NEW ORLEANS (Sporting Alert) – After a busy new year of college football bowl action, the schedule trims to one game on Wednesday with the Allstate Sugar Bowl the crown up for grab.
The Allstate Sugar Bowl game will see Florida (11-1) taking an impressive regular season record into the game against a Louisville (10-2) team which is highly motivated and is ready to play.
No. 22 Louisville is beginning to find stability after losing back-to-back games at Syracuse and at home against Connecticut in November.
They did end the month and regular season with a close 20-17 victory over Rutgers and head coach Charlie Strong went on to share the Big East Coach of the Year award with Rutgers’ Kyle Flood.
Strong’s impressive work with the Cardinals hasn’t gone unnoticed with several teams, including Tennessee, reportedly showing interest in prize him away.
However, he has no plans to leave.
“You look at those jobs, but I have a great job here,” said Strong was quoted as saying.
“The stability of this program is always going to be solid and they’re going to do everything to make this one of the best programs in the country.”
Strong worked with the Gator program from 2003-09 and helped them to a pair of BCS titles as the defensive coordinator, and admits to following them every week.
Still, it is all about his team come Wednesday.
“It’s a program of excellence and I really enjoyed my time there,” he said. “I watch that program every week.”
He added: “I’m just happy for this program to get to a BCS bowl game,” Strong said about Louisville.
“I don’t really know if it really matters who we play. I love the University of Florida but I’m just so happy for our players.”
Florida’s only defeat this season came against the Georgia Bulldogs back in October and after beating LSU, it was a big dent to their push for the SEC title and a chance to play for the national championship.
But the improvement from 6-6 to 11-1 is a clear sign of how well the Gators have played this season and even senior kicker Caleb Sturgis was excited.
“I don’t think anyone’s mind is on anything else,” Sturgis said on the Gators official website at www.gatorzone.com.
“I think we’re an accountable football team. We’ve got a good group of seniors and great underclassmen who take things very seriously. When you’re accountable and doing the right things, you’re going to have a good game.”
Gators coach Will Muschamp praised his team’s efforts this season.
“We have played very good defense throughout the year,” he said. “Offensively, we have done some nice things.
“We have to be more consistent in getting the ball down the field vertically, but been real pleased with this team.”
Muschamp believes his team is good enough to “be playing for the national championship.”
Meanwhile, this week will also see teams competing for the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl and AT&T Cotton. On New Year’s Day, Florida State took the Discover Orange, the Rose Bowl went to Stanford, while Georgia captured the Capital One Bowl.
College Football Bowl TV Schedule – Jan. 2
Event: Allstate Sugar – Louisville vs. Florida
Place: Louisiana Superdome, New Orleans, Louisiana
Date: Wednesday, January 2, 8:30 p.m.
Live TV: ESPN
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