The Gators finished No. 3 in the final BCS rankings, just behind Alabama
and Notre Dame
, who will play for the national championship. The Sugar Bowl will serve as Florida
's 19th January bowl game since 1993, the highest total in the country. It will also be the eighth straight January bowl game, the longest streak in the country.
Florida will appear in the Sugar Bowl for the ninth time, which is tied for the third-most in history. The Gators went 3-5 in the previous eight appearances in New Orleans, most recently happening with a 51-24 win over Cincinnati in the 2010 game.
After a 6-6 regular season last year to 11-1 this season, the five-game turnaround was the biggest one-year jump for the Gators in 32 years.
It will be the third meeting between Florida and Louisville. The first came in a 13-0 Florida win during the 1980 season, and the Gators recorded a 31-17 win over Louisville in Gainesville during the 1992 season.
Florida will return to a Bowl Championship Series game for the first time since 2009. The Gators return to the Sugar Bowl to face the Louisville Cardinals on January 2 at 8:30 p.m.
Florida will play in its eight straight January bowl game, the most consecutive in the country