Michigan to take on Florida State in Orange Bowl
(AP) Michigan is Orange Bowl-bound after games over the weekend didn’t go the Wolverines’ way.
Their opponent on Dec. 30 will be Florida State, rewarded for sweeping a weak November schedule.
The pairing was expected after Clemson and Washington won conference title games. Both made the College Football Playoff on Sunday, as did No. 1-seeded Alabama and No. 3 Ohio State, which beat Michigan 30-27 a week ago.
Three losses in the first eight games knocked Florida State out of title contention, but the Seminoles won their last four games and are ranked 10th in the final AP regular-season poll.
Here are things to know about the first meeting between the teams since 1991:
Michigan (10-2) beat Big Ten champion Penn State 49-10 in September, and also defeated conference runners-up Wisconsin and Colorado. But losses to Iowa and Ohio State cost the Wolverines dearly, because no two-loss team made the CFP.
“We take care of business, we’re in,” linebacker Jabrill Peppers tweeted Sunday. “We don’t, we’re not..& we didn’t. Can’t knock the teams that did.”
The Wolverines were 9-0 before their late-season fade left them rooting against Clemson and Washington.
“We put our fate in other teams hands when we hand the steering wheel this whole season,” linebacker Devin Bush Jr. tweeted.
EDGING OUT LOUISVILLE:
Florida State (9-3) was selected over the Louisville Cardinals (also 9-3), who beat the Seminoles 63-20 in September. But Louisville lost its final two regular-season games to Houston and Kentucky, allowing Florida State to reach a New Year’s six bowl game for the third consecutive season.
“We finished very strong. We played a great non-conference schedule. Michigan will be the eighth team in the Top 25 that we’ve played,” Seminoles coach Jimbo Fisher said. “I think the committee rewarded that.”
The Seminoles have been anticipating a trip to Miami for more than a week.
“That is very big. That’s some good stuff,” running back Dalvin Cook said after a win over Florida to conclude the regular season. “We enjoyed our year and are going to try to go out the right way.”
The game matches two of the sport’s most successful coaches, Fisher and Jim Harbaugh of Michigan.
Harbaugh has a career record of 49-26, with 10 wins in each of his two seasons with his alma mater. Fisher is 77-17 with the Seminoles and led them to the 2013 national championship.
Cook rushed for 1,620 yards and 18 touchdowns, scoring four TDs in a game twice. He’ll go against the versatile Peppers, who made 72 tackles, including 13 for a loss, and gained 751 all-purpose yards rushing, receiving and on kick returns.
The Wolverines will play in the Orange Bowl for the first time since Tom Brady threw four touchdowns to help them beat Alabama 35-34 to conclude the 1999 season. Harbaugh returns to the Orange Bowl for the first time since leading Stanford to a win over Virginia Tech in January 2011.
Florida State will appear in its 10th Orange Bowl game, the most of any bowl in school history, and will tie Nebraska’s NCAA record in its 35th consecutive bowl game. The Seminoles’ most recent appearance in the Orange Bowl came in January 2013, when they beat Northern Illinois to set the stage for a run to the national title the next season.