Does USA TODAY Sports think the Gators will make a bowl game?

It’s pretty simple for the Gators. With a win on Saturday over rival Florida State, they’re going to a bowl game. If they lose to the Seminoles, they drop to 5-7 to suffer their third losing record of the last eight years.

A bowl game definitely is no guarantee. Florida hasn’t won a Power Five game since beating Vanderbilt on Oct. 9, while FSU is 5-2 since a loss to Jacksonville State earlier in the year. But USA TODAY Sports’ Erick Smith thinks the Gators will get there.

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He has Florida playing in Tampa in the Gasparilla Bowl for a matchup that would have interesting implications for the power dynamic in the state of Florida. He predicts a game against UCF, a team UF is set to play in non-conference play in a few years. But there was some controversy in getting that game scheduled, and a bowl matchup between the two could prove to be interesting.

The two teams last played in 2006, when Florida beat UCF 42-0 in the Swamp en route to a national title. This would be a disappointing bowl outcome, but with the way this season has gone, preserving the winning streak over FSU and making it to a bowl game is about the best this team can do.


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