On Monday, members of Florida Citrus Sports’ Team Selection Committee met at Camping World Stadium to discuss Weeks 7 and 8 of the college football season and what the results mean for the Citrus Bowl and Camping World Bowl as the season’s end draws closer.
The morning’s first road report came from Anna Territo and Scott Crumbly, who raved about their experience at LSU for Florida’s loss to the Tigers in Week 7.
“It was by far one of the coolest sports experiences we’ve had,” Territo said. “I would highly recommend it. As far as the tailgate goes, there were people as far as you could see.”
Elsewhere in the SEC, Mike Roche visited Georgia for the Bulldogs’ win over Georgia over the weekend and received positive feedback from Georgia’s administration when it comes to Orlando bowl trips.
“[A Georgia official] made a comment that they love coming to Orlando because there are endless things to do,” Roche said. “Similar to the LSU fans, they’ve got [College Football Playoff] aspirations, but they’ve got a tough schedule down the road and if they’re available, I think they’d be a great selection.”
Likewise, South Carolina fans were excited about their prospects following their upset win at Georgia, however, those hopes may have been dampened by a tough loss to Florida with Larry Meador in attendance on Saturday.
“People are very, very welcoming,” Meador said. “I talked to a lot of South Carolina fans, and they were super psyched and would be excited to come to the Citrus Bowl. They were very engaged.”
When Bill Brooks took to the podium Monday, he stayed for two presentations — one on his trip to see Tennessee-Alabama in Week 7 and one from this week’s trip to Lexington to scout Arkansas-Kentucky with fellow member Lex Veech.
“Everybody at Kentucky was super complimentary of their experience down here [at the 2019 VRBO Citrus Bowl],” Brooks said. “They had an absolutely great time. And if anyone ever scouts with Lex at a Kentucky game, just plan to stand behind him and follow him. He knows everything and knows everybody.”
Kirt Bocox also took scouting trips each of the past two weeks, with a stop in Champaign for Illinois’ loss to Michigan, followed by a trip to Starkville to see Mississippi State-LSU over the weekend.
“There are some teams that you hope will have a chance to come to your bowl game, and when you meet the Illinois people — they’re [3-4] this year but I’m rooting for them to be in our mix eventually,” Bocox said. “They really treated us well, I really enjoyed everyone there and I look forward to them having an opportunity.”
Of course, no one did quite as much heavy lifting as Tom Ter Beek and Eric Reinhold, who managed to make two games during Week 8 — the first being NC State’s win over Syracuse on Oct. 10, followed by Wake Forest’s 62-59 home loss to Louisville on Oct. 12.
“[Wake Forest] had a very active alumni group and said that even though they’re a small group, they travel well,” Ter Beek said. “Overall, I thought it was a really great experience, and we got a lot of comments that if they qualify for the Camping World Bowl, they’ll definitely be there.”
Also in the ACC, Jim Hunter reported on his first scouting trip as a member of Florida Citrus Sports — this one to Charlottesville, where he was on hand for Virginia’s Week 8 rout of Duke.
“This was my rookie trip, and Charlottesville is beautiful this time of year,” Hunter said. “I spent most of my time mingling with fans at the tailgates, and they’re having a pretty decent year, so they could be in the hunt. Everyone I talked to was really interested in coming to Orlando for a bowl game. They haven’t had one here since 1990.”
Another popular Camping World Bowl pick that’s long overdue for an Orlando trip? Iowa State, whose fans were thrilled at the prospect of coming to Central Florida, according to Bill Jelen, who took in West Virginia-Iowa State on Saturday.
“Last year was 50-50 between Alamo Bowl and our bowl,” Jelen noted. “The fans all think they’re coming here, and they hope we’re the place for them.”
The Team Selection Committee is an all-volunteer community that represents Florida Citrus Sports at games across the Big Ten, SEC, ACC and Big 12, and participation is open to all active members. To learn more about membership options, visit our information page.