Nov 02, 2016

Bowl Projections: Auburn, Florida State, Virginia Tech and Nebraska In Contention After Nine Weeks

After nine weeks of play, here are updated projections for the 71st Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl from around the college football media.

Mark Schlabach (ESPN):  Florida State vs. Auburn
Brett McMurphy (ESPN):  Virginia Tech vs. Auburn
Jerry Palm (  Virginia Tech vs. Auburn
Bill Bender (Sporting News):  Nebraska vs. Auburn
College Football News: Florida State vs. Auburn
Jason Kirk (SB Nation): Nebraska vs. Tennessee
Brant Parsons (Orlando Sentinel): Virginia Tech vs. Auburn

Coming into Week 9, Auburn has taken over as the overwhelming favorite to appear in this year’s bowl out of the SEC, while Virginia Tech, Florida State and Nebraska hold a slight edge on the other side of the matchup. Following a 1-2 start with both losses to teams currently in the AP Top 10, the 11th-ranked Tigers have rolled off five straight victories including wins against LSU, Arkansas and at Ole Miss. Auburn’s last appearance in Orlando came in 2006 when they lost to Wisconsin, 24-10.

The Tigers are projected to face Nebraska, Virginia Tech and Florida State by the media this week. The Tigers defeated the Cornhuskers in the 2007 Cotton Bowl, 17-14, to earn their first win over Nebraska in four tries.

With a Big Ten team projected to receive the Orange Bowl’s bid at the moment, that would allow an ACC team to replace the Big Ten’s bid this which is how Jerry Palm (CBSSports) and Brant Parsons (Orlando Sentinel) see Virginia Tech facing Auburn. The Tigers last met the Hokies in the 2005 Sugar Bowl, winning 16-13. The meeting was their first since 1978 and gave Auburn a 3-1-1 lead in the series.

College Football News projects a rematch of the 2014 BCS National Championship Game with the Tigers and Seminoles squaring off on New Year’s Eve in Orlando. The two programs have met 19 times, with Auburn holding a 13-5-1 edge in the series. However Florida State has better memories of the most recent meeting after their 34-31 come-from-behind victory in the 2014 BCS National Championship Game. While playing in Orlando has been a common occurrence for the Seminoles of late, Florida State has not appeared in the Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl since their 17-17 tie with Georgia in 1984 in the first major network (NBC) broadcast of the bowl.

SB Nation’s Jason Kirk estimates that Nebraska and Tennessee will face off for the first time since 2000 in this year’s game. Nebraska won that meeting 31-21 in the Fiesta Bowl improving their all-time record against the Volunteers to 2-0.


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