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The Florida Bowls: Schedules, Matchups, And Coverage

There are six college bowls in the state of Florida -- the Beef O'Brady Bowl, Champs Sports Bowl, Gator Bowl, Capital One Bowl, Outback Bowl, and Orange Bowl -- so here's a guide to help everyone keep all the dates and matchups straight.

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Due to its balmy, beautiful weather during the time of the year when most Northern residents are getting the snowblower ready, the state of Florida is a bastion of winter athletics. Baseball's spring training is a fixture in Florida, and the college bowl season has many important games scattered throughout the state. This serves as a win-win situation for fans and teams: teams gets to play their final game in comfortable weather, and fans have yet another reason to travel and watch their team play in the bowl live.

There are six main bowls that happen in Florida: the Beef O'Brady Bowl, Champs Sports Bowl, Gator Bowl, Capital One Bowl, Outback Bowl, and Orange Bowl. Matchups for these games were all released this past Sunday, and there are a number of exciting games set to happen. In particular, both Florida and Florida State will be playing in-state this season, and they have some big time opponents.

Below you'll find a list of all the Florida bowl games in chronological order, with a brief description of the bowl and this year's matchup. Click the "Matchup" link provided and you'll be directed to our ongoing coverage of that specific bowl, which you can "Like" on Facebook to get any updates about that bowl that we publish.

December 20th: Beef O'Brady Bowl

While the Beef O'Brady Bowl isn't one of the largest bowls around, it does have a unique twist this year. Due to the Big East's inability to produce more than four football teams with winning records, the Beef O'Brady Bowl selected the FIU Golden Panthers (8-4, Sun Belt Conference) to be one of their teams this year. This is only the second bowl appearance for the Panthers, who are based down the road in Miami. They will face the Marshall Thundering Herd (6-6, C-USA).

Matchup: FIU Golden Panthers vs. Marshall Thundering Herd
Location: Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, FL
Time: 8:00pm EST
Coverage: ESPN

December 29th: Champs Sports Bowl

The Florida State Seminoles (8-4, ACC) may have had a disappointing season and finished outside the BCS rankings, but they were still given quite the high profile pairing. The Champs Sports Bowl had been angling to have a big matchup this year, so they jumped on the chance to grab a local team and used their once-every-four-years ability to select Notre Dame (8-4, Independent). This is the first time that the Fighting Irish have been in the Champs Sports Bowl, and the third time for the Seminoles (1990, 2008).

Matchup: Florida State Seminoles vs. Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Location: Citrus Bowl, Orlando, FL
Time: 5:30pm EST
Coverage: ESPN

January 2nd: Gator, Outback, and Capital One Bowls

Technically it's called the Gator Bowl, but I have a feeling most people will be calling it the Urban Meyer Bowl over the coming weeks. Both the Florida Gators and Ohio State Buckeyes finished with disappointing 6-6 records on the year, but that won't prevent there from being a large amount of hype surrounding this game. Meyer likely will not attend the bowl -- he's technically not their head coach of the Buckeyes until next season -- but this will be a chance for the Gators to exact some revenge on national television.

Matchup: Florida Gators vs. Ohio State Buckeyes (Gator Bowl)
Location: EverBank Field, Jacksonville, FL
Time: 1:00pm EST
Coverage: ESPN2

Outside of the four Bowl Championship Series (BCS) games, the Capital One Bowl is one of the highest profile bowl games. It features two of the top teams from the Big Ten and SEC, making this year's matchup between #10 South Carolina (10-2) and #21 Nebraska (9-3). This is both team's second time in the Capital One Bowl, although it has been over 20 years since either team has been in it.

Matchup: Nebraska Cornhuskers vs. South Carolina Gamecocks (Capital One Bowl) 
Location: Citrus Bowl, Orlando, FL
Time: 1:00pm EST
Coverage: ESPN

The Outback Bowl normally features a high-profile showdown between the SEC and Big 10, and this year's duo doesn't disappoint. Both teams lost in their respective conference championship games -- Georgia lost to LSU; Michigan State fell to Wisconsin -- but they finished the season with impressive 10-3 records, earning them high rankings in the AP Poll. This is the lone Florida game that will not be broadcast on ESPN or ESPN2.

Matchup: Georgia Bulldogs vs. Michigan State Spartans (Outback Bowl)
Location: Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, FL
Time: 1:00pm EST
Coverage: ABC

January 4th: Orange Bowl

Founded in 1935, the Orange Bowl is the second oldest bowl game and the highest profile game that happens in the state of Florida. It typically features the winner of the ACC championship game and an at-large BCS opponent, making this year's matchup between #14 Clemson (10-3) and #23 West Virginia (9-3). This is West Virginia's first time in the Orange Bowl.

Matchup: West Virginia Mountaineers vs. Clemson Tigers
Location: Sun Life Stadium, Miami Gardens, FL
Time: 8:30pm EST
Coverage: ESPN

For ongoing coverage of these bowls, click on the matchup links provided above and select to "Follow" the stream on Facebook. You can also follow SB Nation Tampa Bay's entire bowl coverage on Twitter.

Photographs by, thelastminute, turtlemom nancy , fesek, kthypryn, justinwright, sue_elias, pointnshoot, and scrapstothefuture used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.