It's a roundabout way that we learned Florida would meet Louisville in the Sugar Bowl, but Sports Illustrated's Pete Thamel confirmed it, sort of, on Sunday afternoon. Update: Thamel and SI confirm the Florida-Louisville Sugar Bowl.
BREAKING: Northern Illinois vs Florida State is official in the Orange Bowl, according to a source.— Pete Thamel(@SIPeteThamel) December 2, 2012
If you read the earlier post on Florida's Sugar Bowl scenarios, you know that was part of the first one mentioned.
The Sugar Bowl would have first pick of the bowls with space for at-large teams, and would likely select local team Florida. The Fiesta would go next, looking for a team to pair with Big 12 Kansas State, and would almost certainly select Oregon. That would leave the Sugar to pick next, of Louisville and Northern Illinois — there's virtually no way the Sugar takes the Huskies over the Cardinals, and so Florida would play Louisville in the Sugar Bowl. This is still unlikely, with the Huskies at No. 16 in the USA TODAY poll and unloved by the computer rankings coming into this week, but it's possible.
Northern Illinois being in a BCS bowl means Northern Illinois has gotten an auto-bid; that also means that Louisville, which needed a landing spot that isn't the Orange, gets bumped up to the Sugar.
Florida has played Louisville twice in the two schools' history, beating the Cardinals in Gainesville by a 13-0 count in 1980 and 31-17 in 1992. Both games served as Homecoming games for Florida in those seasons.
Sugar Bowl tickets will likely go on sale tomorrow.