Florida Football: Five takeaways from New Year's Day Bowls for the Gators

No, Florida didn't have a bowl game this year. But Gator fans learned a few things watching others play in their bowl games.

Tennessee quarterback Nico Iamaleava (8) looks for an open receiver during the Citrus Bowl NCAA
Tennessee quarterback Nico Iamaleava (8) looks for an open receiver during the Citrus Bowl NCAA / Saul Young/News Sentinel / USA TODAY
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The SEC isn't the unstoppable kingpin anymore

For better or for worse, both 2024 members of the SEC that played in the playoff semifinals last night lost. While both games were close, it was a far cry from what we have seen in the past where SEC teams just roll over the opposition in the playoffs.

The SEC has 16 wins all-time in the ten year history of the playoffs. Even after last night, everyone else has 13 wins combined.

But what last night showed is that in the age of the transfer portal and in the age of NIL, teams like Alabama and Georgia aren't able to tie up all the talent like they once were.

And while there is reason to believe that the bottom feeder teams in conferences like the ACC and the Big 10 are weaker than the bottom feeder teams in the SEC, last night showcased there isn't a singular, unstoppable juggernaut in college football right now to stand in the way of the Gators when they are ready to finally climb to the top of the mountain.