Sep 29, 2016

2016 Bowl Projections: Miami vs. TCU, Florida State vs. Oklahoma and Other Possible Matchups After Four Weeks

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

Mark Schlabach (ESPN): Florida State vs. Oklahoma

Brett McMurphy(ESPN): Florida State vs. Texas

Jerry Palm (CBSSports.com): North Carolina vs. Oklahoma

Bill Bender (Sporting News): Miami vs. West Virginia

College Football News: Miami vs. TCU

Jason Kirk (SB Nation): Miami vs. TCU

After the fourth week of play Miami, Florida State, North Carolina, Oklahoma, and TCU still remain projected to play in the Russell Athletic Bowl. Florida State was picked for a second week in a row by ESPN’s Mark Schlabach and Brett McMurphy after running away from the South Florida Bulls, 55-35.

Despite not playing last weekend, Miami received two additional estimations this week for a total of three. With Louisville and Clemson holding strong in the Top 5 of the rankings and Florida State sitting at No. 12 on the cusp of the “New Year’s Six” at-large bids, No. 14 Miami would be the “best team available” to visit Orlando if the current standings mirrored the College Football Playoff poll.

The Hurricanes are projected to play TCU by College Football News and Jason Kirk (SBNation). The Hurricanes and Horned Frogs have not met on the gridiron since 1992 when Miami cruised past TCU, 45-10, on their way to a chance to play for the national championship. The two teams have played each other a total of nine times with Miami holding a 6-3 advantage.

Bill Bender (Sporting News) projects a West Virginia-Miami matchup after four weeks. Both teams are looking for their first win in the Russell Athletic Bowl. The teams have clashed on the field nineteen times as conference foes in the old Big East but this would be their first neutral site match. The Hurricanes hold a 16-3 edge in the all-time series.

Oklahoma is again a popular pick out of the Big 12 with four projections. However, both McMurphy and Kirk hopped off the Sooner Schooner in support of Texas and TCU respectively. If McMurphy’s projection is correct, it would mark the first-ever meeting between Texas and Florida State, who both rank in the Top 10 for most bowl victories all-time and have combined to claim seven national titles.

Following Notre Dame’s upset loss to Duke, Jerry Palm (CBSSports.com) moved North Carolina into his estimations in place of the Fighting Irish. Palm predicted a matchup with Oklahoma where North Carolina would be looking for its first-ever win over the Sooners. The Tar Heels lost the first seven meetings between the two programs.

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