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Bowl Picks: 2016 Belk Bowl

[lead align=”default”]If you’ve never heard of Belk, it’s a department store, and they sponsor the 2016 Belk Bowl.[/lead]

I sure can’t see any Belks where I come from, but someone has to sponsor these games. Well, unless you’re the Miami Beach Bowl, in which case no. This time, it’s the Arkansas Razorbacks and Virginia Tech Hokies in a Southeast, ACC vs. SEC battle.

Arkansas had an up and down road through the 2016 season. After opening up with a very narrow win against Louisiana Tech, the Hogs went to TCU and beat them to get ranked. They got smacked around by Texas A&M to drop back, and then again by Alabama.

The following week, they beat #12 Ole Miss, but followed that with a huge loss to Auburn. They followed THAT with a big win against Florida, and then they followed THAT with a big loss to LSU.

It hasn’t been quite such a yo-yo ride for the Hokies in their first year without Frank Beamer, but in some ways it was similar. Virginia Tech didn’t have to run the gauntlet like the Razorbacks did, but twice did the Hokies drop out of the rankings after moving into the top 20. Right now, Virginia Tech is 18th while Arkansas is unranked.

2016 Belk Bowl: Team Backgrounds

Arkansas Razorbacks
Southeastern Conference
7-5 (3-5 SEC)
42nd bowl appearance in school history (15-23-3)
Best win: at Florida, 31-10 on November 5
Worst loss: at Missouri, 28-24 on November 25
One stat: Averaged 37 ppg against unranked teams, but 18.5 against ranked teams

Virginia Tech Hokies
Atlantic Coast Conference
9-4 (6-2 ACC)
30th bowl appearance in school history (12-17)
Best win: at North Carolina, 34-3 on October 8
Worst loss: at Syracuse, 31-17 on October 15
One stat: 19th in FBS in total defense (342.8 ypg)

2016 Belk Bowl: The Edge

The signature of the Hokies for as long as fans can remember (at least since he got there) is Bud Foster’s defense. Year in and year out, they contend, and the Hokies pride themselves on hard work overcoming all (his “lunch pail defense,” as it were). This will keep them in the game, but the offense has to win it.

This Hokies team most recently gave Clemson a very good run and are more capable than people realize. As for Arkansas, flip a coin. They either blow out, or get blown out by, ranked teams. Who knows.

2016 Belk Bowl: Pick

[header text=”Through 12-27-16 Bowls ATS” subtext=”44-56-2″]

[alert heading=”Arkansas vs. Virginia Tech (-7)” type=”alert-info” block=”false” close=”false”]Virginia Tech -7[/alert]

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