Publisher Profile

THE INSIDER AUTHORITY ON GATOR SPORTS

  • Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, Gainesville, FL

    After missing the postseason last year, the Florida Gators have multiple bowl opportunities in 2014. Gator Country photo by David Bowie.

Going Bowling: The
Florida Gators’ Postseason Possiblities

  • Home
  • Feature
  • Going Bowling: The Florida Gators’ Postseason Possiblities
Written by Ryan Randall, December 2, 2014, 3 Comments,
Print Friendly

With the regular season over for the Florida Gators, it’s time to go bowling.

Though the season didn’t turn out as planned Florida (6-5, 4-4 SEC) has multiple possible postseason sites they could play at. Defensive coordinator DJ Durkin will serve as interim head coach in the Gators’ first bowl game since the 2013 Sugar Bowl.

Here is a look into the top four most likely bowl opportunities for the Gators, with four other possible, but less feasible postseason contests.

The likely candidates:

TaxSlayer Bowl- January 2

Jacksonville, FL
Matchup: SEC v.s. Big Ten or ACC
Possible opponents: Iowa, Minnesota, Louisville.

 

The former Gator Bowl is one of the top candidates to host the Gators. Representatives have been to multiple games this year, and the TaxSlayer bowl is the shortest drive of all the bowls (71.1 miles from Gainesville to Jacksonville). The Gators are tied with Clemson for the most appearances at nine. The TaxSlayer Bowl was also Florida’s last postseason win, defeating Ohio State 24-17 in 2012.

If Florida plays in Jacksonville, they could face Minnesota (8-4), Iowa (7-5), or Louisville (9-3). The best matchup for Florida would be the Hawkeyes. Much like the Gators, Iowa has allowed a lot of points, averaging 34.4 points per game given up in the five losses. In comparison the Gators have given up an average of 32.2 points per game in their five defeats.

 

Duck Commander Independence Bowl- December 27

Shreveport, LA
Matchup: SEC v.s. ACC
Possible opponent: North Carolina, Virginia Tech.

 

 

The second longest-running bowl of the four likely bowls, the Independence Bowl has been around since 1976. The bowl game also has what may be the most interesting sponsor this season as Duck Commander, the company led by the Robertson family of Duck Dynasty fame, has paid for the naming rights this year.

Florida’s possible opponent is North Carolina (6-6) and Virginia Tech (6-6). Both teams had similar disappointing seasons along with Florida. Florida’s speed would most likely allow them to have a better chance against the Hokies.

 

Belk Bowl- December 30

Charlotte, NC
Matchup: SEC v.s. ACC
Possible opponents: Duke, North Carolina.

 

Belk became an official sponsor to the SEC this offseason and the Belk Bowl would be another likely candidate for the Gators. Formerly known as the Queen City Bowl, Continental Tire Bowl and Meineke Car Care Bowl, the Charlotte contest previously was a matchup of AAC and Big East teams v.s. the ACC. North Carolina has the most appearances with three.

The Belk Bowl provides local matchups for the Orange & Blue, as possible candidates would be Duke (9-3) and North Carolina (6-6). The best matchup for Florida would be North Carolina, another struggling team, who could give the Gators an easier time than Duke, who have 38.2 points per game in their wins this season.

Birmingham Bowl- January 3

Birmingham, AL
Matchup: SEC v.s. AAC
Possible opponents: Cincinnati, Memphis.

The Birmingham Bowl, like nearly any bowl around, has been through a few name changes since their first game in 2006. Originally the PapaJohns.com Bowl, the game was named the BBVA Compass Bowl before being renamed the Birmingham Bowl again this year. The game is held at Legion Field, a familiar place for the SEC. The played host to multiple Iron Bowl matchups and was the site for first two SEC Championship games, which Florida played in.

The most likely opponents for Florida would be Memphis (9-3) and Cincinnati (8-3). While AAC opponents, both are scrappy squads that could provide a challenge to Florida. Of the two schools, the best matchup would be the Bearcats, as the team’s quarterback play has shown to be vulnerable at times.

Other possible bowls:

Advocare V100 Texas Bowl- December 29

Houston, TX
Matchup: SEC v.s. Big 12
Possible opponent: Texas.

It’s extremely unlikely the Gators would end up at this bowl, but anything is possible. The likely opponent would be the 6-6 Texas Longhorns, another prestigious school trying to return to prominence.

 

AutoZone Liberty Bowl- December 29

Memphis, TN
Matchup: SEC v.s. Big 12
Possible opponent: West Virginia.

Given the closer bowl options, it’s unlikely the Gators play in the Liberty Bowl, though the alumni fan base would represent well. If the Orange and Blue were to play in Memphis, they most likely would face a talented West Virginia squad (7-5) that may see the return of former Florida State backup Clint Trickett.

 

Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl- December 30

Nashville, TN
Matchup: SEC v.s. ACC or Big Ten
Possible opponents: Louisville, Duke, Penn State.

The Music City Bowl’s official title is quite a mouthful, and quite a list of unfavorable opponents for Florida. Out of the three, the Gators would have the best chance against the Nittany Lions (6-6). However, given Florida’s outstanding showing of fans when the team traveled to Nashville to play Vanderbilt, the bowl committee might have a case to make to the SEC to send the Gators here.

 

Outback Bowl- January 1

Tampa, FL
Matchup: SEC v.s. Big Ten
Possible opponents: Maryland, Iowa, Nebraska.

Since 2005, Florida has been to the Outback Bowl twice, tied with the Sugar Bowl for second-most. The contest would provide another short trip, and a game against Maryland (7-5) or Iowa (7-5) would give the Gators the best chance of winning.

Ryan Randall

About Ryan Randall

From Melbourne, Florida, Ryan has lived in Florida since he was three, becoming a sports fan around that age. His passion for journalism rivals his love of sports. Shortly out of high school he covered prep and community sports for his hometown paper in Brevard Country, before moving to Gainesville, where he covered the Gators in the pros as well as prep sports for a few publications. A Telecommunications major at UF, Ryan now interns at Gator Country and ecstatic to showcase his talents for the publication. When not working on stories, Ryan enjoys playing basketball, music, as well as art. Follow Ryan at @_RyanRandall_

  1. superg8rDecember 2, 2014, 12:45 pm

    Why would we hope for anything less than the Advocate Bowl?

  2. malscottDecember 2, 2014, 2:08 pm

    Geez…pretty awful possibilities. But, I suppose being in a bowl is progress. I say Outback. Better bowl. Advocare against Texas would be decent too.

  3. gatordynastyDecember 3, 2014, 8:43 pm

    Why isn’t UCF an opponent candidate for the Birmingham Bowl? It would be a fun matchup for Floridians to travel to and watch on TV, with UCF establishing a name for itself recently. Could also be good for recruiting. Watching UCF’s receiving corps, Florida missed out on quite a few signees over the years.

http://www.gatorcountry.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/florida-gators-florida-football-gator-walk-idado-2014001-150x150.jpg Ryan Randall FeatureFootball ,
Print Friendly

With the regular season over for the Florida Gators, it’s time to go bowling.

Though the season didn’t turn out as planned Florida (6-5, 4-4 SEC) has multiple possible postseason sites they could play at. Defensive coordinator DJ Durkin will serve as interim head coach in the Gators’ first bowl game since the 2013 Sugar Bowl.

Here is a look into the top four most likely bowl opportunities for the Gators, with four other possible, but less feasible postseason contests.

The likely candidates:

TaxSlayer Bowl- January 2

Jacksonville, FL
Matchup: SEC v.s. Big Ten or ACC
Possible opponents: Iowa, Minnesota, Louisville.

 

The former Gator Bowl is one of the top candidates to host the Gators. Representatives have been to multiple games this year, and the TaxSlayer bowl is the shortest drive of all the bowls (71.1 miles from Gainesville to Jacksonville). The Gators are tied with Clemson for the most appearances at nine. The TaxSlayer Bowl was also Florida’s last postseason win, defeating Ohio State 24-17 in 2012.

If Florida plays in Jacksonville, they could face Minnesota (8-4), Iowa (7-5), or Louisville (9-3). The best matchup for Florida would be the Hawkeyes. Much like the Gators, Iowa has allowed a lot of points, averaging 34.4 points per game given up in the five losses. In comparison the Gators have given up an average of 32.2 points per game in their five defeats.

 

Duck Commander Independence Bowl- December 27

Shreveport, LA
Matchup: SEC v.s. ACC
Possible opponent: North Carolina, Virginia Tech.

 

 

The second longest-running bowl of the four likely bowls, the Independence Bowl has been around since 1976. The bowl game also has what may be the most interesting sponsor this season as Duck Commander, the company led by the Robertson family of Duck Dynasty fame, has paid for the naming rights this year.

Florida’s possible opponent is North Carolina (6-6) and Virginia Tech (6-6). Both teams had similar disappointing seasons along with Florida. Florida’s speed would most likely allow them to have a better chance against the Hokies.

 

Belk Bowl- December 30

Charlotte, NC
Matchup: SEC v.s. ACC
Possible opponents: Duke, North Carolina.

 

Belk became an official sponsor to the SEC this offseason and the Belk Bowl would be another likely candidate for the Gators. Formerly known as the Queen City Bowl, Continental Tire Bowl and Meineke Car Care Bowl, the Charlotte contest previously was a matchup of AAC and Big East teams v.s. the ACC. North Carolina has the most appearances with three.

The Belk Bowl provides local matchups for the Orange & Blue, as possible candidates would be Duke (9-3) and North Carolina (6-6). The best matchup for Florida would be North Carolina, another struggling team, who could give the Gators an easier time than Duke, who have 38.2 points per game in their wins this season.

Birmingham Bowl- January 3

Birmingham, AL
Matchup: SEC v.s. AAC
Possible opponents: Cincinnati, Memphis.

The Birmingham Bowl, like nearly any bowl around, has been through a few name changes since their first game in 2006. Originally the PapaJohns.com Bowl, the game was named the BBVA Compass Bowl before being renamed the Birmingham Bowl again this year. The game is held at Legion Field, a familiar place for the SEC. The played host to multiple Iron Bowl matchups and was the site for first two SEC Championship games, which Florida played in.

The most likely opponents for Florida would be Memphis (9-3) and Cincinnati (8-3). While AAC opponents, both are scrappy squads that could provide a challenge to Florida. Of the two schools, the best matchup would be the Bearcats, as the team’s quarterback play has shown to be vulnerable at times.

Other possible bowls:

Advocare V100 Texas Bowl- December 29

Houston, TX
Matchup: SEC v.s. Big 12
Possible opponent: Texas.

It’s extremely unlikely the Gators would end up at this bowl, but anything is possible. The likely opponent would be the 6-6 Texas Longhorns, another prestigious school trying to return to prominence.

 

AutoZone Liberty Bowl- December 29

Memphis, TN
Matchup: SEC v.s. Big 12
Possible opponent: West Virginia.

Given the closer bowl options, it’s unlikely the Gators play in the Liberty Bowl, though the alumni fan base would represent well. If the Orange and Blue were to play in Memphis, they most likely would face a talented West Virginia squad (7-5) that may see the return of former Florida State backup Clint Trickett.

 

Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl- December 30

Nashville, TN
Matchup: SEC v.s. ACC or Big Ten
Possible opponents: Louisville, Duke, Penn State.

The Music City Bowl’s official title is quite a mouthful, and quite a list of unfavorable opponents for Florida. Out of the three, the Gators would have the best chance against the Nittany Lions (6-6). However, given Florida’s outstanding showing of fans when the team traveled to Nashville to play Vanderbilt, the bowl committee might have a case to make to the SEC to send the Gators here.

 

Outback Bowl- January 1

Tampa, FL
Matchup: SEC v.s. Big Ten
Possible opponents: Maryland, Iowa, Nebraska.

Since 2005, Florida has been to the Outback Bowl twice, tied with the Sugar Bowl for second-most. The contest would provide another short trip, and a game against Maryland (7-5) or Iowa (7-5) would give the Gators the best chance of winning.

Read previous post:
2015 St. Petersburg (Fla.) Lakewood athlete Ryan Davis
Florida Gators visit Ryan Davis on Monday

Receiver coach Chris Leak visited receiver Ryan Davis on Monday at his high school.

Close