After losing its last two games to fall out of potential consideration for placement in the Sugar Bowl, Florida will play Michigan in the 2016 Citrus Bowl, bowl title sponsor Buffalo Wild Wings announced Sunday afternoon.
Florida last played in the game that is once again the Citrus Bowl — with Buffalo Wild Wings serving as the named sponsor — after the 2007 regular season, falling to Michigan by a 41-35 count in that game. Tim Tebow threw for 154 yards and three touchdowns in his first game as a Heisman winner and ran for another 57 yards and a touchdown, and Percy Harvin had 242 yards of total offense and two touchdowns, but a ferocious Michigan pass rush limited Tebow all day, and Chad Henne threw for 373 yards and three touchdowns against Florida's most flammable secondary in recent memory.
Florida also played in the Citrus Bowl after the 1980, 1998, and 2000 seasons, beating Maryland and Penn State and falling to Michigan State, respectively, in those games. (The game was known as the Tangerine Bowl in 1980.)
The 2016 edition of the game will serve as a matchup of two of the nation's best first-year coaches in Florida's Jim McElwain and Michigan's Jim Harbaugh, and as a preview of a 2017 season opener between the two programs in Cowboys Stadium in 2017.
It also shapes up as a defensive struggle: Florida is No. 8 nationally in scoring defense, and Michigan checks in at No. 10, but the Gators are No. 98 in scoring offense, and Michigan just No. 54.