The 31st edition of the Outback Bowl will match familiar bowl foes. Number seventeen Florida and Iowa, both 8-4 on the season, have met 3 times previously and all of them bowl games. The Gators won in the 1983 Gator Bowl and the 2005 Outback Bowl. The Hawkeyes won the 2003 Outback Bowl.
Tampa's Outback Bowl matches up Florida and IowaThe Gators come in on a 2-game losing streak, having lost to Florida State and Alabama. The Hawkeyes, however, come to Tampa on a 3-game winning streak, with wins over Michigan… their biggest victory of the season… and Nebraska in a 40-10 blowout. And they won the coveted Floyd of Rosedale with an October win over Minnesota.
Iowa head football coach Kirk Ferentz is finishing his 18th season in Iowa City, and he has the Hawkeyes playing in a bowl game for the 14th game in their last 16 seasons.
Florida head coach Jim McElwain is finishing his 2nd season in Gainesville, with both seasons played in the SEC Championship game, only to lose to Alabama each time. Defenses are each team's strength, so this is projected to be a low-scoring game. The Gators are 2 ½ point favorites.
Historically, Outback Bowl games have been among the best of the bowl season. Three of the last 7 games have gone to overtime. Both Florida and Iowa have split their 4 appearances in the Outback Bowl.