The No. 4-ranked Florida Gators (11-1) are virtually locked into an appearance in the 2013 All-State Sugar Bowl. What isn’t so clear is who their potential opponent will be.
What we’re sure of is that this 78th edition of the second-oldest bowl game in the nation promises to be nothing short of excellent and will feature two strong programs.
Let’s take a look at where you can watch the Sugar Bowl this year, when it will take place, make some predictions on the participants and much more.
When: Wednesday, Jan. 2 – Time TBA
Where: Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans, La.
Live Stream: ESPN3
Listen: ESPN Radio
As we mentioned before, you can pencil in the Gators for a Sugar Bowl appearance in 2012, considering the circumstances atop the SEC.
No. 2 Alabama (11-1) and No. 3 Georgia (11-1) will be playing in the SEC Championship, with the winner earning the right to go to the BCS Championship Game and the loser perhaps tumbling down to the Capital One Bowl.
While it’s a shame that one-loss Florida will not get a chance to make it to the big game, the team is sitting quite pretty. It gets to rest up this week and then leapfrog whichever team loses in the SEC title game to claim a Sugar Bowl seat.
Now, let’s take a look at the few of the prominent at-large opponents UF could face.
The No. 11 Sooners (9-2) will become co-champions in the Big 12 by winning this week and could even outright claim the title if Kansas State were to lose to Texas.
Oklahoma took two losses during the 2012 campaign, falling to the Notre Dame Fighting Irish (the nation’s top team) and K-State. Considering the Norman-based university failed against the Wildcats, it would be tough to consider it the real champion.
Of course, this all hinges on Kansas State getting it done against the Longhorns on Saturday.
The Sooners are one of the more overrated teams by the computers and human voters, making their ascension back into the Top 10 of the BCS rankings likely and a Sugar Bowl showdown with the Gators even more probable.
The only team with a legit chance to stop that is the following:
If the 11-1 Golden Flashes are able to move up a single spot in the BCS standings (from No. 17 to 16) after beating Northern Illinois—and stay ahead of whoever ends up being crowned the Big East champion—they will earn automatic qualification to a BCS bowl.
A Sugar Bowl appearance isn’t out of the question, but what is more likely to happen is the post-New Years bowl with the last selection getting saddled with Kent State. That would be the Orange Bowl, with its organizers putting them up against the ACC champion.
If that happens, the Sugar Bowl might be forced to showcase the Big East champion, a disappointing outcome for organizers and fans.
It’ll be quite interesting to see how the committee handles all of the possible scenarios and which team they finally end up deciding on to face Florida.
We’ll keep you updated right here on B/R with the latest BCS Bowl projections, breaking news, information, updates, opinions and analysis.