FCS Team Selection Committee’s Preseason Bowl Projection
Before the 2016-17 season started, members of the Florida Citrus Sports Team Selection Committee made their way-too-early predictions for which teams in the Big Ten, ACC and SEC will be coming to Orlando at the end of the year. Here are the results of the committee’s guesses:
The Team Selection Committee favored Michigan State in the Big Ten and Georgia in the SEC for the Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl. If the Spartans and Bulldogs meet on New Year’s Eve, it would be a rematch of the 2009 Citrus Bowl. In that game, Matthew Stafford threw three second half touchdowns to clinch the victory for Georgia and earn himself MVP honors along the way.
The Bulldogs are 4-1-1 all-time in Orlando and hold the record for most appearances and victories (tied with Tennessee) in Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl history. Georgia’s last trip to Orlando came in 2013 when they outscored Nebraska, 45-31.
Michigan State is no stranger to Orlando as well. The Spartans have appeared in the bowl three times, having lost their two most recent visits after a 37-34 win over Florida in their initial trip in 2000.
Iowa and Tennessee are also common choices among our scouts to appear in The City Beautiful this postseason. Iowa’s lone appearance in the bowl game came in 2005 where they shocked LSU on the final play of the game. Hawkeyes quarterback Drew Tate launched a 56-yard touchdown pass to Warren Holiday as time expired to give Iowa the victory over the Tigers in Nick Saban’s final game as LSU’s head coach before going to the NFL.
The Volunteers are tied with Georgia for most victories in the bowl’s history with four, but they have not appeared in the game since 2002 when they defeated Michigan. Tennessee is also tied with Auburn and Penn State for the second-most appearances (trailing only Georgia) in the bowl’s history with five.
If a Big Ten team is assigned to play in the non-semifinal Orange Bowl this season, the Citrus Bowl will then host the top non-CFP selection from the Atlantic Coast Conference (inclusive of Notre Dame) against the top non-CFP selection from the SEC.