Does CBS Sports’ Jerry Palm think the Gators will reach bowl eligibility?

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Entering Saturday’s game against Samford, Florida needed to win two of its final three games to reach six wins and bowl eligibility in Dan Mullen‘s fourth season after the coach made it to the New Year’s Six in his first three seasons.

It got halfway there with a win over the FCS Bulldogs, but it certainly wasn’t pretty. The Gators allowed 42 points in the first half, the most in program history, and had to come from behind to earn a 70-52 win.

Now, Florida needs to win one of its final two games against Missouri and Florida State to clinch a fourth-straight bowl appearance but based on the way this team has played in recent weeks, that’s far from a given.

Still, CBS Sports’ Jerry Palm expects the Gators to get there, projecting a matchup in the Liberty Bowl in Memphis against Big 12 opponent West Virginia.

Florida is the only member of the SEC that has never made an appearance in the Liberty Bowl, and it has only played West Virginia twice in school history, both coming in bowl games.

Florida lost the 1981 Peach Bowl to the Mountaineers 26-6, but it got its revenge under coach Steve Spurrier in 1994 when it beat them 41-7 in the Sugar Bowl.

This would be a disappointing outcome for the Gators, but it would be a lot less disappointing than sitting at home during bowl season, which remains very much a possibility. UF will look to clinch bowl eligibility when it travels to Columbia, Missouri, on Saturday for a game against Mizzou.

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