Oct 10, 2017

Bowl Projections: Michigan State Joins Media Roundup After Upset of Michigan

With college football season underway the countdown to the 2018 Citrus Bowl has begun in Orlando. After six weeks of play, it’s time to take a look at which teams the college football media are predicting to meet on New Year’s Day at Camping World Stadium.

Though the Citrus Bowl has been a traditional Big Ten/SEC match-up for more than two decades, last season’s game featured the Louisville Cardinals, the first participant from the ACC since 1992. The Cardinals’ appearance against LSU (a 29-9 Tigers victory) was the result of the Citrus Bowl’s unique relationship with the Orange Bowl in Miami.

In years where the Orange Bowl hosts a Big Ten team (like last season, when it featured 2016 Citrus Bowl champion Michigan), the Citrus Bowl replaces the traditional Big Ten pick with the top non-Playoff selection from the ACC. As a result of that twist in the selection process, bowl projections now span a wide range of potential match-ups.

Kyle Bonagura (ESPN): Michigan State vs. Mississippi State
David M. Hale (ESPN): Notre Dame vs. Auburn
Eric Single (Sports Illustrated): Virginia Tech vs. Texas A&M
Jerry Palm (CBSSports.com): Michigan State vs. Mississippi State
Bill Bender (Sporting News): Virginia Tech vs. Florida
Jason Kirk (SB Nation): Notre Dame vs. Kentucky
Brant Parsons (Orlando Sentinel): Notre Dame vs. Florida
CollegeFootballNews.com: Virginia Tech vs. Auburn
Brett McMurphy: Michigan State vs. Auburn

Michigan State vs. Mississippi State

  • Programs have met four times previously; Michigan State leads the series 2-1-1
  • Last meeting was a Michigan State victory in 1947
  • A Mississippi State Citrus Bowl appearance would be the first in program history, however the Spartans have played in three previous Citrus Bowl games, including a 37-34 victory over Steve Spurrier’s Gators in 2000

Notre Dame vs. Auburn

  • Programs have never met on the gridiron
  • Auburn has appeared in the Citrus Bowl five times, second-most among all teams
  • Notre Dame has never made an appearance in the Citrus Bowl game, although the Irish have appeared in the Camping World Bowl (2011) and a pair of neutral-site games at Camping World Stadium, most recently against Navy in 2000

Virginia Tech vs. Texas A&M

  • The Hokies and the Aggies have split their all-time series 2-2, with Virginia Tech winning the two most recent matchups, in 2002 and 2003
  • In their last meeting, the No. 8 Hokies, led by consensus All-American running back Kevin Jones, defeated A&M 35-19
  • This would be Texas A&M’s first appearance in a Florida bowl game since 1957, when they lost 3-0 to Tennessee in the Gator Bowl

    Florida has appeared in six Citrus Bowl games, tied with Georgia for the most among all NCAA programs.

Virginia Tech vs. Florida

  • The Hokies and the Gators have met two times previously, and Florida was victorious in both games
  • Florida has appeared in the Citrus Bowl six times, tied with Georgia for first-most among all teams
  • Virginia Tech has never appeared in the Citrus Bowl game, but the Hokies did visit Orlando for the 2016 ACC Championship Game at Camping World Stadium, the 2012 Camping World Bowl (then known as the Russell Athletic Bowl), a 2000 road game against UCF and a 1991 neutral-site game against top-ranked Florida State

Notre Dame vs. Kentucky

  • Programs have never met
  • This would be both teams’ first appearance in the Citrus Bowl, although Notre Dame has played in nine other Florida bowl games — most recently the Camping World Bowl in 2011
  • Kentucky’s last Florida bowl game appearance was a 26-14 loss to Penn State in the 1999 Outback Bowl

Notre Dame vs. Florida

  • Only prior meeting came in 1992 Sugar Bowl, with Lou Holtz-coached Notre Dame upsetting Steve Spurrier’s No. 3 Florida Gators, 39-28
  • The Fighting Irish were led by NFL Hall of Fame running back Jerome Bettis, who rushed for 150 yards and three touchdowns in the game

Virginia Tech vs. Auburn

  • Teams have met five times, and Auburn leads the series 3-1-1
  • Last played in 2005 Sugar Bowl, with No. 3 Auburn defeating No. 9 Virginia Tech 16-13 to complete an undefeated season; eventual BCS champ USC ultimately had its title vacated due to NCAA violations

Michigan State vs. Auburn

  • Only time programs met was in the 1938 Orange Bowl, where Auburn won 6-0
  • This was the Michigan State’s very first bowl game; the Spartans have played in six more Florida bowl games since, including the 2000, 2009 and 2011 Citrus Bowls
  • The Spartans went 1-2 in those games, defeating Florida 37-34 in the 2000 edition before falling to Georgia (24-12) and Alabama (49-7) in 2009 and 2011, repsectively
  • Michigan State also appeared in the 2007 Camping World Bowl in Orlando, where it lost 24-21 to Boston College


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