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College Football Betting Online: In honor of its 50th anniversary, the Peach Bowl will get a new look for the 2017 season. After spending the last quarter of a century playing in the Georgia Dome, the game will move to the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium and kickoff on New Year’s Day for the first time since 1995. Thanks to a sponsorship deal with Georgia-based fast food chain Chick-fil-A that’s been in place for 20 years, the game has elevated to major status and became part of the New Year’s Six when the College Football Playoff came into existence in 2014.
The 2017 Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl will take place on Monday, January 1, 2018 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. Kickoff is set for 12:30 p.m. ET with ESPN carrying all the action.
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Offense will be the central focus of this showdown. The Central Florida Knights led college football with 49.4 points per game and claimed the AAC with a 62-55 shootout win over Memphis. UCF will need a similar game again to top the Auburn Tigers. That’s a tall order. Memphis ranked No.18, Auburn is No.7.
Playing the AAC, the Knights’ schedule isn’t as strong as some of the power conferences’ which is why, despite an undefeated season, UCF heads into the Peach Bowl at No.12 while Auburn, at 10-3, sits five spots ahead.
The big win against Alabama gives the Tigers confidence against the likes of UCF. The Tigers will also have experience in the Mercedes-Benz Stadium, having just lost the SEC championship game to Georgia in that same venue.
While Central Florida doesn’t stake up in stature with the SEC’s Auburn, the offense more than stands up. With McKenzie Milton under center, the Knights have a dual threat QB with a 69.2-percent completion percentage, 3,795 yards and 35 touchdowns in the air alongside a 5.3 average on the ground and seven more scores. For UCF, the question will be if the defense can slow a strong Auburn offense. After all, the Knights have allowed 97-points combined in its last two games against Memphis and South Florida.
Auburn’s offense did go quite against Georgia in the SEC championship after scoring 40 against the same team a few weeks earlier. Wins over Georgia and ‘Bama over the last month build a strong case for the Tigers. They’re proven against elite teams.
The coaching situation could also play a role in this matchup. Scott Frost is already out at UCF as he moves on to Nebraska after getting recognition for turning this program around with remarkable speed and success. Meanwhile, Gus Malzahn may be leaving Auburn.
Peach Bowl Format
Beginning with the first Peach Bowl in December 1968, the game saw the Atlantic Coast Conference represented in seven of the first 10 meetings and that affiliation has continued. Beginning with the 1993 season game, the bowl reached an agreement with the Southeastern Conference to face a representative from the ACC. That deal lasted for two decades.
The final game under the ACC/SEC format produced the highest scoring affair in the bowl’s history with No. 20 Texas AM edging No. 22 Duke 52-48. It was the first and so far only Peach Bowl for both schools.
Starting with the 2014 game, the Peach Bowl became one of the New Year’s Six bowls and rotates a College Football Playoff semifinal matchup. It hosted its first semifinal last year with Alabama downing Washington 24-7 to advance to the CFP Championship. In years it does not host a semifinal game, the Peach Bowl will attract two at-large teams as selected by the CFP committee. The Peach Bowl will next host a semifinal in the 2019 season.
Peach Bowl Game Results
|Season ||Winners ||Losers|
|2010||Florida State||South Carolina|
|1994||North Carolina State||Mississippi State|
|1992||North Carolina||Mississippi State|
|1991||East Carolina||North Carolina State|
|1988||North Carolina State||Iowa|
|1986||Virginia Tech||North Carolina State|
|1983||Florida State||North Carolina|
|1980||Miami, Fla.||Virginia Tech|
|1977||North Carolina State||Iowa State|
|1975||West Virginia||North Carolina State|
|*1974||Texas Tech/Vanderbilt||Vanderbilt/Texas Tech|
|1972||North Carolina State||West Virginia|
|1970||Arizona State||North Carolina|
|1969||West Virginia||South Carolina|
*1974 Peach Bowl ended in tie
Like many bowl games, the Peach sprouted from humble beginnings. Originally created as a fund-raising event by the local Lions Clubs, the game struggled with low attendance numbers. The Atlanta Chamber of Commerce took over and was able to better market the game with more resources. The addition of Chick-fil-A as a sponsor in 1997 gave the game more clout with payouts and things began to change.
Through the first 20 games only one top-10 team appeared in the Peach Bowl and the bowl had just one matchup between ranked teams. No. 8 Arizona State beat North Carolina in the 1970 game to cap a perfect season. The Sun Devils were the highest ranked team to play in the game until Tennessee entered the 2004 game ranked No. 6 in the AP poll.
The game got its first meeting between ranked foes in 1992 when No. 12 East Carolina beat No. 21 North Carolina State 37-34. At least one nationally ranked team has participated in 22 of the last 24 bowls and both teams have been ranked in 11 of those meetings. The first matchup of top-10 teams took place in 2005 when No. 10 LSU defeated No. 9 Miami 40-3.
As part of the CFP the Peach Bowl hosted the highest rated Group of Five team in 2015 when the Houston Cougars beat No. 9 Florida State 38-24. A year earlier the game hosted its second top-10 matchup with No. 6 TCU beating No. 9 Ole Miss 42-3. Last season’s semifinal game had No. 1 Alabama taking down No. 4 Washington 24-7.
Most All-Time Wins at Peach Bowl
|Wins ||Team ||Years Won|
|5||LSU||1968, 1996, 2000, 2005, 2008|
|4||Auburn||1990, 1997, 2007, 2011|
|4||North Carolina State||1972, 1977, 1988, 1994|
|3||Clemson||1993, 2003, 2012|
|3||Georgia||1973, 1998, 2006|
|3||West Virginia||1969, 1975, 1981|
With its early alliance with the ACC, that conference has appeared in the most Peach Bowls with a total of 34. North Carolina State’s four wins are the most of any ACC school and tied for the second-most in bowl history. The SEC also had a long-standing affiliation with the game and has produced the bowl’s winningest team in LSU, with five victories.
The Bayou Bengals won the inaugural Peach Bowl over No. 19 Florida State, 31-27, back in 1968 and won their first five bowls before dropping a battle of Tigers to Clemson in 2012. It was a rematch from the 1996 game when LSU downed Clemson 10-7. Those were two of Clemson’s bowl record eight appearances.
Last season Washington was the first Pac-12 team to visit the Peach Bowl and 14 other squads have appeared just once. We are likely to see more variety at the Peach Bowl with its CFP alignment, and we are also guaranteed to get two ranked teams in the first game at the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
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