Bowl Options for Dawgs?

ATHENS – It stands to be four weeks, and possibly longer, before the Music City Bowl issues bids.

Still, Scott Ramsey, that bowl's president, can read the standings, and he knows what SEC team might fall his way.

"You get in trouble this time of year when you start penciling in wins and losses for the month of November," Ramsey said. "But I think Georgia's very likely to be somewhat around our mix."

Liberty Bowl spokesman Harold Graeter also said Georgia is "absolutely on our radar." The Bulldogs last played in that bowl in 1987, which was so long ago that the opponent was Arkansas, then in the Southwest Conference. John Kasay kicked a late field goal to lift Georgia to victory.

"It's a team that we've perennially kept an eye on," Graeter said.

Georgia's loss to Florida on Saturday put the Bulldogs' postseason fate into clearer focus. Assuming they can attain bowl eligibility, three bowls seem most likely: the Music City, Liberty and Birmingham.

But there's still has an outside shot at the Chick-fil-A, Outback or Gator – or no bowl at all.

The one place Bulldogs can cross off their planning sheet: A return trip to Shreveport, La., as the Independence Bowl no longer has an SEC tie-in.

Georgia athletics director Greg McGarity said he hasn't given any thought to his team's, and will not do any lobbying.

"We have to win two more games to be bowl-eligible," McGarity said. "I know that (head coach) Mark (Richt) and the staff are going to keep on working hard. We came up short Saturday. But again, I think there was a level of play, it was a great college game. We just came up short."

In a nutshell, here's where Georgia stands with three games remaining:

It could vault back into consideration for a better bowl (Outback, Chick-fil-A or Gator) with a win at Auburn.

"If they would pull off an upset, I would certainly think they would move up into the Florida or Atlanta bowls," Ramsey said.

Failing that, the Bulldogs will need to beat Idaho State and Georgia Tech to get to bowl eligibility.

Even if the Bulldogs finish 5-7, they're not quite out of the running. The SEC may have trouble filling all its bowl slots, and there may not be another bowl-eligible team elsewhere to replace it.

That's because there are 70 bowl slots this year, out of 120 FBS teams, and Southern California is not eligible. The NCAA is still considering allowing a five-win team into a bowl, which it would seemingly have to do if there aren't enough bowl-eligibles.

McGarity answered "of course" when asked if the Bulldogs would accept an invitation despite being 5-7.

"We're obligated to the Southeastern Conference and the relationship we have to our bowl sponsors," McGarity said. "So if that's part of the deal, then yes we would go."

The last time Georgia did not go to a bowl was 1996, in Jim Donnan's first season. Since then they have been to the Sugar Bowl three times, the Outback three times, and the Peach/Chick-fil-A and Capitol One bowls twice.


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