West Virginia Mountaineers
2016 Russell Athletic Bowl Line: TBA
Location: Orlando Citrus Bowl Orlando, FL. Date and time: Wednesday, Dec. 28, 2016, 5:00 PM ET. Last year’s result: Baylor 49, North Carolina 38. Conference tie-ins: ACC, Big 12. Teams with the most all-time appearances: North Carolina State, 5. Teams with the most all-time wins:North Carolins State, 3
The inaugural Russell Athletic Bowl took place in 1990 at Joe Robbie Stadium in Miami and went by several names such as the Blockbuster Bowl, Carquest Bowl, MicronPC Bowl, and MicronPC.com Bowl in its first 11 years of existence.
The game, which is held every year in Orlando, Florida, at the Orlando Citrus Bowl, currently has tie-ins with the ACC and Big 12. From 2006-2010, the bowl matched teams from the Atlantic Coast Conference and the Big Ten Conference.
In 2001, this annual postseason bowl game moved to the Citrus Bowl in Orlando and was known as the Visit Florida Tangerine Bowl, then the Mazda Tangerine Bowl and Champs Sports Bowl from 2004 through 2011. Russell Athletic took over the lead sponsorship in 2012.
On August 18, 2009, the Champs Sports Bowl announced that the Big East will be one of the tie-in conferences for four years starting in 2010, and continued after the conference was renamed the American Athletic Conference following the 2013 reorganization. Since 2014, the game features the second pick from the ACC after the New Year’s Six bowls make their picks—usually the conference championship game loser or one of the division runners-up—against the third pick from the Big 12.
Underdogs have won two straight after three straight wins by the favorite. In 2014, Clemson man-handled Oklahoma 40-6 while covering the college football betting line as a 6.5-point underdog while the game’s final score played Under the 49.5-point O/U Total.
Last year, Baylor beat North Carolina 49-38 in a high-scoring affair to cover the spread as a 2.5-point underdog while the game’s 87 combined points played well Over the 74-point O/U Total.
The losing team in this annual postseason party has been limited to 14 points or less in seven of the last eight games while nine of the last 11 Athletic bowl games have finished Under the total.
ACC teams have won four of the last six meetings while the Miami Hurricanes have made the most appearances with four.