Wednesday, December 13th, 2017

Champs Sports Bowl

Published on December 29, 2011 by   ·   2 Comments

champs-sports-bowl-logoThe Champs Sports Bowl is a college bowl game that was first played in 1990. This bowl game, which is now held in the Citrus Bowl in Orlando, has changed the title sponsor many times since 1990 and has been called the Champs Sports Bowl since 2004. From 1994-97, it was known as the Carquest Bowl; 1998-2000 the bowl was known as the Micron PC Bowl; also the Mazda bowl from 2002 to 2003.

Since the bowl has changed many times, the conference affiliations aren’t that strong with the Champs Sports Bowl on one side; but the ACC has sent a team to this bowl game every year since 1995. This year’s matchup features the Florida State Seminoles (8-4) from the ACC against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish (8-4). The Big East did not have enough bowl eligible teams and the independent Irish makes this matchup of traditional programs a good one.

Kickoff for this bowl game will be at 5:30PM ET on Thursday, December 29 and can be viewed on ESPN or listened to on ESPN Radio.


RecordsFSU: 8-4; Notre Dame: 8-4
Key WinsFSU: NC State 34-0; Notre Dame: Michigan State 31-13
Key LossesFSU: Oklahoma 23-13, Clemson 35-30, Virginia 14-13; Notre Dame: Michigan 35-21, USC 31-17, Stanford 28-14

These two teams have had very similar years. Both teams started the year off slowly. Both teams had a couple of impressive wins. Both teams whipped up on the bottom feeders that they faced.

One thing that may be a factor in this game is where the bowl game is located … Orlando, Florida. This is going to be a home game for the Seminoles. Notre Dame won their bowl game last year, but has not won back to back bowl games since 1991-93. Both of these are the reasons why FSU is being installed as a 3 point favorite.

I’m always nervous when the majority of people bet one way. Currently, about 75% of bettors are taking FSU -3. These games always seem to be the ones that the sportsbooks make out on.

Points For/GameFSU: 31.7; Notre Dame: 30.5
Points Against/GameFSU: 15.2; Notre Dame: 20.9
Offensive Yards/GameFSU: 375.8; Notre Dame: 424.1

If Notre Dame is going to win this game, then their big playmakers on offense have to make the difference. The Florida State defense is one of the best in the nation. Their defense makes up for an offense that is lackluster at times. That means that Michael Floyd and Cierre Woods are both going to need good games. Each of the Irish’s 4 losses were primarily caused because of turnovers. If Notre Dame loses this game, turnovers will likely be the key.

Florida State should really get an advantage from the home crowd. This is probably going to be a low scoring game because of FSU’s defense. If Florida State is going to do good on offense, they will have to do better on 1st and 2nd down then they have in the last 3 games of the season. It might be a long day if FSU finds themselves in 3rd and long a lot.

I’ve been doing very well since starting out 1-3. I’ll try not to pat myself on the back too hard since the favored team has won the last 8 in a row. I’m not going to buck the trend here as I have Florida State winning the game 20-17.

2010 Champs Sports Bowl

Previous Bowl Results

North Carolina State is 2-0 in this bowl game. They won the 2000 Micron PC Bowl 38-30 over Minnesota and also beat Kansas in the 2003 Mazda Bowl 56-26. The ACC is 9-7 overall in this bowl game.

West Virginia is 0-2 in this venue, both in the Carquest Bowl in 1995 and 1997. They lost by less than a touchdown in each. The Big East has played a total of 7 times and are 4-3 overall.


West Virginia (9-3) lost last year to the Florida State Seminoles 33-21 in the Gator Bowl. Florida State was 6-6 coming into the game. West Virginia was up early in the game, but played poorly after the first quarter and Florida St got an unexpected win. WVU is 13-16 all time in bowl games.

NC State(6-6) lost to a Big East team (Rutgers 7-5) last year in the Bowl by the score of 29-23. Rutgers made up for an 11 point halftime deficit and took over in the 2nd half. The Wolfpack are 12-11-1 all time in bowl games.

Champs Sports Bowl Breakdown

RecordsWest Virginia: 9-3; NC State: 8-4
All Time Bowl RecordWest Virginia: 13-16; NC State: 12-11-1
Key WinsWest Virginia: Maryland 31-17, Pittsburgh 35-10; NC State: UCF 28-21, Boston College 44-17, Florida State 28-24
Key LossesWest Virginia: LSU 20-14, UConn 16-13; NC State: Virginia Tech 41-30, Maryland 38-31

West Virginia lost the Big East conference in a tiebreaker to UConn on the strength of their 16-13 overtime win. The only ranked opponent that WVU has played was at LSU, where they played admirably and lost because of a punt return and blocked field goal kick for TDs. They are usually the one Big East team that teams from other conferences should actually be concerned about playing.

NC State did a good job against the upper echelon of the ACC, beating several good teams and not losing by much to the teams that did beat them. Their best win of the year was at home against a ranked Florida State team as they came back from a 14 point halftime deficit. They lost their chance to make the ACC title game because Maryland beat them on the last week of the season.

Points For/GameWest Virginia: 26.7; NC State: 32.6
Points Against/GameWest Virginia: 12.8; NC State: 22.5
Offensive Yards/GameWest Virginia: 377; NC State: 407

The story here is going to have to be West Virginia’s defense, which is 2nd in the nation at points allowed at only 12.8 per game. The games that WVU has lost has been because the offense couldn’t score more than 14 points. They have only allowed 20 points or more twice with the most points against being 21. (Wonder if West Virginia fans are asking RichRod how that tastes?)

The bad news for NC State is that West Virginia handled a pretty evenly ACC opponent in Maryland and did so by shutting down their offense, which is the Wolfpacks strong point. If West Virginia can get more than 21 points on the board, NC State has little chance of winning this game. They also lost a similar style game against Clemson 14-13 earlier this year.


I think that the Big East is always coming into the bowl season with a chip on their shoulder because of the way they are perceived nationally with their automatic BCS bowl bid. WVU has been the torch bearer for the Big East teams since half the teams defected to the ACC.

The only way the NC State is going to be able to win this game is if their defense can muck up the Mountaineers offense like Syracuse, LSU and UConn did. I don’t see that happening in this matchup, so I’m going to take West Virginia to win the game 28-17.

Bowl Game Review

Correction, the only way that NC State is going to win is if Noel Divine gets hurt and West Virginia turns the ball over 5 times in the second half. Come on WVU, I hop on your bandwagon and you get rolled 23-7. NC State deserved the win in the Champs Sports Bowl, but this doesn’t give me much hope for the upcoming Big East bowl games.

2010 Bowl Record – 6-4

Highlights from Previous Champs Sports Bowls

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Readers Comments (2)

  1. […] overall. Wisconsin (9-3) won their bowl game last year against the Miami Hurricanes (9-3) in the Champs Sports Bowl by the score of […]

  2. […] (9-3) played in the Champs Sports bowl last year against the Wisconsin Badgers (9-3) and lost 20-14. Miami has played as well in bowl […]

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