2016 Bowl Projections: Nebraska and Ole Miss Lead Way, with a Chance of Hurricanes
After five weeks of play, here are updated projections for the 71st Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl from around the college football media.
Mark Schlabach (ESPN): Nebraska vs. Ole Miss
Brett McMurphy (ESPN): Indiana vs. Arkansas
Jerry Palm (CBSSports.com): North Carolina vs. Ole Miss
Bill Bender (Sporting News): Wisconsin vs Florida
CollegeFootballNews.com: Miami vs. Florida
Jason Kirk (SB Nation): Nebraska vs. Ole Miss
For the second week in a row Nebraska received two projections and was the favorite out of the Big Ten to make it to Orlando. On the other side, Ole Miss found themselves in three members’ projections after getting some revenge against Memphis with a 48-28 victory.
Nebraska and Ole Miss were pitted against each other by both Mark Schlabach (ESPN) and Jason Kirk (SB Nation) this week. The Rebels and Cornhuskers haven’t meet since 2002 when Ole Miss knocked off Nebraska in the Independence Bowl, 27-24.
Ole Miss was also projected to face North Carolina out of the ACC. It would be the Tar Heels first appearance in the bowl and their second in Orlando after making their debut in last season’s Russell Athletic Bowl. The Rebels and Tar Heels have never met on the gridiron in their programs’ histories.
Florida was the third and final team to be in multiple projections this week. Bill Bender from Sporting News projects Wisconsin to play Florida while CollegeFootballNews.com is predicting that Florida will play Miami. The Gators and Badgers have never met before despite both playing in the bowl a combined 9 times previously.
The Gators and Hurricanes have crossed paths 55 times dating back to 1938 with Miami holding a slight 29–26 edge, including wins in seven of the past eight matchups. The two in-state rivals last met in 2013 with Miami pulling out a 21-16 victory at home. Both programs are under new coaching staffs and currently find themselves in the Top 20 of the AP Poll.
Indiana’s upset of No. 17 Michigan State in overtime over the weekend saw the Hoosiers earn their first projection in the game this season. ESPN’s Brett McMurphy has the Hoosiers meeting Arkansas. Not only would it be the first meeting between the two programs but it would also mark Indiana’s first appearance in the Orlando bowl. The Razorbacks are coming off of a 52-10 victory against Alcorn State and have not played in Orlando since 2007 when they lost to Wisconsin, 17-14.