. 10 in triple overtime, 44-41.
Bowl games usually don't like rematches, but the Insight Bowl is considering that one, along with every other possibility.
"Iowa-Iowa State is a possible option, and we did not write it off," Pflipsen said. "Are we saying that's something that looks attractive to us or something that doesn't look attractive to us? No, we have not said anything."
One other aspect to consider is that the Insight Bowl and Fiesta Bowl are run by the same group. The Fiesta Bowl has been involved in its own scandal during the past year for misuse of funds, which led to CEO John Junker getting fired.
Asked if the group in charge of the two bowls would want the added burden of dealing with the Penn State scandal, Pflipsen sounded as if that wouldn't be an issue.
"We have done a lot in this past year to make sure that our house is in order so we can execute our bowl games to the best of our ability," she said. "I think our decisions are made as a bowl and what's best for the game, the matchup itself, and not necessarily based on our issues.
"They're very separate things, and so linking them together is not something we do. We had a tough year, and we've dealt with that. And obviously Penn State is in a difficult situation right now, and that's their issues that they're dealing with. So we don't necessarily -- because they're different -- you can't really lump them in together."
If the Insight Bowl passes on Penn State, the Gator Bowl could do the same as it reportedly wants a matchup between Ohio State and Florida. That would pit new Buckeyes coach Urban Meyer against his former team.
Next in the selection process would be the Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas. Penn State would seem to be an enticing choice for that game, but bowl officials could not be reached for comment Wednesday.