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Bowl Projections: Virginia Tech and Oklahoma State Favorites To Visit Orlando After Week 11

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

Mark Schlabach (ESPN): Virginia Tech vs. TCU
Brett McMurphy (ESPN): Virginia Tech vs. Oklahoma State
Jerry Palm (CBSSports.com): Virginia Tech vs. Oklahoma State
Stewart Mandel (FOX Sports): Virginia Tech vs. Oklahoma State
Bill Bender (Sporting News):  Florida State vs. Oklahoma State
Pete Fiutak (College Football News): North Carolina vs. West Virginia
Jason Kirk (SB Nation): Miami vs. West Virginia

After eleven weeks of action, West Virginia and Oklahoma State have settled into the driver’s seat in the Big 12 while Virginia Tech has become the popular pick out of the ACC to make it to Orlando.

The Hokies were projected to play in the Russell Athletic Bowl by ESPN’s Mark Schlabach and Brett McMurphy as well as Jerry Palm (CBSSports.com) and Stewart Mandel (FOX Sports). McMurphy, Palm and Mandel all have Virginia Tech squaring off with Oklahoma State, the fourth consecutive week this matchup has been in our projections. The teams haven’t met since 1972 and have split the two-game series all-time.

TCU was the only other team predicted to face the Hokies in Camping World Stadium this week. The Horned Frogs entered the projections following their bye week. In their last time out they knocked off Baylor in Waco, 62-22. The Horned Frogs have never appeared in an Orlando bowl, and have only played in one bowl in the state of Florida, the 1942 Orange Bowl. TCU and Virginia Tech have never met on the field.

Florida State once again found themselves matched up with Oklahoma State in the projections. The matchup has been projected by at least one member of the media in each of the past five weeks. Florida State leads the series 4-1 after winning four straight meetings, most recently in their neutral site season-opener in 2014.

Pete Fiutak of CollegeFootballNews.com was the only member of our group that did not change his projection from last week following the upset-filled slate. Fiutak remained strong on North Carolina and West Virginia as neither team lost ground in their conference over the weekend. Despite the Tar Heels’ loss, they remain in the ACC Coastal Division hunt with Virginia Tech suffering defeat.

The Mountaineers became the first team to knock off Texas in Austin this season to stay on the heels of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State in the Big 12. The Mountaineers will face the Sooners this weekend, and a win could lead to a three-way tie atop the conference standings with two weeks remaining.

Lastly, SB Nation’s Jason Kirk made a slight change in his projections from last week. Following their 20-point victory on the road over Virginia, Kirk replaced the Tar Heels with  Miami to square off against West Virginia. The Hurricanes and Mountaineers have met 19 times with the Hurricanes leading the series 16-3. The Hurricanes have won six straight dating back to 1998, but the teams have not met since 2003.


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