By Stephen Evans
#22 Louisville vs #4 Florida
Jan. 2 – 7:30PM – ESPN
They’re going to need some extra sugar to remove the sour taste of the 2013 Sugar Bowl. The Florida Gators, ranked fourth in the BCS, will take on the 21st-ranked and Big East co-champion Louisville Cardinals in one of the most lopsided bowl match-ups of this year’s college football postseason.
In college basketball, Florida-Louisville is a compelling match-up. In college football, in a BCS bowl game … let’s just say it’s a far cry from must-see-TV.
The Gators figured to be prepping for the Big XII runner-up Oklahoma Sooners. But a stunning Nebraska loss to Wisconsin in the Big Ten championship game and a Northern Illinois MAC championship game upset victory put the wheels into motion that would ultimately bounce the Sooners from the BCS and instead send Louisville to the Sugar Bowl.
At least one team will be excited to be playing in the game. But even Louisville’s emotions will likely be tempered, as their head coach Charlie Strong is a candidate for openings at a number of schools and will very likely be either coaching his final game at Louisville, or worse, will have already split town by the time the game rolls around. In an ironic twist, Strong was the Gators’ defensive coordinator the last time Florida went to the Sugar Bowl, but did not coach in the game after taking the Louisville head coaching job.
On the field, this has all the makings of a mauling, unless Florida just decides to mail it in. The Gator defense is truly elite, and though Louisville’s offense has put up a pile of yards and points, the Cardinals have not gone against a defense the caliber of Florida’s. Will Muschamp promises his team is “jacked up” to be playing in the Sugar Bowl. But do we even care enough to watch and find out?