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Virginia at Florida State is the Champs Sports Bowl Game of the Week

This season, pick who you think will win the Champs Sports Bowl Game of the Week and WIN! Answer the question on the Champs Sports Bowl Facebook page before Saturday's game. If you pick correctly, you'll be entered into a drawing to win two tickets to the Champs Sports Bowl on December 29, 2011!

Florida State leads series 13-2-0 (Last meeting: Oct. 10, 2010: Florida State 34, Virginia 14)

Florida State and Virginia both remain in the ACC title hunt as they clash in Tallahassee this weekend. The Seminoles can only hope for a share of the Atlantic division title, having lost the potential tie-breaker to current leader Clemson earlier this season. The Cavaliers, however, still have a shot at winning the Coastal division outright. Both teams enter the game with 7-3 records and two conference losses.

The Cavs are very much alive in the ACC title race and could clinch their division with wins against FSU and in-state rival (and current Coastal leader) Virginia Tech in the regular-season finale. Head coach Mike London’s squad has won five of its last six and quietly ascended the standings after beating Duke 31-21 last Saturday. The Cavaliers ended a three-game losing streak to the Blue Devils behind sophomore Michael Rocco, who threw two touchdown passes. Running back Perry Jones, the team’s offensive leader, added a score on the ground and cornerback Chase Minnifield returned a pick-six to help Virginia pull away in the second half. After losing 13-straight November contests entering this season, the Cavs are 2-0 so far this month.

Florida State’s championship hopes were dashed last weekend when Clemson clinched the Atlantic division slot in the ACC Championship Game. Although the Seminoles could tie the Tigers with a win against Virginia and a Clemson loss, their Sept. 24 loss in Death Valley ensures a runner-up finish. However, FSU has won five straight and entered the BCS standings this week at #25 and most experts are predicting a showdown with Notre Dame in the Champs Sports Bowl. The ‘Noles’ winning streak may be attributed partially to E.J. Manuel’s improved play at quarterback. Manuel ranks third in the league in passing with 239 yards per game after returning from a shoulder injury earlier this year. Return specialist Greg Reid helped FSU down rival Miami last weekend with an 83-yard punt return touchdown. The junior now leads the conference in punt return average.

Extra Point:

*Head coaches Mike London and Jimbo fisher will meet on the field before Saturdays’ game to help raise awareness for Fanconi anemia, a rare genetic disorder that causes bone marrow failure. Each coach has a child affected by the disease.

* Florida State is 8-0 against Virginia in Tallahassee.

EXPERT PICKS

Michel Champagne Michel Champagne currently serves as Chairman of Florida Citrus Sports, where his duties include leading Team Selection Committee. He is the Vice President of Operations and General Manager, Orlando Region for Bright House Networks.
Pick: Florida State
Season Record: 12-6
Greg Warmoth Greg Warmoth spent 11 years as the weekend sports anchor for WFTV Channel 9 in Orlando before switching to the news desk in 1997. He currently anchors Eyewitness News Daybreak, Eyewitness News This Morning on TV-27 and Eyewitness News at Noon.
Pick: Florida State
Season Record: 11-7
Marc Daniels Marc Daniels hosts The Beat Of Sports on ESPN 1080 AM in Orlando every weekday morning from 9:00 - 11:00 a.m. Daniels has over 20 years of experience on the air and is most well known as "the Voice of the UCF Knights" for all football, men's basketball and baseball games on the UCF ISP Sports Network.
Pick: Florida State
Season Record: 12-6
Jerry Greene Jerry Greene spent 33 years as a sportswriter at Florida Today, the Pensacola News Journal and the Orlando Sentinel before retiring in 2009. He now co-hosts The Beat of Sports with Daniels and contributes to ESPN.com's Page 2 section.
Pick: Florida State
Season Record: 7-11

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