Peach, Other Bowls Checking Out Tigers Vs. Rebels

Auburn, Ala.--Scouts from five bowl games are scheduled to be at Jordan-Hare Stadium on Saturday as Auburn takes on the Ole Miss Rebels in a football game that will go a long way toward determining the SEC West champion.

The Tigers need to win to stay in the hunt for the overall league title, which would earn them a spot in the Bowl Championship Series. A trip to the Orange Bowl, Fiesta or Rose Bowl awaits the SEC champion. If Auburn isn't that team the Tigers will be considered by other bowls such as the Chik-fil-A Peach in Atlanta, Capital One in Orlando, Outback in Tampa, SBC Cotton in Dallas and the Mainstay Independence in Shreveport, La.. Each of those bowls is expected to have representatives in Auburn on Saturday to scout the Auburn vs. Ole Miss game.

One of the expected visitors is Gary Stokan, the president of the Chik-fil-A Peach Bowl game that will be played Jan. 2nd at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta. Stokan says his bowl is looking at the Tigers, Ole Miss, LSU, Arkansas, Georgia, Florida, Tennessee and South Carolina as possible SEC representatives in the game.

QB Jason Campbell is shown in action at Auburn's last visit to the Chik-fil-A Peach Bowl game.

Stokan says it is tough to figure out what teams will be making the trip to Atlanta this year. "It has a been a crazy year for college football," he says. "There are a lot of good teams out there and there is a lot of parity with the 85-player scholarship limits."

Auburn made the trip to the Chik-fil-A Peach Bowl two years ago and dropped a 16-10 decision to North Carolina. On previous trips to that game, Auburn defeated Indiana in 1990 and Clemson in 1998. Last year Auburn traveled to Orlando where the Tigers defeated Penn State 13-9.

Stokan says his bowl game is projected to pay out around $2.2 million for each team. He says the money, combined with a good television time slot on Jan. 2nd on ESPN at 3:30 p.m. CST, make his game an attractive one. He says the indoor facility, which eliminates the weather factor, also makes it a good game for fans who are attending. Stokan says another selling point for his bowl committee is that the game has a reputation as being a good one from year to year and it has enjoyed high TV ratings, which gives the participating team good exposure during recruiting season.

He says for the Peach Bowl that Auburn is an attractive potential invitee because of its strong fan support and name recognition along with what he considers a talented and exciting football team.

Stokan also says that Auburn players, coaches and staff members left a good impression on bowl officials after their previous trip. "From our perspective the Auburn people are great people," he says. "They are definitely a team that interests us this year."

Before the Tigers think much about bowl games, there are three regular season games left starting with the Saturday showdown vs. the Ole Miss Rebels, the hottest team in the league at 5-0 in conference play. Kickoff is set for 2:30 p.m. CST. Auburn has won nine of the last 10 matchups with the Rebels including a 31-24 victory last year.

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