Florida State football bowl projections: Are the Seminoles headed to the Cheez-It Bowl?

·4 min read

Florida State might be headed to the Cheez-It Bowl.

At least that seems to be the most popular bowl game projection that the Seminoles received from national outlets – including USA Today, ESPN, Fox Sports, the Athletic and 247Sports – in the last week.

Now that the Orange Bowl is no longer a possibility, FSU would not mind settling for another in-state option via the Cheez-It Bowl. The Dec. 29 game between teams from the ACC and Big 12 is in Camping World Stadium in Orlando (5:30 p.m. on ESPN).

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ESPN will broadcast the College Football Playoff selection show at noon Sunday, while all of the bowl games are expected to be officially announced throughout the day.

Here’s a closer look at the Seminoles’ bowl projections.

Cheez-It Bowl

When/Where: Dec. 29, 5:30 p.m.; Camping World Stadium in Orlando

Conference tie-ins: ACC vs. Big 12

FSU’s projected opponent: Oklahoma (247Sports, Action Network, the Athletic, Fox Sports); Texas (USA TODAY); Texas Tech (ESPN, Athlon Sports).

Analysis: Oklahoma has emerged as the overwhelming favorite to play FSU in this game. These two teams have a history of playing each other in the Orange Bowl, with the Seminoles losing the latest edition to the Sooners, 13-2, in the 2001 BCS National Championship Game. The historical element, and more importantly, the brand recognition of both teams, makes this matchup attractive from a TV ratings and attendance perspective. But this matchup likely would not be competitive. FSU would probably clobber Oklahoma, a struggling 6-6 team under first-year coach Brent Venables.

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South Carolina Head Coach Shane Beamer during the fourth quarter at Memorial Stadium in Clemson, South Carolina Saturday, Nov. 26, 2022.
South Carolina Head Coach Shane Beamer during the fourth quarter at Memorial Stadium in Clemson, South Carolina Saturday, Nov. 26, 2022.

TaxSlayer Gator Bowl

When/Where: Dec. 30, 3:30 p.m.; TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville

Conference tie-ins: ACC/Big Ten vs. SEC

FSU’s projected opponent: South Carolina (Yahoo! Sports)

Analysis: In a time where bowl games can struggle to generate interest, this matchup could be a lot of fun. Both programs similarly have been enjoying a resurgence. While FSU looks to capture its first 10-win season since 2016, South Carolina aspires to reach nine victories for the first time since 2017. The Seminoles and Gamecocks also are playing their best football. Under second-year coach Shane Beamer, South Carolina essentially knocked Tennessee (63-38) and Clemson (31-30) out of the College Football Playoff to end the season. FSU finished its season on a five-game winning streak.

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Oregon quarterback Bo Nix (10) passes against Oregon State during the second half of an NCAA college football game on Saturday, Nov 26, 2022, in Corvallis, Ore. (AP Photo/Amanda Loman)
Oregon quarterback Bo Nix (10) passes against Oregon State during the second half of an NCAA college football game on Saturday, Nov 26, 2022, in Corvallis, Ore. (AP Photo/Amanda Loman)

San Diego County Credit Union Holiday Bowl

When/Where: Dec. 28, 8 p.m.; Petco Park in San Diego

Conference tie-ins: ACC vs. PAC-12

FSU’s projected opponent: Oregon (ESPN, 247Sports)

Analysis: With multiple in-state bowl games on the table, FSU fans may not like having the Holiday Bowl draw. It’s a long trip for a vast majority of the fanbase. But the Seminoles would have a better challenge against a quality team like the No. 16 Ducks compared to the woeful Sooners. And a win over Oregon would certainly punctuate this FSU season. The Seminoles also could benefit on the recruiting trail from beating a national brand on the West Coast.

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Minnesota coach PJ Fleck
Minnesota coach PJ Fleck

Duke's Mayo Bowl

When/Where: Dec. 30, noon; Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, N.C.

Conference tie-ins: ACC vs. Big Ten

FSU’s projected opponent: Minnesota (CBS, Sports Illustrated, Sporting News)

Analysis: If this is FSU's exact bowl game draw, its fans could be somewhat disappointed. The Seminoles not only would miss out on playing in multiple in-state bowl games. But they also would receive an unattractive matchup against a middling Big Ten team. The silver lining, though, is that the winning coach of the Duke’s Mayo Bowl receives a mayonnaise bath. FSU fans watching coach Mike Norvell take part in that tradition might be enough to make up for an underwhelming draw.

Reach Carter Karels at ckarels@gannett.com or follow him on Twitter @CarterKarels. You can also follow our coverage on Facebook (NoleSports) and Instagram (tlhnolesports).

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This article originally appeared on Tallahassee Democrat: FSU football: Seminoles projected to play Oklahoma Sooners in Cheez-It Bowl