December 03, 2011
Bowl invitations go out Sunday, and Florida will find out where it is headed after a 6-6 regular season under Will Muschamp.
The options have been narrowed and there appear to be only two destinations possible for the Gators.
The first, and most likely, would be the Gator Bowl, played in Jacksonville on Jan 2.
The Gator Bowl, which has the fourth or fifth pick of Big Ten teams and the sixth pick of SEC teams, has already said it wants to host a Florida-Ohio State matchup, which would likely generate the most media attention ever for a game between two 6-6 teams due to Urban Meyer taking the OSU head coaching job. In addition, the Gator Bowl would have the benefit of selling tickets to the nearby UF fan base.
Rivals had this matchup in its latest bowl predictions, and ESPN's Mark Schlabach and Brad Edwards both have a UF-OSU Gator Bowl matchup in their most recent bowl predictions.
The only other scenario being discussed is the Gators taking a trip to Atlanta for the Chick-Fil-A Bowl, played on Dec. 31.
In this scenario, Clemson would be headed to the Chick-Fil-A Bowl as the second pick from the ACC after losing to Virginia Tech in tonight's ACC Championship Game. Because of that, the Chick-Fil-A Bowl might not want to pick Auburn to square off with Clemson because that's precisely the game Chick-Fil-A had for their season kickoff game this season. As a result, the bowl committee could use their fifth pick of the SEC teams to bump up UF into a Clemson-Florida matchup in Atlanta, which is what CBSSports has projected.
However, even if Clemson is to lose to Virginia Tech tonight, that would drop the Tigers to 9-4 and suddenly not necessarily the runaway No. 2 pick from the ACC. The Chick-Fil-A bowl could also pick FSU or local Georgia Tech at that point, who both sit at 8-4 after concluding their regular seasons.
If Clemson beats Virgina Tech to earn the automatic BCS Bowl berth, the Chick-Fil-A bowl would almost certainly choose the 11-2 Hokies with its No. 2 pick of the ACC teams.
In short, if Clemson wins tonight, Florida is almost definitely heading to the Gator Bowl to face off with Ohio State. But if Clemson loses and the Chick-Fil-A bowl decides Clemson is the ACC team they want represented in its bowl, Florida could be heading to Atlanta instead.