The 2020 Cotton Bowl is set to take place on Wednesday, December 30 at 8 p.m. Eastern.
Florida and Oklahoma have met just once before in a bowl, and obviously with significantly more at stake — the 2008 BCS National Championship Game pitted the Gators against a record-breaking Sooners offense, which Florida shut down in a 24-14 win at what was then called Dolphin Stadium, giving the Gators their second national title in three years.
This year’s Oklahoma team isn’t quite so pyrotechnically-inclined, though it has scored 27 points in all 10 of its games. With redshirt freshman Spencer Rattler stepping in as the Sooners’ first starting quarterback recruited from high school since 2015, Oklahoma lost two of its first three games to Kansas State and Iowa State, rebounding with six straight regular season wins and a Big 12 Championship Game victory over those same Cyclones — despite scoring just three points in the second half of Saturday’s 27-21 affair.
The turnaround from the SEC Championship Game to the Cotton Bowl — a mere nine days — will be the shortest for a bowl game in Florida’s program history, and could lead to Gators opting out of a final game in the 2020 season to spend time with family rather than pressing onward over the holiday season. Awards candidate and likely All-American Kyle Pitts has already opted to skip Florida’s bowl and enter the 2021 NFL Draft.
Florida will be making its third overall and third straight appearance in a New Year’s Six bowl in North Texas, while Oklahoma will be making its sixth overall New Year’s Six appearance, and just its second outside of the College Football Playoff. The Gators are 2-0 in their previous appearances, defeating Michigan and Virginia at the end of the 2018 and 2019 seasons, while Oklahoma is 1-4 in NY6/CFP games, its lone win coming over Auburn in the 2017 Sugar Bowl, its lone previous appearance in an NY6 game outside the CFP format.