The Picks: Florida vs. Michigan in Peach Bowl?

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The Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Ga., where the Peach Bowl will be played Dec. 29. It was also the site for last season's title game between Alabama and Georgia. [Staff Photo/Erin Nelson]

[Updated: 11-29-18] When the latest College Football Playoff rankings came out Tuesday night, Florida fans had every reason to be excited.

The Gators were ninth, which means they are about as locked in to a New Year’s Six bowl as you can get. That’s a big deal for Dan Mullen in his first year as the Florida coach.

Florida will likely play in the Peach Bowl against Michigan, although crazy things could happen like Georgia beating Alabama and both getting into the playoff and Florida being slotted into the Sugar Bowl (as the highest ranked SEC team not in the playoff) against the Big 12 champ.

(The good news is you are in a New Year’s Six bowl; the bad news is you’re playing a really good team).

We’ll know for sure Sunday (the Fiesta seems the least likely destination for the Gators) and start cursing the airfares and ticket prices.

But in the glow of being named a top-10 team and the SEC becoming the first conference to have eight teams ranked in the CFP, Florida fans also found themselves being dissed.

Network TV talking heads were questioning whether Florida belonged at No. 9. College football writer Stewart Mandel of The Athletic tweeted this — “Do even Florida fans believe Florida is the ninth-best team in the country?”

Talk about a buzz kill.

Hey, look. I’ve watched every play of this team and there are times they have not looked like the 29th best team in the country, let alone the ninth. But when you cover a team, you tend to see all of the warts.

This has been a different year for college football in that usually there are a lot of two-loss teams right around the 8-to-14 range. That’s not the case this year.

The truth is Florida has a better resume than the teams that are below UF. The Gators have two wins over teams ranked in the top 18 and all three losses came against teams in the top 25.

Let’s look at the teams following Florida:

10. LSU — lost head-to-head to Florida.

11. Washington — all three losses to unranked teams.

12. Penn State — lack of wins over ranked teams.

13. Washington State — the worst strength of schedule of any of these teams.

14. Texas — lost to two unranked teams.

15. Kentucky — probably lower than I would have the Wildcats, but the Tennessee loss was a really bad one.

In conclusion (what, am I giving a presentation to the board?), Florida may or not be the ninth best team in the country, but the Gators have the ninth-best resume.

Now that I have cleared that up, on to The Picks, Last week’s were about as bloated as I was after Thanksgiving dinner with 16 picks. I went 12-4 to make the season record 95-41, which I thought was pretty good until my wife pointed out that the percentage (.699) is good if you are shooting 3s, but not if you are a surgeon.

Whatever.

On to the championships:

ALABAMA-GEORGIA (SEC): There is a temptation here to pick the Bulldogs simply because Kirby Smart showed last year he can dissect a Nick Saban defense. But if you think I’m picking against the Tide at this point we’re putting you in concussion protocol. Alabama, 41-24.

OKLAHOMA-TEXAS (Big 12): These teams won’t know how to play a game without the smell of grease pits in the air. The biggest question I have — how much will parking be around Jerry World? I’ll bet it’s at least $50 per car. Oklahoma, 50-42.

CLEMSON-PITT (ACC): Well done, Pittsburgh. Very nice season. Proud of you. Now go home and get your shine box. (Dated “GoodFellas” reference). Clemson 35-14.

MEMPHIS AT UCF (American): I think UCF is a really good team that will play hard for its injured quarterback and earn a trip to play LSU in the Fiesta Bowl. Must be nice to have home-field advantage for a conference title game. UCF, 45-40.

UTAH-WASHINGTON (Pac-12): This game is on Friday night. Sounds like a good opportunity to see “Bohemian Rhapsody.” Utah, 23-21.

NORTHWESTERN-OHIO STATE (Big Ten): Knowing the Buckeyes, they will keep Northwestern in the game. And then they will score a lot of points in the fourth quarter and declare themselves winners of the beauty contest. Ohio State, 40-21.

BUFFALO-N. ILLINOIS (MAC): I have been this close to putting Buffalo in my top 25 several times this season. The Bills, not the Bulls. Buffalo, 34-31.

BOISE ST,-FRESNO ST. (MWC): The winner of this game is going to the Fiesta Bowl if UCF loses. There, I gave you a reason to watch. Maybe. Boise St., 38-31.

MIDDLE TENN.-UAB (Conference USA): To think UAB could get to 10 wins with a bowl game remaining. UAB, 31-23.

STANFORD AT CAL: Hey, I needed 10 games. This one was postponed from Nov. 17 because of the terrible fires in the area. Stanford, 26-18.

Contact Pat Dooley at 352-374-5053 or at pat.dooley@gvillesun.com. And follow at Twitter.com/Pat_Dooley.

72 COMMENTS

    • Our history with Michigan, for some odd reason or another, suggests that we should probably dampen our enthusiasm accordingly. But.

      But Michigan is a pretty good team, a little over-ranked in my humble opinion, and if we play our A-game (which were more than capable of) we should have a good match up and it will certainly have the potential to bring out the best in us. This one would be all about our character.

      • Hey 6 – I like the enthusiasm, but for some reason we do struggle against Michigan. Just like it seems that we make OSU our B!^(#, we have OSU’s #, but UM seems to have ours. I hope we can break that cycle if we do play UM. I stated back on Nov. 15th that we would either play OSU, UM, or Oklahoma. Did I tell you about my OK moment at O’Hare Airport? Here it is again. I was coming home on leave and looking for a tv that had the GATORS game on. Every tv had the ND game on, so I went to my departure gate. Well I couldn’t believe my luck as the game was on at the nearest bar close to my gate. I had on my GATORS Tee and that is what I always traveled in, when a man approached me and said “I was hoping we would have another shot at you all this year”. He is an Oklahoma fan and we had beaten them for the National Championship. Anyway we started talking and he mentioned something about a movie called “Inglorious Bastards.” I asked him if it was any good, and he seemed to take offense the way he told me “My Son is in that movie”. So I asked him what his son’s name was and he told me his son was Brad Pitt. I don’t get all starry eyed when someone is well known for whatever. Anyway I didn’t know really how to respond so I shook his hand and I said “Congratulations”. LOL. He seemed to me that he was offended that I didn’t know who he was. I explained to him that the reason I hadn’t seen the movie was due to the base where I was stationed. It is a small base called Camp Darby and it is about a 10 minute drive to the Leaning Tower of Pizza…LOL. So he told me he was coming back from a golf outing and he was heading home. As he was leaving with his friends and wife I told them to have a safe trip. There was no reply. So that is my story about Brad Pitts Father and knowing that our GATORS beat his team…LOL. Every time I traveled with the Army I wore my GATORS shirt if I was allowed to. That is why I met so many Lady GATORS when I traveled. So whether we play OSU, MICH., or OKLA., I hope we beat the snot out of them…LOL. GO GATORS!!!

        • You did Ed — several months back I think, but it’s a great story no matter when you tell it. Brad Pitt was interviewed once for the purpose of getting his “expert” opinion on some media rant or another against conservatives, and his response was something like this: “You’re asking MY opinion? You realize, I’m a guy who gets up every morning, puts on make up, and goes to work where I pretend to be somebody else…..and you actually want MY opinion???”.

          I’ve been a fan ever since, even if his old man is a Sooner!

        • That’s a cool story, Gator Ed. You and my Mom must come from the same cloth. My Mom and I were doing something we rarely do (and did). Having a drink (below a hair salon). So we’re in Lillian’s waiting on haircuts (hair salon was above Lillian’s at the time) in the late afternoon, and River Phoenix walks right past us and goes straight to the back, behind the bar.
          I said to my Mom, ”do you know who that is?” She looked at me as if I were crazy, because River looked like a bum in all honesty. He had the grunge-look going strong, as it was the early 90’s, like ’91 or ’92, I think. But he had on some raggedy green shorts with a flannel shirt with the sleeves cut out.
          I told my Mom he is (was now) a big ”Hollywood star, an actor.” She was unimpressed, until I told her he played the young ”Indiana Jones” in the 3rd Indiana Jones movie, ”Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.” Anyway, your story reminded my of mine. Go Gators!

  1. Mr. Dooley, Ask you’re pal Stewart Mandel if even he thinks Michigan fans believe they’re #7 after giving up 69 points or if Ohio fans believe they’re #6 after losing to a 6-6 Purdue team by… 5 TDs.

    Re Clem v Pitts….. No “Goodfellas” reference is ever dated. Ever.

    Re Memphis v UCF… Playing for the AAC Conference of America Championship. Sure sign a conference is Mickey Mouse-ish is they can’t afford to play at a neutral site. Hey, play it at The Tangerine Bowl

    Re Utah v Wash…Wait Utah is in The Pac8? When did that happen? ‘Zona and ‘Zona State are too? When did that happen?

    Northwest v Ohio….. NW lost to a 4-7 Akron team and Ohio lost to a 6-6 Purdue team by 29. Trophy should be a Rust Belt. Those 2 states have more rust than a 1970 Chevy Nova parked in a driveway in Cocoa Beach.

    Buffalo v someone…. Fun Fact… Ted Turner owns 51,000 Buffalo.

    Middle v Birmingham…. Winner gets a Sun Belt and a 40 gallon drum of Coppertone.

    What about Notre’s Champ game? Why do they get to qualify for the final four by playing only 12 games? What if they played just 8? How about just 4? Still qualify? Haven’t heard one sports talker bring up this unfairness at all.

        • Sparky – I will at times belittle other teams by calling them something like Bryan85 did. Like Semi-ho’s or Talla-ho-see…LOL. But you are right about his reference to their loss to Purdue. Maybe CO is partly an OSU fan and took offense. I try not o speculate on things that I don’t know for sure, lest someone take offense at what I may think. I only hope that Franks wears his big boy G-string when we are in the bowl game. It starts with him and then the rest of the team needs to bring their big boy G-strings as well. I know CDM will have them as ready as possible for that game and we will have to watch to see how it ends. No matter what happens in the bowl game, I am very happy that we now have the coach and his team of coaches to go forth into the future. GO GATORS!!!

          • Not even close Ed, Orange and Blue exclusively.
            You are right about Franks, I hope we get the FSU Franks and not the Mizzou or the first half Vandy & USC Franks. Still don’t trust the guy, let’s see if his great FSU performance is here to stay or if he is still his inconsistent self.

          • CO – If I want to be obnoxious about another team I will usually just use all lower case when I refer to them…LOL. Also that is why I said I hate to speculate on someone else’s opinion because I don’t know for sure what they may be trying to convey. I meant no offense speculating that you may have been a fan of OSU, just stating what speculating may mean. GO GATORS!!!

    • Same as Bama’s championship game from last season: non-existent. Did Bama not deserve to get in? That’s debatable, but you have to define the goal of the CFP in order to have a reasonable debate. Is the goal to select the four best teams, or is it to take the four teams who’ve earned playoff spots by their record? In its current format, the CFP isn’t a real playoff; its a four team tournament as evidenced by the need for a selection committee. True playoff teams earn their spot based on a predetermined set of criteria that could, and often do, exclude “better” teams. When the question of best teams (subjective) vs. teams that have earned their spot (objective) is settled, the only thing left to debate will be the number of teams to let in.

  2. Let the Haters hate. When we are bad they say we are snobby and arrogant for wanting better. When we are good they say we don’t deserve to be there. It’s funny how many people dislike the gators but that’s only because we are good in all of our athletics including women’s athletics. It probably doesn’t help that we have so many graduates in big time positions on ESPN and the SEC Network, that has to make the haters feel that way to. I would love to play Michigan we owe them some payback just like FSU. They are 4 – 0 against us since 2003 but we are as confident as we have been in the last 10 years. Lets end the streak and start one of our own! GO GATORS!

    • JIM – especially the hate that is aimed at Tebow…what is with that hatred??? I am glad to see that he is on the SEC Channel, but I hate it that he plays for the Mets organization. I quit watching all pro sports and I used to be a Braves fan. When I joined the Army I could watch the games on TNT. Turner sold the team to Time Warner and when I got out I would have to pay to watch them. I lived in Fla when I joined, but I didn’t go back. Anyway I hate the Mets, but I like Tebow…LOL. F$#@ the haters and GO GATORS!!!

  3. Michigan peaked a little too early. There was time when they were one of the 3 or 4 best teams. But that’s not now. But as was pointed out, the Gators history against the Wolverines isn’t glorious. How about we wait and see what the actual bowl match ups are? And let’s just enjoy the part where the Gators have earned a really nice bowl game this year (whichever it is). Thanks to the efforts of Coach Dan and the new direction/culture, the Gators have been playing with house money for half a season. The best is yet to come. Go Gators.

  4. Pat,
    While reading the column I couldn’t understand why you needed to add the Stanford game to get to 10 picks as there are 10 conference championship games. MTSU – UAB is actually the CUSA championship. Appalachian St – Louisiana Lafayette play for the Sun Belt title. Not trying to make you look bad. I just wanted to clear that up. I enjoy reading your stuff. Keep up the good work.

    • G8. Dooley picks ALL the relevant Power 5 games each week. Since that is the only non-conference title game that will help determine some bowl placements, it is somewhat relevant and deserves a prediction. And it was a cancelled game. It would be interesting to see how he picked that game during the week it was supposed to be played to see how different the prediction was then and now.

  5. While I would prefer we play UCF in the Fiesta Bowl and win statewide bragging rights and dibs on the state’s best recruits, playing Michigan would be satisfying. It’s time for payback after the thrashing they gave us
    in the opener a season ago. The big difference is we have Coach Mullen this year and relentless effort as our mantra and in our DNA. Our O Line and seniors wants payback, too, after the way they pushed us around.
    This would be a hard fought game but I think our O is better than theirs and Franks has something to prove on national TV. Our D can also make life hard for their QB. Gators 32-27.

  6. Pitt, “now go get your shine box”. Lol. That was great. Love the Goodfellas quote. That said, I like the Michigan idea. Like the thought of getting some payback, but also would be a great reality check. Do we really belong with the big boys yet or not? Let’s see who shows up. Am sure we’d be underdogs….But hey, let’s get it on in prime time, and see who “swims with the fishes” after this one.

        • Sugar Bowl is locked in as highest ranked SEC vs highest ranked Big 12 (of course, not in playoffs). Just like the Rose Bowl is Big 10 vs PAC 12. The Peach and Fiesta are the “Access Bowls” which can take the remaining 4 teams, including the highest ranked Group of 5 team and match them up accordingly. If things hold to chalk, that would be Michigan, UCF, UF, LSU. They obviously wouldn’t do LSU-UF and UCF officials have hinted that they’re Fiesta Bowl bound w/ a win since they try to avoid teams going back to back to the same bowl (they went to the Peach Bowl last year). And they’ve hinted that the Fiesta wouldn’t want 2 Florida teams not known for huge traveling fan bases playing each other 3000 miles away.

  7. Pat, I clearly do not see how Michigan currently becomes slotted to play Florida in the Peach with projections of Oklahoma beating Texas, Ohio State beating Northwestern, Bama beating Georgia, Clemson beating Pitt, and UCF beating Memphis, I see the following bowl match ups based on those favorited team predictions:
    -Bama vs. Oklahoma in the first round of the playoffs
    -Clemson vs. Notre Dame in the first round of the playoffs
    -Ohio State will then be slotted to play the winner of the Utah/Washington game in the Rose Bowl
    -Georgia would be slotted to play the next highest ranked team in the Sugar Bowl, and that would be Michigan at this time.
    -UCF would be slotted for the Fiesta Bowl, and the Fiesta would likely pick Penn State.
    -Florida would then be slotted for the Peach Bowl and would be matched up with either Washington State or West Virginia (I think the Peach would want and prefer an attractive match up of Florida vs. WV and Will Grier).
    LSU would then likely go to the Citrus, A&M to the Cotton, Mississippi State to the Citrus, Kentucky to the Outback, and Missouri, South Carolina, Vandy, or Auburn to the Gator.

    So, not sure how you are seeing Michigan playing Florida in the Peach??? And you gave no reasoning in your article for stating that match up. Under the New Year’s Six rules, the Sugar trumps the Peach when picking teams; and Michigan would be the highest ranked team to be most attractively matched up against Georgia in the Sugar Bowl. But upsets in the championship games this weekend could through the entire bow scenario into chaos. I am looking forward to that happening. It seems to always happen.

    And, yes, I currently believe that Florida is the ninth best team in the country. I did not believe that after the Missouri game. And Missouri might be the 8th best team in the country right now. And The Athletic has a lot of strong Georgia connections, so not at all surprised that someone from there would tweet out a negative about Florida. Not seeing that view from most sports journalists and broadcasters elsewhere. Surprise that Florida is there maybe, but not saying they do not deserve to be ranked number nine.

      • That assumes either WV or TX is in the final 12 I think. Not sure if Sugar gets highest ranking available Big 12 team, or highest ranking Big 12 team IN THE FINAL top 12 of the CFP rankings. If OK beats TX, they likely are out. WV is currently 16, I don’t see a path for them to rise 4 spots either…

        Anyone know for sure?

        • Thank you, KentuckyGator. Now, it makes sense. It would have been helpful if Pat had explained the reasoning of Michigan vs. Florida in the article. And after your post, I did research the New Year’s Six bowl selection process and you are correct about the Sugar being the Georgia (if they lose) vs. the Big 12 (West Virginia or Texas….assuming it would be WV if Texas loses to Oklahoma and Texas if they beat Oklahoma. But what confuses me it that the selection process, as I read it, for the Fiesta and Peach Bowls this year is determined and filled by the CFP committee. So, if UCF loses to Memphis, Florida would not necessarily go to the Peach Bowl because I think the CFP committee could fill the Fiesta with Florida instead of UCF is that scenario. Or, if the CFP committee decides to pair UF vs. UCF in either the Fiesta or Peach, they could override the SEC vs. Big Ten deal if they wanted to do so. So, really, nothing is for sure with Michigan playing Florida in the Peach. But we will find out Sunday if Pat is predicting the Peach match up correctly or not. Sure seems not to be a set in stone deal.

          • And by the way, KentuckyGator, it is nice to have someone on here to actually talk intelligent football with instead of posting and getting personal insults returned. Thank you.

          • I’m going to go ahead and predict that UCF will be completely out of the New Years 6 picture after this weekend. They were able to get by a bad USF team without Milton, but I don’t think they’ll get by Memphis without him. They barely beat them by 1 pt earlier in the season with him playing. If they do lose, I doubt the committee will want to waste a spot in a premier bowl on a team playing without the driving force of the team.

          • Remember gents, the primary motivator for bowl matchups is $$$ for the bowls and the schools playing in them.

            The Sugar Bowl is contractually obligated to match up the conference champs or best available SEC vs. Big 12 teams. So, no slot for Michigan there.

            The Rose Bowl is contractually obligated to match up the conference champs or best available Big 10 vs. PAC 12 teams. If Oklahoma beats Texas and UGA doesn’t upset Bama tomorrow, Ohio State will get locked out of the playoffs and, in turn, take the Big 10 slot in the Rose. So, no slot for Michigan there either.

            The Fiesta and Peach Bowls will match up the 3 highest remaining CFP ranked teams + the highest ranked Group of 5 champ. If UCF wins tomorrow, they’ll clinch one of those 4 slots. If UCF loses and Boise St beat Fresno (likely), Boise St takes that slot.

            Here’s where $$$ will kick into the decision making process. If UCF wins tomorrow, the temptation to match them vs. the Gators in the Peach will be too great, leaving Michigan vs. LSU for the Fiesta. If UCF loses tomorrow, Michigan will be matched vs. the Gators or LSU in the Peach and Boise will be matched up vs. LSU or the Gators in the Fiesta based on which matchups will draw the most fans to both games.

            Ohio St, Oklahoma and Bama should win tomorrow. I also believe UCF, without Milton, will lose tomorrow. I’m also pretty sure that Boise St will win tomorrow. So, based on the LSU fan base being better travelers than the Gator fan base, I expect LSU to play Boise St in the Fiesta and the Gators to matched up vs. Michigan in the Peach.

            Obviously, if Northwestern, Texas, or UGA deliver upsets tomorrow, all those Bowl projections will get scrambled.

            Go Gators!!!

          • Oops! Forgot to mention in my last post the possibility of Pitt upsetting Clemson tomorrow. It was just too ridiculous to consider, but I guess is is possible.

            Go Gators!!!

  8. It may be that am old and behind the times, but The Sugar is still a step up from The Peach in my mind. I don’t see the brands as being equal “New Year’s Six” bowl games. One is a Mercedes, and the other is a really solid but won’t impress the neighbors pickup truck.

    Therefore, I am going to retract a previous comment and say I think landing in the Sugar or Fiesta would be better in terms of the optics and getting us back to where people aren’t questioning if we deserve to be in the Top Ten. The Peach is good, and much better than many people expected for us this year, but now that the chance of something more prestigious is in the air, I want it ALL!!!

    • Jaws. The two semifinal games have a payout of 6 million. The remaining four New Year’s Six Bowls all have a payout of $4 million, so those four non semifinal games are considered equal bowl deals now. And speaking of Mercedes car comparisons, the stadium in which the Peach Bowl is played is called…..Mercedes Benz Stadium. And the stadium in which the Peach Bowl is played is now considered more to be like “the neighbors pickup truck”. For me and I think most of Gator Nation interested in attending the Florida bowl game, the Peach is a far more attractive bowl to attend for lot of reasons. I know there would be far more Florida fans with behinds in seats in Atlanta than in New Orleans. I know mine will be in Atlanta and not New Orleans for sure.

      • But doesn’t it seem like the Sugar Bowl brand still has more cache? National Titles have been won there, all-time great games have been played there. The Peach Bowl has never, to my recollection, been the setting for a game that mattered (not the stadium, I mean the Peach Bowl as a game). Again, I am old and it may in the minds of recruits the Peach and Sugar are two sides of the same coin, but to me it will always be a second class bowl game. A good one, but not the Sugar Bowl. Of course, in my ancient brain its still Rose, Orange, Sugar and Cotton, even though I know that’s been gone for a long time.

        I can’t disagree that the travel is much easier, and more doable for a lot of people, so from the perspective of having a ton of orange and blue in the stands looking great as an optic you make a good point. Maybe a great crowd in the Peach would be better in terms of program prestige!

        • I’m with ya, Jaws. Those bowls were the big four in my version of The Good Old Days. The national champion was always the winner of one of those games. They were all usually de facto playoff games. I’m glad the CFP has restored some of their glory by utilizing them as semi-finals, but I wish they’d go the final step and restore them to their full glory by also rotating the national championship game through those four bowls. I suppose you could make a case for the Fiesta Bowl as well, but it only came to prominence in 1986 when it bought the national championship by paying big money for Miami and Penn State to square off there. Before that it was just another lower tier bowl game.

  9. Not excited at all about playing Michigan. BOOOOOOOOORRRRRRIIIIINNNNGGGGG.

    Been there, done that.

    How many times do we have to play them? Let’s play a new team instead.

    Really, l’ll root for my Gators regardless of who they play, but let’s not do a Superman movie again, where the villain was ALWAYS Lex Luthor.

    Would love to play UCF to secure bragging rights for the state.

    • Todd. From what I gave read, the CFP committee could override the conference match up bowl deals and place UF vs. UCF in either the Peach or the Fiesta bowls (if UCF wins). I think they might just do that for better TV ratings and bowl attendance. And I think a Michigan matchup would be exactly that…..boring…..and attendance would not be great by either team. I know my interest in attending the game would be less for sure. I probably would rather save my money and watch the game on TV with as many cold beers and chips/nuts as I like. And UCF match up in Atlanta would get me to Atlanta or sure. And it would be a highly entertaining game in pre, during, and post game media coverage. That match up just makes too much sense, and is probably the reason it will not happen.

  10. Pat…I wish you and Robbie would stop being sticks in the mud. You’ve had little faith in the Gators this season, and nothing seems to have changed in that regard: “The bad news is your playing a really good team.” Well, that’s a crap comment. The better and higher rated the opponent is, the greater the glory of the battle. It’s obvious that the players are now familiar with the new system and like it. Bring on the best possible bowl opponent and Mullen and company will give them an all-out fight.

  11. I couldn’t care less about what the talking heads say about our team. They are ranked #9 and so that is where they will stay until proven otherwise. Sports reporters are so full of themselves anyway. The only reason Stewart Mandel of the Athletic (the Poulan Weedeater Bowl of sports), said anything is because he wants more attention and riling up the Gator fan base is a great way to get the attention he needs to exist among his peers. It is much easier than writing good stories with research and connections. It is the easy way out and more and more good journalists are going that direction. So do I believe the Gators are #9…it doesn’t really matter because that’s where they are, but I do believe that journalists who drive-by tweet and then don’t stick around to defend their statement are tools. Follow Chris Doering because he will make a statement and then interact with fans. You may not always agree but you have to respect the fact that he has a backbone to actually defend his statements.

  12. It’s a little early but I’m going to chime in with my astute, as usual, reverse psychology pick of the Gators’ bowl game. I’m getting so good at this that I can almost spell psychology without looking it up. I don’t trust spell check because it’s not any smarter than I am. Michigan, or whatever team, in whatever bowl 49 Gators 11. Go Gators!

  13. Well, I’ll be watching the Utah – Washington game. If the Huskies win, we’re taking my 12-year-old grandson, and rabid football fan, to the Rose Bowl (where Washington will be flattened by Ohio State but not by Northwestern if the Buckeyes somehow sneak into the final four).

    BTW, the Oregonian has an interesting article on why the PAC-12 continues to be unable to attract better football talent than the SEC or even the Big 10.

  14. im not sure how the committee would pick lsu over the gators to play UCF, but i didnt go to harvard. there are all kinds of things i dont understand. i guess its not possible for teams to opt out of this mess so we could play ucf which would make this the only meaningful bowl game other than the final one. oh well

  15. I believe geography comes into the discussion for Bowl picks whether it’s official or a back room discussion. I’m sure the Fiesta would like a western team against a national team like OSU or Michigan. I know there is the unwritten rule you don’t go bowling to the same location twice in a row, but Florida vs UCF in Atlanta would be a good gate for the Peach. I don’t see UCF rejecting the idea. It would be better for their fans to travel to Atlanta than Arizona.

  16. This is great! From the dark ages to which New Year Six Bowl! We get to relax and see what happens this weekend. MI has been overrated, just like ND, all season long by the Fake Sports Media. Remember ESPN talking heads bragging on MI’s defense. Well the ole Head Attack Coach nuked that idea, LOL, LOL, LOL. ND barely beat SC in their last game, hummmmmm, they didn’t say much about that either. Bama vs Clemson for NC, each with easy semi-final wins.

  17. Versus Michigan in any bowl is not what Florida needs to wrap up their season, this could get real ugly, Michigan still has a great defense, and would give the Gators big problems, I could see this in the 55-13 range, the UM defense would give Franks fits, don’t want no part of the Wolverines

  18. Considering the CFP has been in place for the four previous seasons, there have been 24 New Year’s Six bowl games with 48 teams participating. Sixteen of those teams were guaranteed spots as the playoff teams, leaving 32 teams to fill the spots in the 16 non-playoff bowls. Of those 32 teams, only five have been ranked outside of the CFP top 12 due to the Rose, Sugar, and Orange Bowls’ contractual obligations to the Power 5 conferences and the CFP’s obligation to the highest ranked Group of 5 team. The five top 12 teams that have been displaced were ranked from No. 10 to No. 12, so if UF can hold on to it’s top 9 status, it would be a first if they failed to make a New Year’s Six bowl.

  19. OK, so the results of the conference championship games are in and the only question I have left is whether the CFP committee will send UCF to the Peach Bowl two years in a row. If they get over that hang up, our Gators will be playing UCF. Otherwise, we’ll get Michigan. Either way, we’re in Atlanta and LSU will go to the Fiesta against whichever of the above two teams doesn’t play the Gators.

    The other four NY-6 bowls are now easy picks. The CFP top 4 will be Bama, Clemson, ND, and Oklahoma. The Sugar Bowl will get UGA vs. Texas and the Rose will get Ohio State vs. Washington.

    UCF would be an intreaguing matchup for our Gators. On the plus side, we’d get a chance to claim the state of Florida crown. On the down side, is our defense up to the task of chasing all those UCF jack rabbits for 4 quarters?

    Opinions???