Florida vs. UCF: ESPN's FPI predicts winner of Gasparilla Bowl
Florida and UCF will play for just the third time ever in Thursday night’s Gasparilla Bowl at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, home of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The Gators already have one victory in RayJay this year, a 42-20 win over USF in Week 2. ESPN’s Football Power Index predicts UF will get another win in Tampa. The FPI is giving Florida a 66.9 percent chance to win the bowl game.
The Football Power Index (FPI) is a measure of team strength that is meant to be the best predictor of a team’s performance going forward for the rest of the season. FPI represents how many points above or below average a team is. Projected results are based on 20,000 simulations of the rest of the season using FPI, results to date, and the remaining schedule. Ratings and projections update daily.
FPI is a predictive rating system designed to measure team strength and project performance going forward. The ultimate goal of FPI is not to rank teams 1 through 128; rather, it is to correctly predict games and season outcomes. If Vegas ever published the power rankings it uses to set its lines, they would likely look quite a lot like FPI.
Florida looks to make it a clean sweep of in-state opponents. The Gators defeated FAU, USF and FSU during the 2021 season. UF will notably be without Zach Carter (opt-out for NFL Draft), Khris Bogle (recent transfer to Michigan State), Anthony Richardson (meniscus procedure) and others on Thursday night against the Knights.
Florida hired Billy Napier as its new head coach on Nov. 28. Interim head coach Greg Knox and other remaining assistants from the Dan Mullen staff are handling the bowl game, which is set for 7 p.m. ET on ESPN.