Bowl Scenarios Tricky

With two weeks to go in the college football regular season, it's theoretically possible that Alabama could end up in any one of six bowl games with Southeastern Conference tie-ins – not realistic, but possible.

In the realm of realism, it looks like the Tide will end up in either the Peach Bowl with a win over Auburn or Music City Bowl with a loss Saturday. That's what is likely, but it is not set in stone, either.

In the most likely scenario, there is one BCS team (Auburn) from the Southeastern Conference, Tennessee and Georgia going to the state of Florida for either the Outback or Capital One (formerly Citrus) Bowl, and LSU to the Cotton Bowl.

That will leave three currently bowl eligible teams (Alabama, South Carolina and Florida) for the next three bowl slots (Peach, Independence and Music City). The first choice goes to the Peach Bowl, who would almost certainly pick the team with the best record of the three.

If the records of the three teams are the same, politics comes into play, with South Carolina lobbying for the more lucrative Peach Bowl citing it's win over Alabama. But the Peach Bowl has been courting Alabama for some time, and would prefer to select Alabama. The SEC office would presumably be heavily involved in these discussions, and they could tip the balance in either direction.

What happens next is a lot like an episode of "Match Game". The Independence and Music City bowls would simultaneously submit the name of the team it prefers in its bowl. If the name's the same, then the school gets the option on where to go. Alabama would presumably choose Music City (Nashville) over the Independence (Shreveport, La.).

Only if the Music City Bowl prefers a team other than Alabama, and the Independence Bowl wants Alabama, is a return trip to Shreveport likely.

Arkansas would need to win both its remaining games to be bowl eligible, in which case the Hogs would be a strong candidate for the EV1.NET Houston bowl, which has the final SEC tie-in, should enough teams be eligible.

Predicting bowl trips with two weeks to go in the regular season, plus conference championship games, is a dangerous profession, however, and things could change more often than the weather forecast in the next two weeks.

BamaMag Top Stories