Gators may play Big East champ in Sugar


Published: Monday, November 26, 2012 at 11:15 a.m.
Last Modified: Monday, November 26, 2012 at 11:15 a.m.

Florida fans should pay special attention to Friday night’s college football action. It will have a lot to do with the Gators’ opponent in the Sugar Bowl on Jan. 2.

While most people have projected that UF will face Oklahoma in New Orleans, the Sooners could well be left out of a BCS bowl if Kent State beats Northern Illinois in the Mid-American Conference Championship Game on Friday night.

According to BCS rules, if a non-automatic qualifier is in the top 16 of the BCS and its ranking is higher than a BCS conference championship team, that team is guaranteed a BCS bowl bid.

Kent State is currently ranked 17th in the BCS standings, .792 behind No. 16 UCLA. UCLA plays at Stanford — also on Friday night — in the Pac-12 title game. Neither Louisville nor Rutgers (who play for the Big East championship on Thursday) is currently ranked in the BCS Top 25. Neither is Wisconsin, which plays in the Big Ten title game Saturday.

If Kent State gets in, it will likely be in the Orange Bowl, which has the final pick of BCS bowls. The Sugar picks right before the Orange and would likely take the Big East champion.

Northern Illinois is currently ranked 21st in the BCS but would have a bigger climb to get into the top 16.

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