On behalf of its Selection Committee, Florida Citrus Sports’ Chairman Tony Martin and Executive Director Steve Hogan announce that the University of Florida and the University of Michigan have been chosen to play in this year’s Capital One Bowl. The game, played on January 1 at 1:00 p.m. and televised on nationally on ABC, will be the first meeting between the two national powerhouses since the 2003 Outback Bowl.
Florida, the bowl’s representative from the Southeastern Conference, finished the regular season 9-3 (5-3 SEC) a season removed from winning its second National Championship. Two of the Gators’ three losses came by four points or less and the team features the nation’s fourth-ranked scoring offense, averaging 43.1 points per game. In QB Tim Tebow, the Gators have the nation’s top-rated passer (177.85 rating) and seventh-ranked player in total offense (330.8 ypg). Tebow is expected to be named a finalist for this year’s Heisman Trophy.
Michigan (8-4, 6-2 Big Ten) comes to Orlando after a season that started slow and finished slow, but featured an eight-game winning streak in the middle of its schedule. The Wolverines have arguably one of the nation’s most star-studded offenses, but have dealt with injuries throughout the season. Michigan has taken just one snap with its top four offensive weapons – QB Chad Henne, TB Mike Hart, WR Mario Manningham and OT Jake Long – on the field at the same time. All four are expected to be healthy for this year’s bowl game.
“This is about as good as it gets in college football,” said FCSports Executive Director Steve Hogan. “A top 10 team in the University of Florida led by Heisman-hopeful Tim Tebow, facing the University of Michigan looking to send coach Carr out on a high note — with a healthy Chad Henne and Mike Hart — will be one of the best games of the year. This is great for Orlando and should be one of the toughest Capital One Bowl tickets to get in years.”
This year’s meeting will be just the second-ever between these two schools. The lone previous meeting came in the 2003 Outback Bowl, a 38-30 win for the Wolverines. Florida last played in the Capital One Bowl in 2000, a 37-34 loss to Michigan State, while Michigan last squared off in Orlando In 2002, a 45-17 loss to Tennessee. Michigan has a 2-1 all-time record in the bowl while Florida is 2-2 in four appearances.
For ticket information, please log on to www.ticketmaster.com. Groups of 20 or more or those interested in membership can call the Florida Citrus Sports offices at 407.423.2476.