Gator Bowl Snub Upsets FSU and Nebraska Fans

Chris WhitmoreCorrespondent IDecember 4, 2008

This past weekend, Nebraska fans got a whiff of potential revenge against Florida State. Before FSU took the field against UF, rumors were heavy and persistent that the Noles would represent the ACC at the Gator Bowl in Jacksonville against likely opponent Nebraska from the Big 12.

The 1994 Orange Bowl, where FSU won its first national championship, is still on the minds of Husker fans, and many of them were eager to see a matchup of the two teams on the rise.

But the UF Gators and Gator Bowl had a different opinion.

After the 45-15 rout the Gators put on the Noles this past Saturday in Tallahassee, reports from the Gator Bowl committee started coming out that they were set on inviting Nebraska but were 50/50 on choosing Clemson or FSU to represent the ACC.

Then, early in the week, it became clear it would be Nebraska vs. Clemson meeting at the Gator Bowl. Despite FSU being 8-4 and beating the 7-5 Clemson Tigers, 41-27, earlier in the season, the Gator Bowl Committee had bad memories of Jacksonville Stadium in September, when FSU beat Colorado, 39-21, in front of a half-empty stadium.

But did the Gator Bowl seriously think FSU vs. Colorado would honestly sell out in Jacksonville?

In 2007, FSU beat Alabama in Jacksonville because it was two old powerhouses on the rise. The same formula would have applied for a Noles vs. Cornhuskers matchup.

But according to a Tallahassee Democrat article, FSU fans are not the only ones upset at the Clemson pick. Sportswriter Steve Ellis mentions Nebraska fans haven't exactly warmed up to a Clemson matchup yet after getting their hopes up in facing the Noles.

While FSU has not been selected for a bowl game yet, it is predicted to slide down to the Champ Sports Bowl against the Big Ten's Wisconsin or Minnesota. Even that bowl is not a lock for FSU, which could slide down even further to the Meikene Car Care Bowl against a Big East school.

The Noles will find out Sunday where they go, with talks of the Champs Sports Bowl inviting Virginia Tech in the event they lose to Boston College in the ACC championship. 

But would Virginia Tech fans travel to Florida twice in one month? That would make it three times VT has come to Florida this season after a matchup in Tallahassee. Granted, if the Hokies win, they will be going down to Miami for the Orange Bowl, but that would be a repeat of last season. 

In revenue sense, it is best if Virginia Tech goes to an ACC bowl up north.