Ohio State confirmed tonight it will take on Florida in the Gator Bowl on at 1 p.m. on Jan.2 in Jacksonville, Fla.
Urban Meyer's past will clash with his future in the Gator Bowl.
Ohio State will play Florida in Jacksonville, Fla., on Jan. 2 as the team he'll coach in 2012 plays the team he led to two national titles.
Meyer, who was hired Nov. 28, won't coach the Buckeyes in the Gator Bowl. Luke Fickell and his current staff will handle coaching duties for the bowl game while Meyer recruits and assembles his coaching staff.
This will be the second time Ohio State has played in the Gator Bowl. The previous appearance in 1978 marked the end of Buckeyes coach Woody Hayes' 28-year career at Ohio State. After an interception by Clemson's Charlie Bauman sealed the Tigers' 17-15 victory, Hayes slugged the nose guard on the Ohio State sideline. Hayes was fired the next day.
Florida and Ohio State will be meeting for the first time since Meyer's Gators routed the favored Buckeyes 41-14 in the 2006 BCS championship game.
Both perennial powers had disappointing 6-6 regular seasons in 2011. Ohio State lost its final three games to finish with a non-winning regular season for the first time since 1999.
After winning their first four games under new coach Will Muschamp, the Gators lost six of their final eight games. Their only victories after September came against Vanderbilt and Football Championship Subdivision team Furman.
Though Florida's defense ranked ninth nationally out of 120 teams, its offense was 102nd.
The Gator Bowl loser will have its losing record for the first time in about a generation. Ohio State hasn't finished below .500 since 1988 when it finished 4-6-1 in John Cooper's first season as coach. Florida hasn't had a sub-.500 season since going 0-10-1 in 1979 under Charley Pell.
Despite the mediocre seasons by Ohio State and Florida, Gator Bowl president Rick Catlett said he wanted that matchup. Buckeyes fans tend to travel in large numbers, and nearby Florida is a natural draw.