Oct 18, 2017

Bowl Projections: Auburn a Near-Unanimous Media Pick After Week 7

With college football season more than halfway in the books, the countdown to the 2018 Citrus Bowl has begun in Orlando. After seven 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. Auburn
David M. Hale (ESPN): Notre Dame vs. Auburn
Eric Single (Sports Illustrated): NC State vs. Auburn
Jerry Palm (CBSSports.com): Michigan State vs. Auburn
Bill Bender (Sporting News): Notre Dame vs. Auburn
Jason Kirk (SB Nation): Notre Dame vs. Texas A&M
Brant Parsons (Orlando Sentinel): NC State vs. Auburn
CollegeFootballNews.com: Virginia Tech vs. Auburn
Brett McMurphy: Michigan State vs. Auburn

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

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; the Tigers are 3-2 in those games, with their most recent appearance coming in a 24-10 loss to Wisconsin in the 2006 edition
  • 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

Game program from the 1978 Citrus Bowl, then known as the Tangerine Bowl, which featured NC State vs. Pittsburgh

NC State vs. Auburn

  • The programs have split two all-time meetings but have not played since a 44-31 Tigers win in 1979
  • NC State played in the Citrus Bowl in 1978, beating Pittsburgh 30-17
  • Although they only appeared once in the Citrus Bowl, the Wolfpack played five times in the Camping World Bowl and hold a 3-2 record in that game

Notre Dame vs. Texas A&M

  • Programs have met five teams previously; the Irish lead the series 3-2
  • Three of the five games took place in the Cotton Bowl in Dallas
  • The Aggies were victorious in the programs’ last matchup, in 2001 — a 24-3 rout in College Station
  • This would be Texas A&M’s first appearance in a Florida bowl game since 1957, when it lost 3-0 to Tennessee in the Gator Bowl

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

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