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Week 6 Bowl Projections: Badgers, Gators, Wildcats dominate picks

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 6:

Mitch Sherman (ESPN): Wisconsin vs. Kentucky
Kyle Bonagura (ESPN): Michigan vs. LSU
Eric Single (Sports Illustrated):  Iowa vs. Florida
Jason Kirk (SBNation): Wisconsin vs. Florida
Jerry Palm (CBS Sports): Wisconsin vs. Florida
Bill Bender (Sporting News): Michigan vs. LSU
Brant Parsons (Orlando Sentinel): Michigan State vs. Auburn
Brent McMurphy (Stadium): Wisconsin vs. LSU
CollegeFootballNews.com: Wisconsin vs. Kentucky
247 Sports: Wisconsin vs. LSU
USA Today: Iowa vs. Kentucky

Michigan vs. LSU

LSU has appeared in each of the past two Citrus Bowl games.
  • This would be the first matchup between Michigan and LSU.
    The Wolverines have made five Citrus Bowl appearances, with the most recent coming in a 41-7 win over Florida in the 2016 Citrus Bowl.
  • This would be LSU’s third straight Citrus Bowl appearance.

Wisconsin vs. Florida

  • This would be the first matchup between Wisconsin and Florida.
  • Florida and Georgia are tied with a record six Citrus Bowl appearances. The Gators hold a 2-4 record in those games.
  • The Gators last played in the Citrus Bowl in 2016 and lost to Michigan 41-7.

Wisconsin vs. Kentucky

  • The Badgers and Wildcats have only met once in the 1984 Hall of Fame Classic. Kentucky won the game 20-19.
  • Kentucky has never played in the Citrus Bowl and has not won a bowl game since the Wildcats defeated East Carolina in the 2009 Liberty Bowl.
  • Kentucky started 3-0 in SEC play for the first time since 1977 before falling to Texas A&M last Saturday.

Wisconsin vs. LSU

  • The Badgers and Tigers have previously met four times.
  • The Tigers lead the all-time series 3-1.
  • The two programs last faced each other the start the 2016 season, in a game played at Lambeau Field. The Badgers won 16-14.

Michigan State vs. Auburn

  • The Spartans and the Tigers met once, in the 1938 Orange Bowl. The Tigers won the game 6-0.
  • 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 has also made one appearance in the Camping World Bowl, a 24-21 defeat at the hands of Boston College in the 2007 game.

Iowa vs. Kentucky

Iowa won the 2005 Citrus Bowl in dramatic fashion, defeating LSU on a hail mary on the final play of the game
  • This would be the first matchup between the Hawkeyes and Wildcats
  • Iowa has only made one previous appearance in the Citrus Bowl
  • This would be a matchup of top tier defenses — Kentucky is fifth nationally in scoring defense (13.8 points per game) while Iowa is 13th (16.6).

Iowa vs. Florida

  • The Hawkeyes and Gators have met four previous times, once in the 1983 Gator Bowl and three times in the Outback Bowl (2004, 2006, and 2017).
  • The Gators lead the series 3-1, with the Hawkeyes’ only victory coming in the 2004 Outback Bowl.
  • This would also be a matchup of top defenses as Florida ranks eighth nationally in scoring defense (14.8 points per game) and second nationally in takeaways (17), while Iowa ranks fourth nationally in total defense (272.4 yards allowed per game) and fifth in rushing defense (84.4 yards).

Iowa vs. LSU

  • Iowa and LSU have met twice, once in 2014 and once in the 2005 Citrus Bowl.
  • LSU defeated Iowa 21-14 in the 2014 Outback Bowl.
  • In the 2005 Citrus Bowl, Iowa claimed a 30-25 victory over LSU thanks to a last-second hail mary.

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