Florida lands Orange Bowl bid; National semifinals set

Hard Rock Stadium, site of the Orange Bowl in Miami Gardens on Dec. 30. [Staff Photo/Gary Cosby Jr.]

Florida will play Virginia in the Orange Bowl at 8 p.m. Dec. 30 at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, the College Football Playoff committee announced today.

It will be the second consecutive New Year’s Six bowl for the Gators (10-2, No. 9 CFP) in Dan Mullen’s tenure at UF, which routed Michigan in last year’s Peach Bowl. Virginia (9-4, No. 24 CFP) is coming off a 62-17 thumping by Clemson in Charlotte, N.C., Saturday in the ACC Championship Game. The Cavaliers allowed a championship game record for points and yards (619).

This will be Florida’s fourth Orange Bowl appearance, and it boasts a 3-0 record in its previous outings. The Gators upset No. 8 Georgia Tech, 27-12, in 1967, routed No. 15 Syracuse, 31-10, in 1999, and dominated No. 10 Maryland, 56-23, in 2002. Florida also won the 2009 BCS National Championship Game at the Orange Bowl site (Dolphin Stadium, now renamed Hard Rock Stadium), as it defeated No. 1 Oklahoma, 24-14, to win its second national title in a three-year span. 

The Gators will face Virginia for the second time in school history. The only other meeting between the two was on Oct. 3, 1959, and the No. 19 Gators came away with a 55-10 victory in Gainesville. 

Florida is making its 45th all-time bowl appearance, and it is 23-21 in its previous bowl games. This will be the 19th time the Gators play in a New Year’s Six bowl.

With a win in the bowl game, the Gators would record their eighth 11-win season in program history and first since 2012. Moreover, Florida would end consecutive seasons with bowl wins for the first time since a four-year streak from 2008-11. Florida has already secured its second consecutive 10-win season for the first time since 13-win campaigns in 2008 and 2009, and Mullen is already the first head coach in program history to post 10 wins in each of his first two seasons.


The Gators Ticket Office is accepting bowl order requests now until Monday, Dec. 9 at 11:59 p.m. Football Season Ticket Holders can login to their account (Account Manager) to place their order. General public sales begin Tuesday, Dec. 10 at 10 a.m. All tickets will be delivered electronically.

The final four field announced Sunday: No. 1 LSU (13-0), No. 2 Ohio State (13-0), No. 3 Clemson (13-0) and No. 4 Oklahoma (12-1). The remaining New Year’s Six bowls and final Top 25 will be announced at 3 p.m. on ESPN.

Dec. 28, Peach Bowl: LSU vs. Oklahoma

Dec. 28, Fiesta Bowl: Ohio State vs. Clemson



  1. The next step for the Gators now is to embarrass Virginia in the OB the way they embarrassed Michigan in the PB last year and finish the 2019 season 11-2. That overwhelming performance is needed for recruiting the 2021 and 2022 classes.

    The next steps for the Gators in 2020 are an 11-win season, an SEC East title and a spot in the CFP Final Four. LSU showed the way to beat the Ugly Dawgs yesterday. Play SOLID D for 60 minutes and present them with a choice of offensive poison: stop our excellent running game, or stop our aerial circus, either way you go you’ll get whooped by the poison you chose to swallow.

    To do THAT the Gators MUST develop an SEC OL like the one we saw from LSU last night. IMHO, the Gators already have the QB, RBs and WRs.

    Last night, UGA first sold out to stop Edwards-Helaire by spying him and attempting to rush Burrow with 3 DL. So, the LSU OL gave Burrow up to 9 seconds to find an open WR in the back of the end zone. Later, Smart rearranged Dawg coverage to beef up their pass rush and that LSU OL STILL gave Burrow enough time to find an open Edwards-Helaire on that pass that broke UGA’s back. The common denominators on both plays were that great QB, that excellent OL and the REAL threat of a muscular running game that kept UGA out of nickel and dime pass coverage packages all night.

  2. Am I to understand from this that the Gators are still at #9 in this joke of a poll? I say joke with all seriousness and confidence, because there is absolutely no accountability or transparency in the Selection Committee’s “selection”. We can only hope to glean a few tidbits of usable information from the ramblings of the Committee chairman about how the Committee “felt”.

    Does anyone really know how the Committee operates? What criteria do the members use? They purport to rank the teams in such a way as to find the “best” teams, yet they admittedly ignore a team’s resume, when it serves their interests, and resort to their “feelings”. Does each member develop his or her own rankings with the “votes” averaged into the actual rankings? Or do they all discuss the teams together and come up with a consensus without actually voting?

    They claim to start all over each week. As Dooley says, they wipe the resume clean each week. What sense does that make? Thankfully, the Committee hadn’t started their rankings when UGA and SC played, or the Gamecocks may have been proclaimed #1, since they had the best win that week.

    I say there’s no accountability, because while we know who the members are, we don’t know how they voted, or even if they voted. There’s no transparency, in part because of that same issue, but also because the rankings show us no points or score for each team, so we can’t know how far ahead or behind a particular team is.

    The AP poll shows us each team’s points, based on on how the individual voters rank the teams. The old BCS rankings gave us a percentage score for each team, and published the formula for how the scores were calculated. We may not have agreed with the rankings, but we new exactly how they were calculated.

    I say all of this, because if the Gators are still #9, then there are at least three teams that lost this weekend who are still ahead of UF. I can understand UGA, because the Dawgs beat the Gators on the field. But it is unconscionable to me that Baylor and Wisconsin could still be ahead of UF. No amount of babbling and rambling by the Committee chairman will convince me otherwise.

    I haven’t actually seen the rankings, so I’m going by a possibly dangerous assumption. If I’m wrong about the identity of the teams ahead of the Gators, then, as Miss Emily Litella used to say, “Never mind “!