Florida Almost Guaranteed a New Year's Six Bowl, up to No. 9 in CFP

Zach Goodall

Following losses from Alabama and Penn State, the Florida Gators (10-2, 6-2 SEC) have found themselves trending in the right, upwards direction entering Week 15 of the 2019 college football season. 

Given those losses, from the former No. 5 and No. 10 teams in the poll as of last week, respectively, Florida has shot up to the No. 9 spot, all but guaranteeing a New Year's Six Bowl berth.

Florida is now the third highest-ranked SEC team in the nation following Alabama's fall, and the top two SEC teams - No. 2 LSU (12-0, 8-0 SEC) and No. 4 Georgia (11-1, 7-1 SEC) - currently considered playoff teams.

That opens up the Sugar Bowl as a potential landing spot for Florida when bowl season arrives., where Florida would face the winner of No. 6 Oklahoma (11-1, 8-1 Big 12) vs. No. 7 Baylor (11-1, 8-1 Big 12). Now, this is only possible if both LSU and Georgia make the playoff, and that would require an ever-so-close finish between LSU and Georgia in the SEC Championship with Georgia prevailing in the end, in order for both teams to remain in the top four.

Given the unlikelihood of that scenario, it would appear Florida's best bet would be the Orange Bowl, which takes one of the No. 1 non-playoff SEC or Big 10 team (or Notre Dame). As things currently stand and is projected to be the case come next week's rankings, Florida would be the pick to face the No. 1 non-playoff ACC team, which will be No. 23 Virginia (9-3, 6-2 ACC).

In the almost impossible event that Alabama somehow jumps Florida next week, despite being three spots behind and neither team having a game this week, Florida would basically be guaranteed a spot in the Cotton Bowl against the No. 1 team from the American Athletic Conference, which would be either No. 17 Memphis (11-1, 7-1 AAC) or No. 20 Cincinnati. (10-2, 7-1 AAC).

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