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2008 Champs Sports - Profiles, History & More
Florida State QB Christian Ponder
Florida State QB Christian Ponder
Posted Dec 19, 2008

Player profiles, team history, the breakout players, the best bowl moments and more for the 2008 Champs Sports Bowl.

2008 Champs Sports Bowl Player Profiles

Florida State (8-4) vs. Wisconsin (7-5)

Dec. 27th, 4:30 p.m. ET, ESPN

Champs Sports Bowl
2007 Boston College 24, Michigan State 21
2006 Maryland 24, Purdue 7
2005 Clemson 19, Colorado 10
2004 Georgia Tech 51, Syracuse 14
2003 NC State 56, Kansas 26
2002 Texas Tech 55, Clemson 15
2001 Pittsburgh 34, NC State 19
2000 NC State 38, Minnesota 30
1999 Illinois 63, Virginia 21
1998 Miami 46, NC State 23
1997 Georgia Tech 35, Virginia 30
1996 Miami 31, Virginia 21
1995 South Carolina 24, West Virginia 21
1994 Boston College 31, Virginia 13
1993 Stanford 24, Penn State 3
1991 Alabama 30, Colorado 25
1990 Florida State 24, Penn State 17

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- 2008 CFN Champs Sports Bowl Preview

Scroll Down For Each Team's Bowl History

By Richard Cirminiello

Best Horned Frog Bowl Moment: Generations before the current Frogs were even out of diapers, TCU was winning Southwest and national titles in the 1930s with All-Americans, such as Sammy Baugh and Davey O’Brien. O’Brien’s 1938 TCU team capped off a perfect season with a 15-7 Sugar Bowl victory over then- No. 5 Carnegie Tech.

Best Bronco Bowl Moment: Is there really any debate? Boise State arguably delivered the most memorable and thrilling performance in bowl history in the 2007 Fiesta Bowl, a 43-42 upset of Oklahoma in overtime. A frequent participant in the local Humanitarian Bowl, the Broncos took their inventive brand of football on the road, winning on a Statue of Liberty two-pointer that’ll forever be a part of sports lore.

The Last Time You'll See ...

Florida State: DE Everette Brown. A fourth-year junior, Brown is peaking at the right time in his career. With NFL teams always on the prowl for qualities pass-rushers, he’s a strong candidate to forego his final year of eligibility in Tallahassee. A hybrid between an end and an outside linebacker, he’s parlayed his speed and quick burst off the snap into 20.5 tackles for loss and 12.5 sacks, most coming in the second half of the year.

Wisconsin: G Kraig Urbik. At 6-6 and 332 pounds, Urbik is your typical Wisconsin road-grader, opening holes this year for P.J. Hill and John Clay. A former tackle, he’s proven to be a better fit inside, where he’s not forced to play in space. A two-time member of the All-Big Ten second team, Urbik will be taking his run blocking skills to the NFL in 2009.

Breakout Player ...

Florida State: RB Jermaine Thomas. Thomas showed enough in his first season out of high school to be considered the heir-apparent to senior Antone Smith in the running game. At 6-1 and 180 pounds, he’s a blazer with good vision in the open field and enough wiggle to make defenders miss. Thomas has made the most of his 66 carries, averaging more than seven yards and putting up 130 yards against a good Georgia Tech D.

: WR David Gilreath. The antithesis of the stereotypical plodder in Madison, Gilreath has an incendiary quality that began to emerge in his sophomore season. Third in the Big Ten behind Javon Ringer and Shonn Greene in all-purpose yards, he had a 100-yard game rushing and receiving in November and leads the Badgers in kickoff and punt returns.

Best Non-Game Event
Florida Citrus Sports has an entire week of events between its two games, the Champs Sports Bowl and Capital One Bowl, called Bowl-a-Palooza, which this year is featuring Cheap Trick. At its games, the players’ favorites are usually the theme-park visits simply because its something they can't do every day, much less at most other bowls. 

Player Gift Package
Players receive a $400 Best Buy shopping spree while they are in Florida, a commemorative watch, and a goody bag.

Charitable Component
The governing organization, Florida Citrus Sports, has a charitable foundation that is benevolent throughout the year.

How Success is Measured
Finances are naturally a key factor, but as stated to its members and scouts who select the participants, Florida Citrus Sports is always looking for the best matchup.  Last year, it successfully achieved that with Michigan-Florida in the Capital One Bowl and Michigan State-Boston College in the Champs Sports Bowl, as both were lauded as two of the best games on the field last season.

MVP of the Bowl
Executive director Steve Hogan is a vital cog at Florida Citrus Sports, but he would probably say that this organization has been here since 1947, and it will likely continue to be throughout the years because of the hard work of the staff and the organization's members who volunteer each year.

Impact to the Community
The impact is significant. A recent assessment of the two games—the Champs Sports Bowl and Capital One Bowl—estimated that $71.7 million in new economic activity was generated as a result of the games last year. 

Role of Volunteers
Enormous. They help throughout the Bowl-a-Palooza week from the games to the Bowl-a-Palooza Concert  to the Spherion Orlando Citrus Parade and on and on.     

Florida State Bowl History (21-13-1)
2007 Music City Kentucky 35, Florida State 28
2006 Emerald Florida State 44, UCLA 27
2005 Orange Penn State 26, Florida State 23 (3 OT)
2004 Gator Florida State 30, West Virginia 18
2003 Sugar Miami 16, Florida State 14
2002 Sugar Georgia 26, Florida State 13
2001 Gator Florida State 30, Virginia Tech 17
2000 Orange Oklahoma 13, Florida State 2
1999 Sugar Florida State 46, Virginia Tech 29
1998 Fiesta Tennessee 23, Florida State 16
1997 Sugar Florida State 31, Ohio State 14
1996 Sugar Florida 52, Florida State 20
1995 Orange Florida State 31, Notre Dame 26
1994 Sugar Florida State 23, Florida 17
1993 Orange Florida State 18, Nebraska 16
1992 Orange Florida State 27, Nebraska 14
1991 Cotton Florida State 10, Texas A&M 2
1990 Blockbuster Florida State 24, Penn State 17
1989 Fiesta Florida State 41, Nebraska 17
1988 Sugar Florida State 13, Auburn 7
1987 Fiesta Florida State 31, Nebraska 28
1986 All-American Florida State 27, Indiana 13
1985 Gator Florida State 34, Oklahoma State 23
1984 Citrus Florida State 17, Georgia 17
1983 Peach Florida State 28, North Carolina 3
1982 Gator Florida State 31, West Virginia 12
1980 Orange Oklahoma 18, Florida State 17
1979 Orange Oklahoma 24, Florida State 7
1977 Tangerine Florida State 40, Texas Tech 17
1971 Fiesta Arizona State 45, Florida State 38
1968 Peach LSU 31, Florida State 21
1967 Gator Florida State 17, Penn State 17
1966 Sun Wyoming 28, Florida State 20
1965 Gator Florida State 36, Oklahoma 19
1958 Bluegrass Oklahoma State 15, Florida State 6
1954 Sun Texas Western 47, Florida State 20
1950 Cigar Florida State 19, Wofford 6
Wisconsin Bowl History (10-12)
2008 Outback Tennessee 21, Wisconsin 17
2007 Capital One Wisconsin 17, Arkansas 14
2006 Capital One Wisconsin 24, Auburn 10
2005 Outback Georgia 24, Wisconsin 21
2003 Music City Auburn 28, Wisconsin 14
2002 Alamo Wisconsin 31, Colorado 28
2000 Sun Wisconsin 21, UCLA 20
1999 Rose Wisconsin 17, Stanford 9
1998 Rose Wisconsin 38, UCLA 31
1997 Outback Georgia 33, Wisconsin 6
1996 Copper Wisconsin 38, Utah 10
1994 Hall Of Fame Wisconsin 34, Duke 20
1993 Rose Wisconsin 21, UCLA 16
1984 Hall Of Fame Kentucky 20, Wisconsin 19
1982 Independence Wisconsin 14, Kansas State 3
1981 Garden State Tennessee 28, Wisconsin 21
1962 Rose USC 42, Wisconsin 37
1959 Rose Washington 44, Wisconsin 8
1952 Rose USC 7, Wisconsin 0

- 2008 CFN Champs Sports Bowl Preview