Sep 21, 2016

Week 3 Russell Athletic Bowl Projections

After three 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. Oklahoma

Jerry Palm (CBSSports.com):  Notre Dame vs. Oklahoma

Bill Bender (Sporting News): North Carolina vs. Oklahoma State

College Football News: Notre Dame vs. TCU

Jason Kirk (SB Nation): Miami vs Oklahoma

Brant Parsons (Orlando Sentinel): Florida State vs. TCU

After the third week of play the Oklahoma Sooners are the favorites out of the Big 12 to make their way to the Russell Athletic Bowl. Receiving a total of five projections, the Sooners would be looking for their first Orlando bowl victory. Their last appearance in the City Beautiful came just two seasons ago when they fell to Clemson.

Oklahoma State received one projection for the second week in a row with Bill Bender (Sporting News).  The Cowboys would be making their Russell Athletic Bowl debut this postseason, and they already have one victory over an ACC team after knocking off Pittsburgh in a shootout over the weekend, 45-38.

TCU remained in the projections this week as CollegeFootballNews.com sticks with the Horned Frogs following their bounce-back win against Iowa State.

Florida State and Notre Dame, opponents in the 2011 edition of the bowl game, were each projected to return to the Russell Athletic Bowl after suffering tough losses that could challenge their pursuit of a spot in the College Football Playoff. The Noles could be looking for their second victory in town this season after beating Ole Miss 45-34 in the Camping World Kickoff to open their season. Both FSU projections pit them against Oklahoma. The Sooners currently hold a six-game winning streak over the Seminoles, including three Orange Bowl victories. The teams last met in 2011, a 23-13 victory for Oklahoma in Tallahassee during the regular season.

Miami and North Carolina rounded out estimations for the ACC’s spot in the bowl game. The Hurricanes caught the eye of Jason Kirk (SB Nation) after a 3-0 start under new head coach Mark Richt. Kirks’s projection of Miami vs. Oklahoma, a rematch of the 1988 national championship game in the Orange Bowl. The Hurricanes lead the series 4-3 and won the last meeting, 21-20 in South Florida in 2009.  The Sporting News’ Bender predicted the UNC repeat in the Russell Athletic Bowl. The Tar Heels would be the first to have back-to-back appearances in the bowl since Wisconsin in 2008-09. The North Carolina/Oklahoma State game would be a first-time matchup.

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