Florida Citrus Sports’ team selection committee gathered in the Varsity Club at Camping World Stadium Monday for its final regular-season meeting, where members discussed the Week 12 action on the gridiron and what the results could mean for the Citrus Bowl and Camping World Bowl.
Among those who took in games this week were Phil Zeman and Kirt Bocox, who made the trip to Hard Rock Stadium for Miami’s 44-28 win over Virginia.
“I grew up in South Florida, so I certainly welcomed it, and it didn’t disappoint,” Zeman said. “We were welcomed from the get-go. Their eyes are certainly focused on the CFP, but to a person, they were very complimentary of Orlando and the bowl games and the hospitality.”
Zeman and Bocox also said they was impressed by the atmosphere in the stadium.
“I was at the Orange Bowl during the perfect season for the Dolphins in ’72, so I’ve heard the excitement of the South Florida fans from that perspective. But with that new roof on Hard Rock Stadium, it really keeps the noise in there. It was the loudest I’ve ever heard a South Florida football game.”
Florida Citrus Sports reps also made their mark on the Big 12 this weekend, with Shawn Cavalieri heading to Morgantown to see West Virginia host Texas. The host Mountaineers were upset 28-14 by the visiting Longhorns, but fans of the program were still eager for a possible return to Orlando.
“They all reiterated how great of a time they had last year,” Cavalieri said, noting West Virginia’s 31-14 loss to Miami in last season’s Camping World Bowl.
In the Big Ten, Florida Citrus Sports was well represented, taking in action at Michigan State, Ohio State, Penn State and Wisconsin.
“Despite a rainy day of 40 degrees, freezing weather, it was impressive to see the number of fans at Beaver Stadium,” Chris Dawson and Katie Bartoo wrote in their report. “Even the students who did not have classes this week stuck around, and many fans said they were so ready to come back to Orlando for a bowl game.”
Additionally, Kerry Schwartz and John Hilston were at Sanford Stadium on Florida Citrus Sports’ behalf for Georgia’s 42-13 win over Kentucky. Saturday’s loss dropped the Wildcats to 7-4 on the year and may have hurt the team’s chances at its first Orlando trip in 2017, but the program appears to be on an upward trend, and administration is optimistic that the Citrus Bowl could soon be in its future.
“We spoke with (Kentucky athletic director) Mitch Barnhart and his wife,” Kerry Schwartz and John Hilston wrote in their report from Athens. “He said he came here with Tennessee (where he worked from 1986-98) and would love to come back with Kentucky and bring all their fans to Orlando.”
The next Florida Citrus Sports Team Selection Committee meeting will be the Selection Committee Town Hall on Wednesday, Nov. 29 at 5:30 p.m. If you are a Team Selection Committee member who is planning to attend the town hall, please RSVP by clicking here.