Gators could get a squeeze of Citrus come bowl season

·2 min read

Florida football saw its College Football Playoff hopes vaporize last Saturday night in Lexington when the Kentucky Wildcats took advantage of some sloppy play to pull out an upset over the visiting Gators. The loss gives the Orange and Blue two defeats in Southeastern Conference play, including one in the East Division, effectively evaporating any hope of a rematch with the Alabama Crimson Tide in the league title game.

Nonetheless, not all is lost even though Florida is expected to miss the CFP as well as a berth in a New Year’s Six game for the first time in the Dan Mullen era. The Gators can still finish the season with a good enough record to see a reasonably exciting matchup come postseason, as projected by USA TODAY Sports’ Erick Smith in his bowl projections after Week 5 of play.

Based on the results so far in 2021, Smith paired Florida up with the Michigan State Spartans in the Citrus Bowl on Jan. 1, 2022. It would be the fourth appearance all-time for the Gators in the Orlando venue, and the first time since Jim McElwain got throttled by the Michigan Wolverines after the 2015 season in 2016, 41-7.

Below are USA TODAY Sports’ complete bowl projections for the FBS schools after Week 5 of play.

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