USA TODAY Sports projects Gators to make this bowl ahead of 2022 season

With just four days left until Florida’s 2022 season officially kicks off, there’s still time for experts to lock in their preseason predictions before being proven laughably wrong or triumphantly correct at the end of the year.

USA Today’s Erick Smith released his preseason bowl game projections on Tuesday and has the Florida Gators playing the Iowa Hawkeyes in the Music City Bowl on December 31. A matchup against a Big Ten team isn’t the worst draw for Florida, assuming they aren’t in contention for one of the New Year’s Six games.

The consensus heading into the year is that Florida will be bowl eligible but nowhere near elite, so this might be one of the better prognostications the Gators receive. Iowa is ranked just outside the Associated Press Top 25 to start the year.

Florida has a 3-1 record against Iowa, most recently beating the Hawkeyes 30-3 in the 2017 Gator Bowl (end of the 2016 season). A repeat performance in Nashville would be an encouraging way to end the first year of the Billy Napier era.

Over the summer, College Football News projected Florida to play Penn State in the Citrus Bowl, and ESPN picked the Gators to match up with Miami in the Gator Bowl or Kansas State in the Liberty Bowl.


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