Penn State may not be bowl-eligible for the next four years, but that isn't going to stop it from playing thirteen games a season, if Bill O'Brien has anything to say about it. As SBNation is reporting, the Nittany Lions are going to try to utilize the famous "Hawaii Exemption" to expand their schedule to thirteen games.
The Hawaii Exemption is an NCAA rule that allows college football teams that play Hawaii (at Hawaii only -- the game must be on the road) to add an extra game to their schedule. Technically, Alaska and Puerto Rico are schools that the scheduling rule also applies to as well, but the extra game is rarely taken advantage of (last used ten years ago). The rule was added because the difficulty of playing road games at Hawaii -- both in expenses and it being harder to play after the extensive traveling -- by giving teams the ability to schedule a 13th game, they can increase home revenue and have another attempt to get their sixth win for bowl eligibility.
Penn State would like to give its football players a chance to play another game each season, and this would definitely be a positive way for it to try and do something special for the players.