10 SEC Teams Going Bowling

Last year the SEC couldn't fill all of its bowl slots, but that won't be an issue this time around. With one week left in the season the SEC has 10 bowl eligible teams. That will allow the conference to fill all nine of its contracted bowl agreements even with the BCS taking the top two teams in the league.

This weekend's SEC schedule still has the potential to re-shuffle the deck as it relates to which teams will play where. Still, it's not too difficult to calculate how the picture will come into focus. Here's a team-by-team look at what's likely ahead for the ten SEC teams' post-season opportunities.

Florida/Alabama ---- The Gators and Crimson Tide are in the exact same situation with the winner headed to the BCS Title Game and the loser to the Sugar Bowl. The only thing that could change that would be if either/both of them lose this weekend. Even then the folks in New Orleans are likely to want an 11-2 SEC team. It looks like the Big East Champ, Pittsburgh or Cincinnati is the probable opponent in the Sugar Bowl.

Ole Miss ---- A win over Mississippi State should clinch an invite to the Capital One Bowl in Orlando. Even though this season has been somewhat disappointing, the Rebels could still finish 9-3 heading into postseason. Penn State is the likely opponent.

Arkansas/LSU ---- The winner of this one is headed to the Cotton Bowl in Dallas. LSU will have to recover from the gross ineptitude of its clock management late in their loss to Ole Miss. Arkansas is a hot team with QB Ryan Mallett a big time drawing card. The loser of this game is headed to either Memphis or Shreveport. I would bet on Memphis, especially if Georgia and South Carolina lose.

Auburn ---- The Chic Fil-A Peach Bowl in Atlanta makes the most sense for the Tigers, unless they raise their profile by beating Alabama. It's not much of a trip up I-85, but should sell a lot of tickets.

Kentucky/Tennessee ---- The Vols have dominated this rivalry for years, but Kentucky has rarely had as much to play for as the Wildcats do this year. The winner is likely to go to the Outback Bowl in Tampa while the loser settles for the Music City Bowl in Nashville. Kentucky is sick of that one.

Georgia ---- The fast-fading Bulldogs will be 6-6 if they lose to Georgia Tech as most expect. Turnovers have been the biggest issue along with a defense that hasn't stopped anyone. A journey to Shreveport appears to be in their future without an upset.

South Carolina ---- Steve Spurrier is taking the Gamecocks to another bowl game, but it's an extremely low tiered bowl. The Papa John's Bowl in Birmingham awaits the 6-6 Gamecocks if they fall to Clemson. An upset win for the Head Ball Coach might earn his team an upgrade.

So that's how it shapes up for the SEC this bowl season. Sure there are a number of things that could change things this weekend. That's why we'll probably update this column a week from today!


If you are wondering about the BCS at-large bids it appears TCU and the Florida/Alabama loser will get two of the openings with Iowa at 10-2 with a huge traveling contingent next in line. Oklahoma State is the favorite to get the Fiesta Bowl's nod to replace Texas, assuming the Longhorns win out and go on to the BCS Championship Game. There will be a lot of Boise State fans rooting for Oklahoma to knock off Oklahoma State this weekend.

Assuming that doesn't happen and Oklahoma State is invited to the Fiesta Bowl we can brace ourselves for our annual anti-BCS rant from another political hack. This time it will be a Senator from Idaho since 12-0 Boise State will be left out of the big money games. Here are my BCS projections:

BCS Title Game -- Texas vs. Florida/Alabama winner

Rose Bowl -- Oregon vs. Ohio State

Orange Bowl -- Iowa vs Georgia Tech/Clemson winner

Fiesta Bowl -- TCU vs. Oklahoma State

Sugar Bowl -- Florida/Alabama loser vs Cincinnati/Pittsburgh winner

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