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ACC & Big 12 Week 12 Preview

Throughout the college football season, members of the Florida Citrus Sports Team Selection Committee are out on the road to meet with fans of our partner schools (including new Big 12 partners) to spread the word about the Russell Athletic Bowl’s new matchup and our brand-new home field opening for the 2014 bowl season.

Here are four of the notable games across our partner conferences where we will be in attendance this weekend:

With a 25-game win streak and a spot in the College Football Playoff within reach, No. 3 Florida State (9-0, 6-0 ACC) travels to Sun Life Stadium to face ACC opponent Miami (6-3, 3-2 ACC) which has won its last three games and is rested from a bye in week 11. Despite a few close games and comeback wins, the Seminoles have kept a perfect record since the final week of the 2012 season and show no signs of slowing down – they have defeated each of the ranked teams they have faced. The Hurricanes are currently third in the ACC Coastal division standings and won their last three games by 20 or more points. Florida State was also ranked third in the nation when the Seminoles and Hurricanes met in 2013. Florida State snapped Miami’s nine-game win-streak, outscoring the Hurricanes 41-14.

No. 22 Georgia Tech (8-2, 5-2 ACC) will host No. 19 Clemson (7-2, 6-1 ACC) Saturday as both teams enter week 12 following conference wins. The Yellow Jackets and Tigers also are second in the standings of their respective divisions and face tough schedules as the end of the season approaches. With its decisive 56-23 win over NC State last Saturday, Georgia Tech moved up to spots in the College Football Playoff rankings while Clemson moved up one spot with its win over Wake Forest. Since their overtime loss to Florida State in week four, the Tigers have not dropped a game and are in the midst of a six-game win-streak. When Georgia Tech visited Clemson in 2013, the Tigers earned the 55-31 win.

Following a 55-31 loss to Arizona State, No. 18 Notre Dame (7-2 Indep.) returns home to host Northwestern (3-6, 2-4 Big Ten) which dropped its fourth conference game in a row to Michigan after a failed two-point conversion attempt with three seconds remaining in the fourth.  In their final three games of the season, the Fighting Irish will face three of the five Power Conferences and are looking to climb their way back into contention for a New Year’s Day bowl game. This weekend’s matchup is the first in a home-and-home series between the two programs. The 47-game history between these schools dates back to 1889 and Notre Dame leads the series 38-7-2. This will be the first meeting between the Wildcats and Fighting Irish since 1995.   

Following a bye in week 11, Virginia Tech (4-5, 1-4 ACC) travels to Wallace Wade Stadium to take on No. 21 Duke (8-1, 4-1 ACC). The Blue Devils defeated Syracuse on the road in week 11 for their fourth win in a row. Duke, the current leader of the ACC Coastal, entered the College Football rankings at No. 24 in week nine and has continued to climb since. The Hokies have fallen to their last three opponents, though two of the losses were by five points or fewer. When Duke and Virginia Tech met in 2013, the Hokies were ranked sixteenth in the nation and Duke was unranked. The Blue Devils earned the 13-10 upset and they were eventually propelled into the BCS rankings, finishing the regular season ranked No. 20 and earning a spot in the Chick-Fil-A Bowl against Texas A&M. Virginia Tech leads the overall series between the schools 13-8.