Bowl Projection Round-Up, Week 5
Mark Schlabach (ESPN): Mississippi State vs. Wisconsin
Brett McMurphy (ESPN): Mississippi State vs. Ohio State
ESPN Big Ten & SEC Blog: Georgia vs. Penn State
Jerry Palm (CBSSports): South Carolina vs. Ohio State
Bill Bender (Sporting News): South Carolina vs. Ohio State
Brant Parsons (Orlando Sentinel): Texas A&M vs. Ohio State
Phil Steele: Texas A&M vs. Wisconsin
In the week five bowl projections by college football experts, nobody had the same teams facing each other in Orlando on New Year’s Day as they did in week four. Last week’s popular matchup between LSU and Ohio State has no more votes, though Ohio State still does have four votes against other schools. Both Bill Bender of Sporting News and Jerry Palm of CBSSports have South Carolina as Ohio State’s new opponent. Should the two meet in Orlando, it would be their third meeting. The Buckeyes and Gamecocks last played in the 2002 Outback Bowl. South Carolina defeated Ohio State 31-27 and took a 2-0 lead in the overall series record.
Tied for two votes each in the projections this week are Texas A&M and Mississippi State from the SEC and Wisconsin from the Big Ten. After an upset win at LSU in week four, the Bulldogs are 1-0 in conference play and are entering week five unbeaten. Hoping to hand the Bulldogs their first loss this weekend, the Aggies reappeared in predictions after not being mentioned in week four. Texas A&M overwhelmed SMU last weekend, turning in a 58-6 victory. Experts have the Aggies facing either Ohio State or Wisconsin on New Year’s Day. If they face the Buckeyes, it will be the fifth meeting between the schools and the first since the 1998 Sugar Bowl. Ohio State leads the series 4-1. The Badgers and Aggies would be meeting each other for the first time if both are selected to play in Orlando.
Finally, the ESPN Big Ten and SEC blogs have projected two schools with just one vote each as of this week. The Big Ten blog predicts that Penn State is heading for its first bowl game since the 2011 Heart of Dallas Bowl and the SEC blog pits them against Georgia. The Nittany Lions are 4-0 with a conference win against new Big Ten member Rutgers in week three, while the Bulldogs are 2-1 after suffering an SEC conference loss to South Carolina. Georgia and Penn State have met only once before – the two faced off in the 1983 Sugar Bowl and the Nittany Lions came away with the 27-23 win.