Oct 24, 2018

Week 8 Bowl Projections: Wisconsin, Penn State emerge as popular picks

College football season is well underway, and the countdown to the 2019 Citrus Bowl continues 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 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 8:

Mitch Sherman (ESPN): Penn State vs. Florida
Kyle Bonagura (ESPN): Iowa vs. Kentucky
Eric Single (Sports Illustrated): Penn State vs. Texas A&M
Jason Kirk (SBNation): Penn State vs. Kentucky
Jerry Palm (CBS Sports): Wisconsin vs. Florida
Bill Bender (Sporting News): Iowa vs. Kentucky
Brant Parsons (Orlando Sentinel): Iowa vs. Texas A&M
Brent McMurphy (Stadium): Wisconsin vs. Kentucky
CollegeFootballNews.com: Penn State vs. Kentucky
Brad Crawford (247 Sports): Wisconsin vs. Kentucky
Erick Smith (USA Today): Wisconsin vs. Florida
Kerry Miller (Bleacher Report): Penn State vs. Texas A&M

Florida topped Penn State 21-6 in the 1998 Citrus Bowl.

Penn State vs. Florida

• Penn State and Florida have met three times previously, with the Gators defeating Penn State in all three matchups.
• This would be a rematch of the 1998 Citrus Bowl, which Florida won 21-6 in front of a Citrus Bowl-record crowd of 72,940.
• The most recent meeting between the Gators and Nittany Lions came in the 2011 Outback Bowl. Florida won the game 37-24.
• The Gators last played in the Citrus Bowl in 2016 and lost to Michigan 41-7.

Iowa vs. Kentucky

• Iowa has only made one previous appearance in the Citrus Bowl – a 30-25 victory over LSU thanks to a last-second hail mary in the 2005 game.
• This could be a low-scoring affair, as Kentucky ranks second in the nation in points allowed (12.9) while Iowa ranks fifth (14.1).
• This would also pit one of the nation’s fiercest run games (Kentucky) against one of the toughest run defenses (Iowa). Kentucky is currently averaging 231.6 rushing yards a game, led by Benny Snell Jr. (124 yards per game), while Iowa’s run defense has allowed only 79.6 yards a game.

Penn State vs. Texas A&M

• Penn State and Texas A&M have met four times, with Penn State holding a 3-1 all-time series lead.
• The two teams have met twice on neutral ground (1999, 2007 Alamo Bowl). The Nittany Lions won both games.
• The Aggies have not appeared in the Citrus Bowl, but Texas A&M has only been a member of the SEC since 2012.
• Two schools from the Texas A&M University System have appeared in the game. West Texas State (now known as West Texas A&M) defeated Mississippi Southern (now Southern Miss) in the 1957 Tangerine Bowl, while East Texas State (now Texas A&M University–Commerce) appeared in four Tangerine Bowls in the 1950s, going 3-0-1.

Penn State vs. Kentucky

Kentucky running back Benny Snell is among the nation’s top backs, averaging 124 rushing yards per game through Week 8.

• 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.
• 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.
• 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.

Wisconsin vs. Florida

• This would be the first matchup between Wisconsin and Florida.
• Florida is tied with Georgia with a record six Citrus Bowl appearances. The Gators hold a 2-4 record in those games.
• Wisconsin has made five Citrus Bowl appearances, including three victories. The Badgers’ most recent appearance in Orlando was a 34-24 loss to South Carolina in the 2014 game, known at the time as the Capital One Bowl.

Iowa vs. Texas A&M

• These two teams last met in 1931; the Aggies defeated the Hawkeyes 29-0.
• Rushing yards could be hard to come by in this matchup, as Iowa is tied for second nationally in run defense (79.6 yards), while Texas A&M is ranked fourth (81.6 yards).

Wisconsin vs. Kentucky

• The Badgers and Wildcats have only met once, in the 1984 Hall of Fame Classic. Kentucky won the game 20-19.
• In Wisconsin’s 2006 appearance (a 24-10 win over Auburn), Brian Calhoun ran for 213 yards, second-most in Citrus Bowl history. In that same game, Brandon Williams had 173 yards receiving, fourth-most in the game’s history.
• In Wisconsin’s 2007 appearance against Arkansas, Taylor Mehlhaff hit a 52-yard field goal, a Citrus Bowl record.
• In Wisconsin’s 2014 loss to South Carolina, Kenzel Doe returned a kickoff 91 yards for a touchdown, the most recent kick return touchdown in Citrus Bowl history.
• The Badgers also rushed for 293 yards in that 2014 game, making them the most recent team to rush for 200 or more yards in a Citrus Bowl game.

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

SIGN UP
FOR ALERTS

Keep up to date with all of the news from the Citrus Bowl including event information, presale opportunities and more.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.