On behalf of its Selection Committee, Florida Citrus Sports’ Chairman Tony Martin and Executive Director Steve Hogan announce that Boston College and Michigan State University have been chosen to play in this year’s Champs Sports Bowl. The game, played on December 28 at 5:00 p.m. and televised on nationally on ESPN.
“I am so excited about the Champs Sports Bowl and how far it has come in such a short time,” said FCSports Executive Director Steve Hogan. “To think that a ranked, 10-win Boston College team, led by Heisman-candidate Matt Ryan, will face a very good Michigan State team that finished within seven points of the No. 1 team in the country and beat Penn State on the final weekend, is too good to be true. This is why Orlando built Bowl-a-Palooza, to see four top-rated, talented teams face-off in the same city just four days apart. If I were a fan, I wouldn’t wait too long to get tickets or they’ll be watching from home.”
Boston College makes its first trip to Orlando (it did participate in the 1994 Carquest Bowl in Miami) after finishing second in Selection Committee voting the past two seasons. The Eagles – just the second 10-win team in the history of the Champs Sports Bowl — were the Atlantic Division Champions in the Atlantic Coast Conference but fell in Saturday’s championship game to Virginia Tech, 30-16. The Eagles finished the regular season with an impressive 10-3 record (6-3 ACC), however, and made it as high as No. 2 in this year’s rankings.
BC is led by QB Matt Ryan, a senior who ranks eighth nationally in total offense with an average of 329.5 yards per game. Its defense is equally tough, ranking 25th nationally in total defense while leading the nation in rush defense, yielding a paltry 68.1 yards per game.
Michigan State makes its second appearance in an Orlando bowl (2000 Ourhouse.com Florida Citrus Bowl vs. Florida) after an 7-5 campaign (3-5 Big Ten). The Spartans started the season 4-0 but ran into a tough stretch in the season’s second half that saw them fall to top-ranked Ohio State (24-17), an overtime defeat at Iowa and a four-point loss at rival Michigan. MSU finished strong, however, beating Purdue by 17 on the road and then handing Penn State a 35-31 loss.
The Spartans have a potent offense, ranking 24th in scoring (34.1 ppg) while RB Javon Ringer ranks 21st nationally with 112.7 rushing yards per game and WR Devin Thomas is 9th in receiving yards with an average of 102.2 ypg.
Boston College leads the all-time series, 3-1-1, with the last meeting being MSU’s lone win in the series (25-21 at East Lansing in 1995). Prior to 1992, the two schools had not met since the mid-‘40s.
For ticket information, please log on to www.ticketmaster.com. Groups of 20 or more or those interested in membership can call the Florida Citrus Sports offices at 407.423.2476.