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Bowl Projections: Miami vs. Auburn, Florida State vs. Georgia Potential Matchups After One Week

The start of the college football season means the countdown to the 2018 Citrus Bowl has begun in Orlando. After one week 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): Miami vs. Auburn
David M. Hale (ESPN): Virginia Tech vs. Georgia
Eric Single (Sports Illustrated): Florida State vs. Georgia
Jerry Palm (CBSSports.com): Florida State vs. Auburn
Brant Parsons (Orlando Sentinel): Florida State vs. Georgia
CollegeFootballNews: Notre Dame vs. Auburn
Erick Smith (USA Today):  Miami vs. Auburn

  • After a week of play, Auburn and Georgia are the leading contenders to represent the SEC in the Citrus Bowl, according to the media.
    • Auburn has appeared in five Citrus Bowls, but their most recent visit was more than a decade ago, when they fell to Wisconsin in the 2006 game.
    • Georgia leads all teams with six Citrus Bowl appearances (tied with Florida) and four Citrus Bowl victories (tied with Michigan and Tennessee).
      • The Bulldogs’ last appearance in the game came in 2013, when they defeated Nebraska 45-31.
  • Florida State and Miami were the most-projected picks out of the ACC.
    • The Seminoles are 1-0-1 in the Citrus Bowl all-time, while Miami would be making its first appearance in the game.
  • The most common projections are Florida State vs. Georgia and Miami vs. Auburn.
    • The Seminoles and Georgia met in FSU’s most recent Citrus Bowl appearance, in 1984. That game, which saw Florida State rally from a 14-0 deficit, ended in a 17-17 tie after Georgia kicker Kevin Butler’s 70-yard field goal attempt fell just short of the crossbar as time expired. “I’ve kicked ’em 72 yards in practice,” Butler told reporters after the game. “Everything was perfect . . . I knew I kicked it straight enough, but I couldn’t tell about the distance.”
      • The game marked the final tie in Citrus Bowl history.
    • Florida State and Georgia have met 11 times overall, with the Bulldogs leading the series 6-4-1.
      • They’ve only met once since the 1984 Citrus Bowl, with Georgia defeating the Seminoles 26-13 in the 2003 Sugar Bowl.
    • Miami and Auburn have also met 11 times before, but their last meeting came over 30 years ago (a 20-18 Miami victory in the season-opening Kickoff Classic at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. in 1984).
      • The Tigers lead the all-time series 7-4.
  • CollegeFootballNews.com projected Auburn and Notre Dame to meet in this year’s Citrus Bowl. It would be the first-ever meeting between the two programs.
  • David M. Hale is the only media member who projected Virginia Tech this week. The Hokies have never appeared in the Citrus Bowl, but they have one Orlando bowl appearance, defeating Rutgers in the 2012 Camping World Bowl (then known as the Russell Athletic Bowl).
    • The Hokies have squared off against Georgia three times previously, but only once since 1932. Georgia leads the all-time series 2-1 after defeating Virginia Tech in the 2006 Peach Bowl, 31-24.

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