No. 4 Florida will meet No. 22 Louisville in the Sugar Bowl.
Despite finishing behind Georgia in the Southeastern Conference East Division, Florida (11-1, 7-1 Southeastern Conference) was a likely candidate for the Sugar Bowl because the winner of Saturday's SEC title game, Alabama, is headed to the BCS championship, while Georgia, which beat Florida and won the SEC East, was left with two losses and a lower BCS ranking than the one-loss Gators.
Louisville (10-2, 5-2 Big East) finished in a tie for Big East championship but earned its invitation to a BCS bowl thanks to having the highest BCS ranking of any team in the league. The Cardinals opened the season 9-0 before falling to Syracuse and Connecticut, but then beat Rutgers to lock up their league's BCS bid.
This will be Florida's ninth appearance in the Sugar Bowl, to be played this postseason on Jan. 2. The Gators have won three of their previous eight appearances, including a 51-24 win over Cincinnati in the 2010 game. The Gators won a national title in the Sugar Bowl with a 52-20 victory over Florida State following the 1996 season.
Louisville will be playing in its first Sugar Bowl, making the Cardinals the fourth first-time participant in the game in the past six years.
Louisville and Florida have met twice before, with the Gators winning both in 1980 and 1992.
The game will also pit Louisville coach Charlie Strong against a Florida program on which he served as an assistant from 2003-2009.
Florida won this year primarily with a rushing attack which averaged nearly 195 yards per game and was led by Mike Gillislee, and a highly rated defense that allowed only 12.9 points per game, the third-lowest average in the country.
Louisville rode a passing attack led by sophomore quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, which averaged nearly 296 yards per game.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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