TAMPA, FL— The Florida Gators and Iowa Hawkeyes will square-off in the Outback Bowl on January 2nd in Tampa, bowl officials announced today. Both teams are 8-4 with the SEC East Division Champion Gators ranked No. 17 in the CFP Ranking and No. 20 in the AP Poll while the Hawkeyes are ranked No. 21 in the AP. It will be only the fourth time these teams have played in more than 125 seasons of their football history.
“We are thrilled to extend an invitation to the University of Florida and the University of Iowa to play in this year’s Outback Bowl,” said Outback Bowl Chairman Steve Pratico. “These are two quality teams and a match-up that fans are really going to enjoy watching. We look forward to hosting the Hawkeyes and Gator teams and their fans, and ensure them they will have a memorable experience in the Tampa Bay area.”
“Few bowls have the combination of location, hospitality and facilities that the Outback Bowl enjoys,” said Florida Athletic Director Scott Stricklin. “Tampa is a great city – a great Gator city - and we are looking forward to the week of activities that Jim McVay and the Outback Bowl staff will put on before our team faces the Iowa Hawkees from the Big 10 on January 2nd. ”
“We are excited and honored to be selected to participate in the 2017 Outback Bowl, said Gary Barta, director of athletics. “Coach Kirk Ferentz, his entire staff, and our student-athletes closed the season with three impressive victories, and their hard work and commitment to the program has been rewarded. With the end of season performances, our team certainly earned its way to this exciting bowl event.
“Iowa football has a strong history with the Outback Bowl, and the city of Tampa, and we are excited to have Tampa as the destination for the loyal and supportive fans of our program. Our passionate fan base always plays a part in our bowl selection and destination. As always, we know we will face a very strong opponent from the Southeastern Conference and we are looking forward to another outstanding Outback Bowl experience.”
The Outback Bowl will be played on January 2nd at 1:00 PM ET at Raymond James Stadium. Tickets are on sale through Ticketmaster at (813) 287-8844 or 1-800-745-3000 and can be purchased online at www.ticketmaster.com. Tickets can also be purchased at any Ticketmaster outlet in the state of Florida.
For information on Outback Bowl events leading up to the game go to the bowl web site at www.outbackbowl.com for details.