FCS Team Selection Committee’s Preseason Bowl Projection
Before the 2016-17 season started, members of the Florida Citrus Sports Team Selection Committee made their way-too-early predictions for which teams in the ACC and Big 12 will be coming to Orlando at the end of the year. Here are the results of the committee’s guesses:
The most popular picks for the Russell Athletic Bowl were the Miami Hurricanes in the ACC and the Texas Longhorns in the Big 12.
This would be Miami’s fifth appearance in the Russell Athletic Bowl and their first since 2013. The Hurricanes are 2-2 all-time in the bowl, but are still looking for their first win since the game moved to Orlando in 2001. Mark Richt is looking to lead Miami to the promised land in his first season back at his alma mater after spending the last 15 seasons as head coach of Georgia.
Despite having the second-most bowl game appearances (53) in NCAA history, trailing only Alabama (61), Texas would be making its first postseason appearance in Orlando. The Longhorns enter the season with high hopes in Charlie Strong’s third season at the helm in Austin. The young team’s potential was seen in the season’s opening week when Texas knocked off No. 10 Notre Dame 50-47 in double overtime.
Louisville and Oklahoma State were also popular picks among the Team Selection Committee. Louisville made its only Orlando bowl appearance in 2013 when they topped Miami in the Russell Athletic Bowl, 36-9. If the Cowboys are selected it would be their first time playing in the Russell Athletic Bowl and their second bowl in Orlando overall. Oklahoma State’s first postseason trip to Orlando came in 1976 when they defeated BYU in the Tangerine Bowl, 49-21.