SEC Bowl Game Possibilities

The Southeastern Conference has nine contractual tie-ins to bowl games. The list expands to ten if the top two teams qualify for BCS slots, which will occur this year. The top four slots in the SEC appear easy to fill, but with six teams tied with identical 7-5 records, there may be some fancy posturing going on for the remaining bowls. Here is a look at all of them.

Florida (12-0, 8-0) will meet Alabama (12-0, 8-0) in the SEC Championship Game Saturday, December 5, with the winner advancing to the national title game. The loser of the game will also get a BCS slot due to their record and position in the BCS.

The Capital One Bowl selects next. By agreement, they must take the team with the best record (or within one of it). By virtue of its overtime win last night, the LSU Tigers (9-3, 5-3) appear to have this slot locked up.

The Cotton Bowl and the Outback Bowl select next, with each having priority over their division. The Cotton Bowl has the first pick in the SEC West, and the Outback Bowl has the first pick in the SEC East. The team with the best record in the West is Ole Miss (8-4, 4-4), a team that appeared in the Cotton Bowl last year. Unless a "trade" is made, they'll repeat that trip. Tennessee (7-5, 4-4), by virtue of their win over Kentucky last night and applicable tiebreakers, finished 2nd in the SEC East and appear to have the road map to the Outback Bowl.

The Outback Bowl does have the ability to select a team from the SEC West after the Cotton Bowl makes its selection, so it is possible they could throw a curve ball and bypass Tennessee, but that is unlikely.

After those selections, the water is murky.

The Chik-Fil-A Bowl selects next, and can choose any of the remaining 7-5 SEC teams. Early word had the "Catlanta" Bowl favoring the Kentucky Wildcats, but word migrated more to the Auburn Tigers in recent hours. With Georgia's win over # 7 Ga. Tech, they even moved into the picture, although the hometown crowd would not necessarily bring fans to the local hotels and restaurants as other schools may.

The Music City Bowl and the Liberty Bowl select next, each on equal footing. Both bowls basically select their first and second picks. If the bowls have the same team selected as their first pick, that school is allowed the choice of which bowl game they desire, with the other bowl getting its second choice. Word continues to leak through sources that the Music City Bowl loves the Cats, and would welcome them in a heartbeat if the Chik-Fil-A Bowl does not pull a surprise.

The Independence Bowl selects next-to-last, and the Bowl selects the final eligible SEC team.

The ten eligible SEC football teams are as follows:

Florida (12-0, 8-0)
Alabama (12-0, 8-0)
LSU (9-3, 5-3)
Ole Miss (8-4, 4-4)
Tennessee (7-5, 4-4)
Georgia (7-5, 4-4)
Kentucky (7-5, 3-5)
Arkansas (7-5, 3-5)
South Carolina (7-5, 3-5)
Auburn (7-5, 3-5)

Where will the Kentucky football fan's travel plans take them? Will it be a return to Tennessee, where the Cats have spent the last three years bowling? Or will it be Atlanta, Shreveport, or Birmingham?

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