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This year’s Orange Bowl will pit the 7th ranked Mississippi State Bulldogs against the 12th ranked Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. Taking place as it does every year at SunLife Stadium in Miami, Florida, one of the Southeastern Conference’s finest teams of 2014 will face the runner-up of the Atlantic Coast Conference. It will be the first time the Bulldogs play in the Orange Bowl, and the second time the Yellow Jackets will make an appearance, with their last invitation coming in 2010.

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Despite the uniqueness of the game for both programs, ticket prices are relatively low compared to previous years. According to PrimeSport.com, the Official Ticket Exchange of the 2014 Capital One Orange Bowl, the average price for Mississippi State vs. Georgia Tech tickets is $133, the second lowest price for Orange Bowl tickets in the past five years. The only cheaper game was in 2012 when the West Virginia Mountaineers played the Clemson Tigers. For that game, the average price was only $98 and, coincidentally enough, was less than the total number of points scored in the game. West Virginia set a bowl record by putting up 70 points and defeating Clemson 70-33.

Both teams got to this game through very different routes. The Bulldogs started this season as impressively as one team could, winning their first nine games of the season, including a three week stretch when they defeated the then 8th, 6th, and 2nd ranked teams in the country. Unfortunately, their season came undone when they visited Tuscaloosa and were beaten by the Alabama Crimson Tide 25-20.

After a 51-0 win over Vanderbilt on November 22nd, the Bulldogs had one last chance to impress the College Football Playoff committee in the Egg Bowl, but the Ole Miss Rebels held them off with a 31-17 victory.

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It’s too difficult to say if Mississippi State would have made the four team playoff with a win over Ole Miss in the final game of the season. Most likely not, even though they would have had an 11-1 record on the year. However, they still would not have qualified for the SEC Championship game. Oregon and Alabama would undoubtedly have been ranked higher than them, and 3rd ranked Florida State was always ranked higher than the Bulldogs following their loss to Alabama. For them to get the 4th seed in the Playoff, that would have required the committee to view Mississippi State’s resume as stronger than Ohio State’s, and not to mention, one-loss Baylor and TCU.

Since the aforementioned victories for Mississippi State against the 8th, 6th, and 2nd ranked teams in the country came against LSU, Texas A&M, and Auburn, none of whom finished the season ranked in the top-25, it is unlikely their body of work would have held up. So chances are, they would have been here regardless.

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