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The SEC takes on the Big 12 as the 8-3 Florida Gators battle the 8-2 Oklahoma Sooners in the Cotton Bowl from AT&T Stadium in Dallas, Texas on Wednesday evening. Kickoff is set for 8:00 pm EST. The last meeting between these two national powerhouses came in the 2008 Orange Bowl, also known as the BCS National Championship. The Gators were victorious on that January night nearly 12 years ago, but neither program has been able to get back to a title game since.
Florida dropped their final two games after starting the season 8-1 and climbing all the way to No. 6 in the College Football Playoff rankings. LSU upset them on December 12, highlighted by an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on defense that ultimately led to the Tigers driving for the game-winning field goal. A week later, the Gators were pummeled by Alabama in the SEC Championship, officially ending any slim hope at a place in the playoff.
Quarterback Kyle Trask went from near obscurity to Heisman finalist, similar to fellow SEC signal-caller Joe Burrow, from a season ago. The Cotton Bowl is expected to be the redshirt senior’s final game with the Gators after throwing for 4,125 yards and 43 touchdowns, both of which led the FBS. Trask is expected to be a first-round selection in next April’s NFL Draft and could certainly help his stock with a strong showing against the Sooners.
This is somewhat unfamiliar territory for an Oklahoma program that has reached the College Football Playoff in each of the last three seasons. Lincoln Riley has ascended into college football coaching royalty, often brought up when an NFL gig becomes available. However, with all his success, he has yet to lead the Sooners to a single win in those three CFP appearances.
OU is 0-3 in those games, each time losing to an SEC school, falling to Alabama, Georgia, and LSU, giving up 162 points in the process.
The Sooners enter the Cotton Bowl winners of their final seven games, including a Big 12 Championship win over Iowa State, avenging one of their two losses from back on October 3 in Ames.
BETTING LINE AND PICK
Oklahoma is favored by 3 in the Cotton Bowl, with an over/under of 70. The Sooners are 3-0 SU and ATS against ranked opponents this season and 6-1 ATS in their last seven overall. Florida is 4-0 ATS following a loss since 2019 and 26-11-4 ATS against top-10 teams since 2004.
This line has shifted dramatically since it first opened with the Gators as a field-goal favorite. Star tight end and top NFL prospect Kyle Pitts has since opted out, likely altering bettors’ views of this game. But Dan Mullen was on the sidelines of that 2008 Orange Bowl as the offensive coordinator, and he’ll be looking to send Trask out on a high note. UF is 8-2 ATS and 10-0 SU in their last ten non-conference games dating back to 2018. Make it a perfect 11-0 SU as they win this one outright.
Pick: Florida +3