Fiutak projects that nine of the 12 SEC teams will see bowl action following the 2008 season. Seven of these are listed in the non-BCS bowl projections he posted today. Two more, Florida and Georgia, will be in the BCS bowl predictions he posts on Friday. That means Fiutak projects either the Dawgs or the Gators to play in the BCS National Championship Game, with the other serving as host team for the Sugar Bowl. (We'll clarify this point as soon as Pete posts his BCS bowl picks on Friday.)
Next in the SEC pecking order is the Outback Bowl in Tampa. Tennessee played there in each of the past two postseasons, so it's highly unlikely the Vols would be invited back for a third consecutive visit. Fiutak doesn't see that happening, either, predicting LSU and Michigan to collide in the New Year's Day Bowl.
By pegging Tennessee for the Cotton Bowl, Fiutak suggests the Big Orange will be the SEC's fifth-best team of 2008 – trailing Georgia, Florida, Auburn and LSU.
As the SEC's seventh-best team, Arkansas is Fiutak's pick to face Tulsa in the Liberty Bowl Jan. 2 at Memphis.
By contract, the SEC is supposed to provide a team for the Independence Bowl at Shreveport. With two SEC teams involved in BCS play, however, Fiutak does not foresee Ole Miss, Mississippi State or Vanderbilt posting the six wins necessary to be bowl-eligible.