Jerry Palm (CBSSports) – Virginia Tech vs. Kansas State
Phil Steele (Phil Steele’s College Football Preview) – Notre Dame vs. Kansas State
Brett McMurphy (ESPN) – Notre Dame vs. Kansas State
Mark Schlabach (ESPN) – Notre Dame vs. Oklahoma State
Bill Bender (Sporting News) – Notre Dame vs. Kansas State
David M. Hale (ESPN ACC Blog)/Brandon Chatmon (Big 12 Blog) – Notre Dame vs. West Virginia
Brant Parsons (Orlando Sentinel) – Louisville vs. Oklahoma State
According to this week’s bowl projections, Notre Dame and Kansas State are the favorites to meet on the gridiron for the first Russell Athletic Bowl in the newly-renovated Orlando Citrus Bowl. Phil Steele, Brett McMurphy and Bill Bender all have these two squads facing off against each other for the first time in Orlando.
Mark Schlabach and David M. Hale also have the Fighting Irish coming down to play while Jerry Palm has the Wildcats making the trip in his projections. Notre Dame remained unbeaten after defeating Purdue 30-16 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis over the weekend. Kansas State had their bye week and was not in action over the weekend giving them extra time to prepare for their home matchup against Auburn this Thursday night.
Virginia Tech remains Palm’s pick for the ACC’s spot in the Russell Athletic Bowl despite their loss at home to East Carolina. Coming off of their win at Ohio State, the Hokies experienced a hangover going down 21-0 after the first quarter. After tying the game at 21-21 with a little over a minute to play, the Pirates stormed down the field to score the game-winning touchdown on a Shane Carden one-yard run with 18 seconds left to complete the upset.
Brandon Chatmon kept West Virginia in his projections after a last-minute victory on the road over the Maryland Terrapins. Trailing 28-6 in the second quarter, the Terrapins tied the game in the fourth when William Likely returned a punt 69 yards to the house. West Virginia was able to hold off the comeback; however, as Josh Lambert made a 47-yard field goal as time expired to give the Mountaineers a 40-37 victory.
Brant Parsons has Louisville playing Oklahoma State in his projections this week. Both Parsons and Steele had North Carolina and Texas meeting in their projections last week but following the Longhorns loss to UCLA and North Carolina’s week off the two have changed their picks ahead of week four. Louisville is coming off of a 23-21 loss to Virginia while the Cowboys impressed with a 43-13 win over an upstart UTSA squad.