Sep 17, 2010

Kickoff Dinner Features Lee Corso, Member Bowl Predictions

Florida Citrus Sports scouting season is in full gear, after another successful kickoff dinner at Linda’s La Cantina Steakhouse with featured guest FCSports, Lee Corso scouting season is in full gear. This was Corso’s return back to the kickoff dinner after he suffered a stroke in May of 2009. Members picked the ESPN College GameDay icon’s brain about the 2010 college football season and made their predictions for the 2010 Champs Sports Bowl and the 2011 Capital One Bowl.

Speaking with Paul Kennedy of Sun Sports and Fox Sports Florida, Corso offered his unique opinions on all sorts of college football topics, from coaches on the hot seat to this year’s Heisman race to his picks for the national championship. The ESPN personality and longtime friend of FCSports took questions from the crowd and fired back with his trademark combination of wit and wisdom. After missing the 2009 kickoff dinner to focus on his return to College GameDay, Corso made a triumphant return to form this year.

Also at the event, attendees made their guesses for the four teams that will play in this winter’s bowl games in Orlando. The early-season predictions are an annual tradition at the Selection Dinner – last year, six people selected three of four bowl teams correctly, with Steve Wood correctly guessing all four Capital One Bowl and Champs Sports Bowl teams — and do not impact the end-of-year team selection voting in any way.

Michigan against South Carolina was the top pick among members with 17 votes. Michigan started 2009 5-2 but lost five straight in the Big Ten and finished 5-7 (1-7 Big Ten). The Wolverines are 2-0 so far this season including a 28-24 win over Notre Dame in South Bend. Much of their success has relied on the wheels of quarterback Denard Robinson who has already rushed for 455 yards and three touchdowns in two games while passing for 420 yards and two scores. Michigan came to Orlando in 2008 for the Capital One Bowl and defeated Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow and Florida, 41-35.

Other popular Big Ten selections were Iowa and Penn State, who last appeared in 2005 and 2010, respectively.

The Gamecocks finished 7-6 (4-4 SEC) last year but are gaining momentum as they cracked the top 25 this week at #17. South Carolina is 2-0 with wins over Southern Miss and conference foe Georgia. South Carolina has never played in an Orlando bowl.

Florida and Auburn were the next highest selected SEC teams.

Notre Dame was the most popular prediction for the Champs Sports Bowl. Fighting Irish fans are hoping that new head coach Brian Kelly can return Notre Dame to its place among the nation’s elite programs. So far, Notre Dame is 1-1 after failing at home to Michigan and hopes to get back on track toward an eight-or nine-win season.

Besides Notre Dame, other selections from the Big East side of the Champs Sports Bowl were Pittsburgh and USF.

The most common opponent for the Irish was Florida State. FSU started the season among the nation’s best but has dropped off the Top 25 poll into the second week of 2010. The Seminoles defeated Samford opening weekend but traveled to Norman to face Oklahoma and lost, 47-17. They also have a tough schedule ahead as they draw both Miami and Florida. Florida State was last in Orlando for the Champs Sports Bowl when they defeated Wisconsin, 42-13.

Other ACC predictions included Clemson and 2009 Champs Sports Bowl runner Miami.

The Team Selection Committee predicted a few head-scratchers as well. Several underdog teams — including Northwestern, Indiana, and Minnesota in the Capital One Bowl and Rutgers and Syracuse in the Champs Sports Bowl — received at least one prediction. Another off-the-wall choice was Alabama and Ohio State in the Capital One Bowl, a matchup of the current #1 and #2 teams in the country and favorites for the BCS National Championship.

Now that two weeks of the 2010 college football season are over, early rumblings of BCS and bowl placement have begun. It’s shaping up for another great season in Orlando as the Capital One Bowl and Champs Sports Bowl receive four of the top selections in all of college football.


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