Top 4 non-BCS Bowls, No. 2: The Gator Bowl


Playing at the same time as the Outback Bowl is a bowl that features two teams brought together under absolutely hilarious circumstances. This year, this particular bowl should be called the Well, This Is Awkward Bowl, but alas, it is properly known as the Gator Bowl. The Ohio State Buckeyes will take on the Florida Gators, in what has to be the most uncomfortable bowl game of all time. Just two seasons ago, former Florida head coach Urban Meyer retired from coaching, citing that he wanted to “spend more time with his family”. I guess family life wasn’t it all it was cracked up to be, because in November, Meyer accepted the head coaching job at Ohio State that had been vacated because of Jim Tressell’s hand in failing to report his players’ violations to the NCAA.

So basically, it looks like Urban Meyer jumped ship because his Gators were God-awful in the wake of Tim Tebow, and now he’s ready to coach some more with a marginally less awful team. If you ask me, it makes Meyer look like a snake, a man not to be trusted at all, but that’s a story for another day.

The best thing for me about this bowl game is how much disdain I have for both of these teams. As a Trojan, any team that beats Ohio State is my hero, but I also have a grudge against Florida, for no fault of their own. In USC’s prime during the middle to late 2000s, there was no doubt in my mind that the Trojans could have played a great game against Florida’s finest, and the Trojans would have won. The match up never happened, and the Florida fans ran around bragging about how awesome they were, even though they never got to face any real challenges in their national championships. Sure, it’s not Florida’s fault that it never happened, but I am bitter nonetheless.

But alas, I digress.

So let’s see…what is there to say about this game? Not a whole lot, to tell you the truth. It’s almost as pointless as UCLA/Illinois in the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl. Two less than mediocre teams battling it out for…nothing, really. Ohio State experienced its first losing season since 1999 this year, which is funny when you consider that USC went through much, much worse last season and STILL had a winning record.

It’s also kind of interesting that the last time these teams met, it was in a national championship, and Gators unleashed a world of pain on the Buckeyes. But that was expected, because everyone—especially the Trojan faithful—knows that Ohio State is the most constantly overrated program in NCAA history.

So there’s that.

I guess the only reason this game registers on my radar is for the same reason that everyone else cares about it: Urban Meyer. The tensions between the two schools because of him must be palpable; the Gators want to show that they can win without him, and the Buckeyes want to point and laugh for snagging one of the best college football coaches of the modern era, if not all time.

So who will win? Heck, I don’t know, nor do I even care. I’ll be over on ABC watching the Outback Bowl, or one of the other pointless bowl games that will get air time until the Grandaddy of Them All kicks off at 5 p.m. Pacific Time.

So let me know how it goes!

PS: let’s set the over/under on how many times the announcers will reference Urban Meyer? I’m thinking 20 times, at a minimum.

Kickoff is also at 10 a.m. Pacific time, and coverage will be provided by ESPN2. Be sure to check in periodically to see which irrelevant program with ties to Urban Meyer will pull out a victory in this game.