Nov 02, 2016

Bowl Projections: West Virginia, Florida State and Virginia Tech Lead Way After Nine Weeks

After nine weeks of play, here are updated projections for the 27th Russell Athletic Bowl from around the college football media.

Mark Schlabach (ESPN):  Virginia Tech vs. West Virginia
Brett McMurphy (ESPN):  Florida State vs. Oklahoma State
Jerry Palm (  Florida State vs. West Virginia
Bill Bender (Sporting News):  Virginia Tech vs. Oklahoma State
College Football News: Virginia Tech vs. West Virginia
Jason Kirk (SB Nation): Florida State vs. West Virginia
Brant Parsons (Orlando Sentinel): North Carolina vs. West Virginia

For a third week in a row, Florida State and West Virginia are the popular projections to visit The City Beautiful in December. The two teams have met three times previously, each time at the Gator Bowl in Jacksonville, but neither has been to Orlando in five or more years. The Seminoles’ last trip came in 2011 when they knocked off Notre Dame, 18-14. West Virginia traveled to Orlando the year prior, falling to NC State, 23-7.

North Carolina and Virginia Tech are also projected to play West Virginia in this week’s predictions. The Tar Heels and Mountaineers have only met twice previously, both in bowl games. The series is split but the Mountaineers won the most recent meeting in 2008, 31-30.

The Virginia Tech-West Virginia football rivalry spans over a century, with the Mountaineers holding a 28-22-1 advantage. The Hokies were victorious in their only previous appearance in this bowl, earning a 13-10 overtime victory against Rutgers in 2012.

The Hokies were also matched up against Oklahoma State in Bill Bender (Sporting News) estimations. The matchup would be the first since 1972 where the Hokies defeated the Cowboys 34-32 to even the series at one win apiece.

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