Bowl analysis: Florida Gators
This is part of a daily series this week on each SEC team’s bowl possibilities and likely destination in prep for Sunday’s College Football Bowl Selection Show.
Florida coach Will Muschamp didn’t exactly ride off into the sunset in his final game as coach last weekend, but the Gators showed fight at Florida State and their 6-5 finish will likely be enough to receive a ‘pool of six’ bowl berth this season.
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Ultimately, last year’s disappointing 4-8 campaign along with falling short of expectations this fall led to Muschamp’s dismissal. Now it appears athletic director Jeremy Foley has targeted Colorado State coach Jim McElwain, who could be named the Gators’ new football coach by the end of this week.
Defensive coordinator D.J. Durkin serve in the interim for the bowl game. The Gators last used an interim coach, Charlie Strong, during the postseason in 2004.
Recent Florida bowl history
- 2008 BCS National Championship: vs. Oklahoma, 24-14, Win
- 2009 Sugar Bowl: Cincinnati, 51-24, Win
- 2010 Outback Bowl: vs. Penn State, 37-24, Win
- 2011 Gator Bowl: vs. Ohio State, 24-17, Win
- 2012 Sugar Bowl: vs. Louisville, 33-23, Loss
Possible bowl destinations
The Gators saw their TaxSlayer Gator Bowl chances damaged with the loss at Florida State coupled with Georgia’s loss to Georgia Tech. That likely knocks Florida to a lower-tier though not enough to send the Gators to forbidden Birmingham or Shreveport. The Belk Bowl in Charlotte’s an option as well as the Music City in Nashville. Tennessee’s another squad from the East that, despite finishing 6-6, is an attractive option that would travel well to the Belk or Music City.
Final bowl pairings will be announced on Sunday.