Tigers Going Bowling, But Where?

Auburn, Ala.--When the Bowl Championship Series was put into action four years ago, things were supposed to become more cut-and-dried with the bowl invitations up and down the line.

That has turned out to be anything but true with teams left hanging in the wind until the final whistle of games played in early December. Such is the case for several SEC teams, including the Auburn Tigers, who must wait until Saturday night's SEC Championship game to see where they will travel for postseason play.

With nothing to do but wait, we decided to put together a compilation of several sources that have put possible bowl scenarios into place. While it is likely the Tigers will be playing North Carolina in the Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl on Dec. 31 in Atlanta, there are still several other destinations that could come into play. Should LSU pull the upset and defeat Tennessee Saturday night, things could change dramatically and in a hurry.

One possibility is that Tennessee would be left out of the BCS with a loss and thus force South Carolina out of their expected invitation to the Florida Citrus Bowl in Orlando. If that were to happen, the Gamecocks would trip to Tampa instead for the Outback Bowl and leave Georgia hanging in the wind. Choosing between Auburn and Georgia, the Cotton Bowl would give the Tigers serious consideration because of their large fan base and their history of support in bowl games. It that were to happen, Georgia would have to make the short trip to Atlanta for the Peach Bowl, making the sponsors happy but not the Bulldog faithful.

Another scenario has Arkansas going to the Cotton Bowl with an LSU win and that would place Auburn in the Independence Bowl in Shreveport., La. The others would remain the same with Tennessee in Orlando, South Carolina in Tampa and Georgia in Atlanta.

The less-prestigious bowls appear almost set in stone with Alabama heading to the Music City Bowl in Nashville and Arkansas in Shreveport for the Independence Bowl. The only question mark is that of the Ole Miss Rebels. A late-season loss to Mississippi State was very costly to the Rebels, who now stare at the possibility of being left at home for the holidays despite an outstanding 7-4 campaign and the star power of quarterback Eli Manning. The one shot for Manning and company would be to receive an at-large bid to the Humanitarian Bowl in Boise, Idaho on December 31 to face the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs. Still deciding between Ole Miss, UCLA, Clemson and local favorite Boise State, the committee has a tough choice to make in the coming days.

The one team that is sure of its fate but not the destination is the Florida Gators. Despite losing to Tennessee Saturday in Gainesville with the Eastern Division title on the line, Steve Spurrier and company appear a lock for a BCS berth with the Orange Bowl a strong possibility to face the Maryland Terrapins.

Even though the Tigers don't have a stake in this weekend's game in Atlanta, fans and players alike will be watching closely until the bitter end.

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