Florida Gators latest bowl projections

A week ago the Florida Gators’ bowl projections seemed cut-and-dried.

Win out by beating a pair of cream puffs at home and knocking off Florida State and the chances of ending up in the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans appeared strong, as long as Alabama won out and defeated Georgia in the SEC Championship game.

Cream the two cream puffs and lose at Florida State, and there still would be an outside shot at the Sugar Bowl. However, the most likely destination would be the Capital One Bowl in Orlando.

However, college football has a way of shaking things up and the latest prognostications have the 9-1 Gators bowling all over the country.

Thanks to Alabama’s loss against Texas A&M, the Tide are No. 4 in the latest BCS Standings, which means the SEC would not have a representative in the national championship game for the first time since 2005.

CBSSports.com projects Alabama and Clemson in the Sugar Bowl and Georgia in the Capital One Bowl against Michigan. That moves Florida into a matchup against North Carolina State in the Dec. 31 Chick-fil-A Bowl, so the Gators would at least make it to Atlanta this season.

SportsIllustrated.com’s Stewart Mandel updated his bowl projections Monday and still has Florida in the Capital One Bowl against Michigan. He also puts Alabama in the Sugar Bowl, but Georgia in the Outback Bowl.

The Sporting News also has Florida in the Capital One Bowl, but against Wisconsin.

Interestingly enough, college football guru Phil Steele has the Gators headed to a different bowl than the above predictions. Steele has Florida playing Michigan in the Outback Bowl, which is played on New Year’s Day at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla.

ESPN also has the Gators in the Outback Bowl, but against Wisconsin.

The site bankrollsports.com is another with the Gators headed to the Outback Bowl against Wisconsin.

Another web site, CollegeSportsMadness.com, has the Gators as a BCS At-Large selection in the Feista Bowl against Oklahoma. That bowl is played Jan. 3 in Glendale, Ariz.

In other words, the Gators’ bowl projection is not as cut-and-dried as it once was with the “experts” having Florida as a possibility to play in four different bowls.

We’ll see what the next week brings.

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Mike Capshaw brings a wealth of experience to the Gator Country team. He’s been overseeing all editorial aspects of GatorCountry.com and Gator Country magazine by managing our team of staffers, interns and freelancers. He is now moving into a bigger role as a reporter by covering the football and basketball beats as well as providing coverage of all sports on campus. Mike’s 15 years in the business has included more than six years of covering SEC sports and recruiting at a daily newspaper in Arkansas. He has also helped launch a newspaper, magazines, websites and even a sports talk radio show. Because Mike puts family ahead of his career, he left the place where he was established when his wife received an opportunity to further her career at UF. He took a leap of faith that he could find a job in the Gainesville area and worked for a year at a newspaper group before joining the Gator Country family in November, 2011. Mike has won Florida Press Association awards for Best Sports Game Story and Best Sports Feature Story in the past two years as well as a company-wide award at his former newspaper group that includes some 60 publications, for Excellence in Sports Reporting. You can follow Mike on Twitter at @MikeCapshawGC.