With success comes losses. It's a part of college football.
Florida's Sugar Bowl season put the spotlight on several juniors and many are almost certain to depart early for the NFL. The top junior prospects include defensive linemen Dominique Easley and Sharrif Floyd, LB Jelani Jenkins, S Matt Elam and TE Jordan Reed.
While departures will change the complexion of the team heading into 2013, all play positions in which UF is deep and talented.
Elam made numerous All-American teams and is the most logical to depart. He was a major contributor the past three years and took a lot of pride in seeing the program get back to the BCS level after losing 11 games in his first two seasons at Florida.
"From the last two years what we did, the expectations we had we didn't live up to, so it's very big to be at this point again," he said. "I feel like this is what we're supposed to be, you know what I'm saying. It's Florida. They're always in big BCS games."
Florida's 1996 and 2007 Heisman Trophy quarterbacks, Danny Wuerffel and Tim Tebow, showed up at the site of their last college games.
Tebow sat with friends and family, and made an appearance on ESPN's pregame show. He threw for a Sugar Bowl record 482 yards and three touchdowns in a 51-24 win against Cincinnati on Jan. 1, 2010.
Wuerffel participated in the pregame coin toss. He threw for 306 yards and three scores in the Gators' 52-20 win against FSU to claim the school's first national title on Jan. 2, 1997.
Florida's Caleb Sturgis converted a 33-yard field goal in the first quarter, his 24th of the season.
That broke the Gators' all-time single season mark set by Bobby Raymond in 1984.
Florida entered Wednesday's game with four straight bowl wins, a school record, and was making its eighth straight January bowl appearance, the nation's longest active streak. … Wednesday's game marked the Gators' seventh BCS bowl appearance, tops in the SEC and tied for third nationally. It was UF's 40th bowl appearance overall.
David Jones, Florida Today