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Week 2 Bowl Projections: Will Mississippi State Make Its First Appearance?

College football season is well underway, and the countdown to the 2019 Citrus Bowl continues in Orlando.

Though the Citrus Bowl has been a traditional Big Ten/SEC match-up for more than two decades, last season’s game featured the Notre Dame fighting Irish, the second participant affiliated with the ACC since 1992. Notre Dame’s appearance against LSU (a 21-17 Fighting Irish victory) was the result of the Citrus Bowl’s unique relationship with the Orange Bowl in Miami.

In years where the Orange Bowl hosts a Big Ten team (like last season, when it featured Wisconsin), the Citrus Bowl replaces its traditional Big Ten pick with the top non-Playoff selection from the ACC. This season, the Orange Bowl is hosting a CFP semifinal game, meaning the Citrus Bowl is guaranteed to host a Big Ten-SEC matchup.

Here’s a look at the media’s Citrus Bowl picks after Week 2:

Mitch Sherman (ESPN): Penn State vs. Auburn
Kyle Bonagura (ESPN):  Penn State vs. Mississippi State
Eric Single (Sports Illustrated): Iowa vs. Mississippi State
Jason Kirk (SBNation): Michigan vs. Mississippi State
Jerry Palm (CBS Sports): Iowa vs. South Carolina
Brant Parsons (Orlando Sentinel): Michigan State vs. Mississippi State
CollegeFootballNews.com:Michigan State vs. Mississippi State
247 Sports: Iowa vs. Texas A&M

Michigan State vs. Mississippi State

  • The Bulldogs and Spartans have not met since a 7-0 Michigan State win during the 1947 season. Michigan State holds a 2-1-1 all-time record in the series.
  • The Spartans have played in three previous Citrus Bowl games, including a 37-34 victory over Steve Spurrier’s Florida Gators in 2000.
  • Michigan State also appeared in the 2007 Champs Sports Bowl (now Camping World Bowl) against Boston College; the Spartans lost the game 24-21.
  • A Mississippi State Citrus Bowl appearance would be the first in program history.

Michigan vs. Mississippi State

  • Michigan and Mississippi State have met once, in the 2011 Gator Bowl; Mississippi State won the game 52-14.
  • The Wolverines have made five Citrus Bowl appearances, with the most recent coming in a 41-7 win over Florida in the 2015 Citrus Bowl.

Penn State vs. Auburn

  • Penn State and Auburn have met twice previously, splitting the series 1-1.
  • The last time these two programs met was in the 2002 Citrus Bowl (previously the Capital One Bowl) when Auburn, led by game MVP Ronnie Brown, defeated Penn State 13-9.
  • Penn State has appeared in the Citrus Bowl five times and has a 2-3 record in those games. The Nittany Lions won their most recent visit to the Citrus Bowl in 2010, defeating LSU 19-17.
  • This would mark Auburn’s sixth appearance in the Citrus Bowl. The Tigers are 3-2 all-time when playing in the Citrus Bowl.

Penn State vs. Mississippi State

  • This would mark the first time that these two programs have played each other.
  • The Nittany Lions are 23-22 all-time against SEC opponents, while the Bulldogs are 3-9-1 all-time against Big Ten opponents.

Iowa vs. Mississippi State

  • This matchup would be the first time that these two programs have met.
  • The Hawkeyes are 11-14 all-time against SEC opponents.
  • Iowa has only made one previous appearance in the Citrus Bowl – a 30-25 victory over LSU in 2004.

Iowa vs. South Carolina

  • These two programs have only met once, in the 2009 Outback Bowl.
  • Iowa won the game 31-10 behind Hawkeyes running back Shonn Greene’s three rushing touchdowns.
  • The Gamecocks’ most recent appearance in the Citrus Bowl was in 2014, when they defeated Wisconsin 34-24.

Iowa vs. Texas A&M

  • Texas A&M and Iowa have not met since a 29-0 Aggies win during the 1931 season.
  • This match up would be the Aggies’ first Citrus Bowl Appearance.

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