Florida State vs Notre Dame 2011 Champs Sports Bowl
Jimbo Fisher’s 25th ranked Seminoles will have the opportunity to earn coveted bragging rights, as a win over (8-4) Notre Dame in the 2011 Champs Sports Bowl would give FSU the best record in the entire state of Florida.
Florida International’s upset loss to Marshall in last week’s Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl has left the door wide open for (8-4) Florida State. The 2011 Champs Sports Bowl certainly has a throwback feel, as two of the most storied franchises in college football history square off at the Florida Citrus Bowl in Orlando, FL.
This game’s opening kickoff is slated for Thursday evening at 5:30 PM ET live on ESPN. According to 2011-12 Bowl Series Odds specialists, Florida State will be the odds favorites to defeat the Fighting Irish by a field goal. In addition, point-total experts have set their OVER/UNDER mark at a combined total of 46 points in this one.
For the Seminoles, some of the biggest challenges and distractions this season have come in a number of off-field incidents. Fisher did a tremendous job of not letting things spin out of control following the early December arrests of junior cornerback Avis Commack and freshman linebacker Arrington Jenkins, who will not partake in this game.
Commack is suspected of stealing another student’s iPad, while Jenkins is accused of a motorcycle theft that occurred near his home. In addition to those two being bowl ineligible, the team’s second leading rusher, Jermaine Thomas, has also been ruled out of Thursday’s game against Notre Dame, for flunking a class last semester.
On the field, the Seminoles possessed one of the most dominant defenses in the country this year. Ranked second in rushing yards allowed (82.8 rypg), fourth in points surrendered (15.2), sixth in total yards given up (275.6) and nineteenth in passing yards yielded (192.8 pypg), one can certainly understand why FSU is such an attractive pick to win this game.
For a young head coach like Fisher, taking on a team with such rich history is a dream come true in many ways. The former offensive coordinator will be looking to improve to 2-0 in bowl play, following a victory in last postseason’s Chick-Fil-A Bowl. FSU is 5-2 against the spread in its last seven overall and 6-0-1 against the spread in its last seven bowl games.
“When you play Notre Dame, everybody recognizes the name. Great tradition, great history,” Fisher said. “They’re going to bring a lot of attention to the game, a lot of fans to the game. They’re a quality opponent, one of the great names in college football, like Florida State is. And it brings a great marquee match-up of two big names with some outstanding young football players.”