Nov 28, 2018

Week 13 Bowl Projections: Penn State, Kentucky, Northwestern lead the pack

The college football season is coming to an end, and we’re just a few days from announcing the participants in the 2019 Citrus Bowl at Orlando’s 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 Notre Dame fighting Irish, the second participant affiliated with the ACC 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 as we head into conference championship weekend:

Mitch Sherman (ESPN): Northwestern vs. Mississippi State
Kyle Bonagura (ESPN): Northwestern vs. Kentucky
Eric Single (Sports Illustrated):  Penn State vs. LSU
Jason Kirk (SBNation): Penn State vs. Kentucky
Jerry Palm (CBS Sports): Penn State vs. Kentucky
Bill Bender (Sporting News): Northwestern vs. LSU
Brant Parsons (Orlando Sentinel): Northwestern vs. Kentucky
Brent McMurphy (Stadium): Penn State vs. Kentucky
CollegeFootballNews.com: Northwestern vs. Kentucky
247 Sports: Penn State vs. Kentucky
USA Today: Northwestern vs. Kentucky
Bleacher Report: Northwestern vs. Kentucky

Northwestern vs. Kentucky

Kentucky football has never appeared in the Citrus Bowl.

  • This would be a rematch of last year’s Music City Bowl, which Northwestern won 24-23.
  • Northwestern made one previous appearance at the Citrus Bowl in 1996 – the Wildcats lost 48-28 to a Tennessee team led by future Hall of Famer Peyton Manning.
  • Kentucky has never played in the Citrus Bowl and has not won a bowl game since the Wildcats defeated East Carolina in the 2009 Liberty Bowl.

Northwestern vs. Mississippi State

  • The Wildcats and Bulldogs met in the 2013 Gator Bowl – the Wildcats won 34-20 in the only previous meeting between the two programs.
  • This matchup would be Mississippi State’s first appearance in the Citrus Bowl
  • Northwestern has won a bowl game in each of the past two years (2016 Pinstripe Bowl, 2017 Music City Bowl).

Penn State vs. LSU

Penn State and last met in the 2010 Citrus Bowl.

  • Penn State and LSU have met twice before with both matchups occurring in the state of Florida (2010 Citrus Bowl and 1974 Orange Bowl).
  • Penn State defeated LSU 19-17 in the 2010 Citrus Bowl, as the Nittany Lions kicked a field goal with less than a minute remaining to down the Tigers.
  • Penn State has appeared in the Citrus Bowl five times overall and has a 2-3 record in those games.

Penn State vs. Kentucky

  • Penn State has a slight edge over Kentucky, holding a 3-2 all-time series lead.
  • The last time these two teams met was in the 1999 Outback Bowl. The Nittany Lions won the game 26-14.

Northwestern vs. LSU

  • This would be the first ever matchup between Northwestern and LSU.
  • A Tigers appearance would make LSU the first team since Toldeo (1969-71) to play in three consecutive Citrus Bowl games.

Click here to check out weekly projections from earlier this season.

For a breakdown of the latest CFP poll and what it means for the Citrus Bowl and Camping World Bowl, click here.

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