Ohio State and Florida enter the Jan. 2 Gator Bowl following down seasons. For two programs accustomed to competing ranked atop the national polls, their identical 6-6 records are a departure from the norm and an experience they'd rather not repeat.
Despite that, players are still looking forward to the game as Doug Lesmerises of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports.
"BCS bowls are great, but bowl season is about playing a really good opponent you normally wouldn't see in the regular season," OSU offensive lineman Jack Mewhort said. "That's what you have with Ohio State versus Florida. There's a history there, and I think people are really eager to see both teams come out and play hard. It's going to be a great game. I don't know who wouldn't want to watch it. I'm excited, and I think Buckeye Nation should be excited, too."
The Gators, of course, famously defeated the then-No. 1 ranked Buckeyes 41-14 in the 2006 BCS National Championship game, so the Gator Bowl represents Ohio State's opportunity for payback. Ohio State is coming off a victory against Arkansas in last year's Sugar Bowl while Florida defeated Penn State at the Outback Bowl.
For more on the Gators, check out SB Nations Florida blog, Alligator Army.