Two of the biggest teams in college football, both now led by first-year coaches, face off in the Citrus Bowl in Orlando at 1 p.m. ET on New Year’s Day. Fans are in for quite a treat as No. 14 Michigan plays No. 19 Florida. One would imagine the Gators would have an immense fan advantage with the game so close to their campus, but Michigan fans travel well — especially to Florida in January. Are you ready to watch?
It’s just the third time the Wolverines and Gators have met, with Michigan holding a 2-0 lead. The last meeting was on Jan. 1, 2008, when unranked Michigan upset No. 12 Florida 41-35 in this bowl game. The Citrus Bowl is the only New Year’s Day game of the five to be shown over-the-air on ABC. But that telecast is available to cord cutters via the WatchESPN app. And the best place to get that streaming option to watch the Citrus Bowl, among other bowl games, is Sling TV.
Michigan Wolverines vs. Florida Gators Preview
Michigan was just 5-7 in 2014, which led to the firing of Brady Hoke. The Wolverines targeted just one guy all along to replace Hoke and they waited until the conclusion of the 2014 NFL season to get him. And, of course, that’s ex-San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh, a former UM quarterback and “Michigan Man” through and through.
Harbaugh’s Wolverines were unranked to start the season but finished 9-3. They had a shot at playing for the Big Ten title with a win in the regular-season finale over defending national champion Ohio State as well as a Michigan State loss later in the day to Iowa. But the Wolverines were crushed by OSU and MSU won regardless. UM was part of arguably the ending of the year, if not many years, when it lost at home to Michigan State 27-23 on Oct. 17 when the Wolverines muffed a punt attempt in the final seconds and it was returned by the Spartans for a TD with no time left. Shocking finish.
Michigan has one of the nation’s top defenses, allowing only 281.0 yards per game (fourth in the Nation) and 17.2 points. The team’s best player is a potential future Heisman candidate in freshman defensive back Jabril Peppers, who actually played 10 positions this season. You will also see him get plenty of carries at running back and he’s a dangerous punt returner. So think of former Michigan cornerback and returner Charles Woodson, still the only defensive winner of the Heisman.
Florida finished last season at 7-5 and fired Coach Will Muschamp. He was replaced by Colorado State’s Jim McElwain, a move that wasn’t met with a ton of enthusiasm by Gators fans like Harbaugh was in Michigan circles. But it looks like a good hire as UF (9-3) was much better than expected this year in winning the SEC East title for the first time since 2009.
However, the Gators are trending in the wrong direction. They were crushed at home in the regular-season finale, 27-2 by Florida State. And then UF was outclassed in the SEC Championship Game by Alabama, 29-15. The offense has been a problem area since starting quarterback Will Grier was suspended for a year in early October. Current QB Treon Harris just isn’t the passer Grier is so defenses are daring the Gators to beat them with the running game. UF is a pretty one-dimensional team at the moment and that could be a problem against that good Michigan defense. But that Gator defense is just as good, allowing only 16.5 points per game and 295.0 yards. UF has a star cornerback of its own in Vernon Hargreaves III, a lock Top-10 NFL draft pick in 2016.
Michigan is 20-23 all-time in bowl games and has lost its past two. Florida is 21-20 in bowls and beat East Carolina in last year’s Birmingham Bowl.
Sign Up for Sling TV to Watch the Citrus Bowl Online – No Cable Needed!
The Citrus Bowl will be hosted by ABC. If you don’t have cable, the best way to watch it is to use Sling TV.
Sling TV is currently offering a free seven-day trial with no obligations. What better day to have free live streaming of college football than New Year’s Day? If you time your free trial right, you could even watch the Citrus Bowl live stream for free!
The basic package for Sling TV provides more than 20 of the best channels cable has to offer. Included in the selection are TNT, TBS, AMC, ESPN, ESPN2, and ESPN3 (accessed through WatchESPN with your Sling TV login). Sling TV’s basic package costs only $20 per month and does not require a contract, so you can cancel at any time. The basic package provides a lot of content, but if you want more, you can add on additional packages of channels for as little as $5 extra. You can read more about it in our full review of Sling TV.
Watch Sling TV on streaming players (Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, etc.) so that you can view on your TV. Or, you can also use your mobile devices to watch, as well as your computer. For a limited time, Sling TV is offering a free Roku Streaming Stick (or 50% off a Roku 3) when you prepay for three months of the Sling TV service. With a Roku, you can use Sling TV on your TV, letting you easily watch all the action of the Michigan-Florida Citrus Bowl on your flatscreen.
So, to catch the Citrus Bowl live stream without cable, here’s what you need to do:
- Sign up for a free seven-day trial of Sling TV
- Use your Sling TV login to access the WatchESPN App
- Use the WatchESPN app to access ABC, and watch the Citrus Bowl live stream
- Keep Sling TV for $20 per month, or cancel if you don’t want to keep it
Catch the Citrus Bowl Live Stream with the WatchESPN App Through Your Internet Service Provider
If for some reason you don’t try Sling TV, WatchESPN has an agreement with some select internet service providers that give their customers free access to the app. If you are a subscriber to one of these affiliated ISPs, you’ll be able to login to WatchESPN and get access to all ESPN3 content but not be able to access ESPN or ESPN2 content. And free ISP users can only access ESPN3 programming online at WatchESPN.com or on WatchESPN on the Xbox with an Xbox LIVE Gold membership. WatchESPN on Apple TV, Google Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV and Roku require an affiliated video subscription like Sling TV offers.
Other College Football Games to Watch Online Jan. 1
*All games can be watched on Sling TV and/or WatchESPN*
Outback Bowl: Northwestern vs. Tennessee, noon ET
Fiesta Bowl: Notre Dame vs. Ohio State, 1 p.m. ET
Rose Bowl: Stanford vs. Iowa, 5 p.m. ET
Sugar Bowl: Oklahoma State vs. Ole Miss, 8:30 p.m. ET
How to Watch College Football Online
If you’re wondering how you can keep up with all your favorite schools all season long, read through our college football streaming guide to learn all the easy and legal ways to stream college football online.
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