As good as Tim Tebow was this season, he couldn’t get Florida into the BCS.
That’s too bad for the Gators, but great for the Capital One Bowl, which has a Heisman Trophy winner and a bowl matchup any game would love.
Tebow and Florida take on Michigan, which is hoping to send coach Lloyd Carr into retirement with a victory.
Tebow is the first Heisman winner to miss out on the Bowl Championship Series since Ricky Williams and Texas played in the Cotton Bowl after he won the award in 1998.
The previous four Heisman winners, and six of the eight since Williams won, played in the national title game. The other two were Wisconsin’s Ron Dayne, who played in the 2000 Rose Bowl, and Southern California’s Carson Palmer, who played in the ‘03 Orange Bowl.
The Gators (9-3) couldn’t defend their national title, but it certainly wasn’t Tebow’s fault. He became the first player in major college history to reach 20 touchdowns passes and 20 rushing touchdowns in the same season, then became the first sophomore to win the Heisman Trophy.
Michigan began its season with two ugly losses, the infamous Appalachian State game and rout at the hands of Oregon.
The Wolverines recovered and were in the Big Ten race until the end. Michigan lost to Ohio State for the fourth straight season and two days later Carr announced he was calling it quits after his 13th season. Carr has won 75 percent of his games and a national title with the Wolverines, but he’s lost his last four bowl games.
The Heisman runner-up will also be playing in a non-BCS game. Arkansas and running back Darren McFadden take on Missouri and quarterback Chase Daniel, who finished fourth in the Heisman voting, in the Cotton Bowl.
Badgers have faced SEC in last four bowl games (2-2) ... WISCONSIN 30-28.
Cotton Bowl – Missouri (minus 3) vs. Arkansas
Tigers are seventh in nation in passing; Razorbacks third-best running team ... MISSOURI 45-30.
Capital One Bowl – Michigan (plus 101⁄2) vs. Florida
Wolverines won only bowl meeting, 38-30 in 2003 Outback ... FLORIDA 37-33.
Gator Bowl – Virginia (plus 6) vs. Texas Tech
Virginia is 0-5 in Florida bowls ... TEXAS TECH 37-27.
Rose Bowl – Southern California (minus 131⁄2) vs. Illinois
Illini making fifth Rose Bowl appearance; USC is on No. 32 ... USC 31-12.
Sugar Bowl – Hawaii (plus 71⁄2) vs. Georgia
Last time Bulldogs faced unbeaten bowl opponent, they beat Texas in 1984 Cotton Bowl ... GEORGIA 44-33.