Sep 29, 2016

2016 Bowl Projections: Nebraska, Arkansas Lead The Way After Four Weeks

After four 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): Iowa vs. Arkansas

Jerry Palm (CBSSports.com): Miami vs. Georgia

Bill Bender (Sporting News): Wisconsin vs. Arkansas

College Football News: Virginia Tech vs. Florida

Jason Kirk (SB Nation): Nebraska vs. Texas A&M

Following four weeks of play the Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl is still anyone’s game as only Nebraska and Arkansas received more than one projection this week. Nebraska is currently undefeated and staying under the radar with No. 2 Ohio State, No. 4 Michigan and No. 8 Wisconsin ahead of them in the rankings.

At the current moment, Nebraska would prove a likely contender to get the Big Ten’s bid in Orlando with the three teams above them in the range to be selected for the College Football Playoff or “New Year’s Six” bowls at their current spots in the rankings.

Jason Kirk (SBNation) has the Cornhuskers meeting former Big 12 counterpart Texas A&M in Orlando for the first time since both teams left their former conference. Nebraska holds a 10-4 record in the series but the Aggies got the last laugh with a 9-6 victory in 2010. ESPN’s Mark Schlabach projects Ole Miss to return to Orlando to face Nebraska. The Rebels lost their first-ever game in Orlando to begin the season but are 1-0 all-time against Nebraska after a 27-23 win in 2002.

Arkansas is the slight favorite out of the SEC this week despite suffering its first loss of the season to No. 10 Texas A&M over the weekend. The loss puts them behind Alabama and the Aggies in the West and Tennessee from the East, all three of which are currently in the mix for the CFP or “New Year’s Six” bowls as well.

Sporting News’ Bill Bender has the Razorback squaring off with Wisconsin in a rematch of the 2007 game which would pit Arkansas head coach Bret Bielema against his former team for the first time since leaving Madison after the 2013 season. The only other meeting between the two teams came in 1912 with Wisconsin winning 64-7. Bielema’s alma mater, the Iowa Hawkeyes, were the other team out of the Big Ten named as a potential opponent for Arkansas. The two programs have only met once before with Iowa shutting out the Hogs 26-0 in 1925.

Two media members included Atlantic Coast Conference teams this week. The ACC could replace the Big Ten in this year’s Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl if a Big Ten team plays in the Capital One Orange Bowl in Miami.

Virginia Tech is matched against the Florida Gators from the projection of College Football News. The Hokies and Gators both have 3-1 records so far this season with both losses coming at the hands of Tennessee. The two programs have clashed just twice prior, most recently 1985, with the Gators coming out on top both times.

Jerry Palm (CBSSports.com) sees Miami facing Georgia in a game that would pit Mark Richt against his former team. Richt is the second-winningest coach in Georgia football history and has the highest winning percentage among all coaches with a minimum one full season experience. The Bulldogs hold a 7-4-1 edge in the all-time series with the Hurricanes but the two teams haven’t met since 1966 when Miami came away with a 7-6 victory.

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