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Week 1 Bowl Projections: Media Predicts Penn State Will Make Sixth Appearance

College football season is underway, and the countdown to the 2019 Citrus Bowl has begun in Orlando.

Though the Citrus Bowl has been a traditional Big Ten/SEC match-up for more than two decades, last season’s game featured the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, the second participant affiliated with the ACC in as many years and since 1992. Notre Dame’s appearance against LSU (a 21-17 Fighting Irish 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 Wisconsin), the Citrus Bowl replaces its traditional Big Ten pick with the top non-Playoff selection from the ACC. This season, the Orange Bowl is hosting a CFP semifinal game, meaning the Citrus Bowl is guaranteed to host a Big Ten-SEC matchup.

Here’s a look at the media’s Citrus Bowl picks after Week 1:

Mitch Sherman (ESPN): Penn State vs. Auburn
Eric Single (Sports Illustrated): Northwestern vs. Mississippi State
Jerry Palm (CBS Sports): Michigan State vs. South Carolina
Brant Parsons (Orlando Sentinel): Michigan State vs. Mississippi State
CollegeFootballNews.com: Penn State vs. South Carolina
247 Sports: Penn State vs. South Carolina

Penn State vs. Auburn

  • Penn State and Auburn have played twice previously, with the series tied at 1-1.
  • Their most recent matchup was in the 2003 Citrus Bowl (then known as the Capital One Bowl). The Tigers edged the Nittany Lions 13-9.
  • Penn State has appeared in the Citrus Bowl five times and has a 2-3 record in those games. The Nittany Lions won their most recent visit to the Citrus Bowl in 2010, defeating LSU 19-17.
  • Auburn has also participated in the Citrus Bowl on five occasions and is 3-2. The Tigers lost their most recent match up in Orlando, losing to Wisconsin 24-10 in the 2006 game.

Northwestern vs. Mississippi State

  • The programs have met once, in the 2013 Taxslayer.com Gator Bowl.
  • Northwestern won game 34-20.
  • A Mississippi State Citrus Bowl appearance would be the first in program history; the Wildcats have played in one previous Citrus Bowl game, in 1997, a 48-28 loss to Tennessee.

Michigan State vs. South Carolina

  • The Spartans and the Gamecocks have never played on the gridiron.
  • The Spartans have played in three previous Citrus Bowl games, including a 37-34 victory over Steve Spurrier’s Florida Gators in 2000.
  • South Carolina’s most recent appearance in the Citrus Bowl was in 2014, when they defeated Wisconsin 34-24

Michigan State vs. Mississippi State

  • The Bulldogs and Spartans have not met since Michigan State’s 7-0 win during the 1947 season.
  • Michigan State holds a 2-1-1 record in the all-time series.

Penn State vs. South Carolina

  • Penn State and South Carolina have not played each other since 1941.
  • Penn State won the only two matchups between the two teams.
  • South Carolina has played in the Citrus Bowl three times and holds a 2-1 all-time record.

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