SEC: 2010 bowl countdown

SEC bowl projections

November, 28, 2010
11/28/10
8:30
PM ET
For the fifth straight year, it looks like the SEC will get two teams in BCS bowl games.

The big winner this past weekend was Arkansas, which is headed to the Sugar Bowl if Auburn can beat South Carolina this coming Saturday in the SEC championship game and secure a spot in the BCS National Championship Game.

The Hogs, who beat LSU 31-23 on Saturday to run their winning streak to six straight games, last played in the Sugar Bowl in 1980. An Arkansas-Ohio State matchup looks like a strong possibility in New Orleans, but only if Auburn wins this coming weekend in Atlanta.

If South Carolina upsets Auburn, then the Gamecocks would play in the Sugar Bowl and Auburn likely in the Orange Bowl.

Georgia and Tennessee both won their games over the weekend to get to six wins and gain bowl eligibility. This will be the 14th straight season that Georgia has gone to a bowl game.

The Vols, who were winless during the month of October, won their last four games to qualify for a bowl. They will likely stay in-state and play in the Music City Bowl against an ACC team.

The bowl matchups will be finalized later this week and following the SEC championship game, but here’s the way I see things shaking out now that the regular season has concluded.
  • Tostitos BCS National Championship Game (Jan. 10, 8:30 p.m. ET): Auburn vs. BCS team
  • Allstate Sugar Bowl (Jan. 4, 8:30 p.m. ET): Arkansas vs. BCS team
  • Capital One Bowl (Jan. 1, 1 p.m. ET): LSU vs. Big Ten team
  • AT&T Cotton Bowl (Jan. 7, 8 p.m. ET): Alabama vs. Big 12 team
  • Outback Bowl (Jan. 1, 1 p.m. ET): South Carolina vs. Big Ten team
  • Chick-fil-A Bowl (Dec. 31, 7:30 p.m. ET): Mississippi State vs. ACC team
  • Gator Bowl (Jan. 1, 1:30 p.m. ET): Florida vs. Big Ten team
  • Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl (Dec. 30, 6:40 p.m. ET): Tennessee vs. ACC team
  • AutoZone Liberty Bowl (Dec. 31, 3:30 p.m. ET): Georgia vs. Conference USA team
  • BBVA Compass Bowl (Jan. 8, noon ET): Kentucky vs. Big East team

SEC bowl projections

November, 21, 2010
11/21/10
6:00
PM ET
The SEC bowl picture should clear up a lot more this coming week, although Arkansas certainly helped itself by outlasting Mississippi State 38-31 in double overtime on Saturday.

The Arkansas-LSU game in Little Rock could have major BCS implications. If LSU wins and finishes 11-1, the Tigers would be a lock for an at-large berth in a BCS bowl unless South Carolina upsets Auburn in the SEC championship game.

Arkansas (9-2, 5-2) could also play its way into the BCS equation by beating LSU, but one-loss schools from other conferences such as Ohio State and Stanford might get first dibs on the two at-large berths if they win out and don’t win their league championships.

Alabama’s another team that would have an outside shot at an-large BCS berth if the Crimson Tide (9-2, 5-2) were to upset Auburn (11-0, 7-0) this Friday.

Ole Miss was eliminated from bowl contention with its 43-36 loss at LSU last Saturday. Georgia (5-6, 3-5) and Tennessee (5-6, 2-5) can both gain bowl eligibility by winning this coming weekend. The Bulldogs face Georgia Tech at home, and the Vols face Kentucky at home. The Wildcats (6-5, 2-5) already have enough wins to qualify for a bowl.

Ultimately, the pecking order is going to hinge on whether the SEC gets two teams into the BCS for a fifth straight year. That's far from a given this year.

Here’s the way I see the bowl lineup shaking out with a week to play in the regular season:
  • Allstate Sugar Bowl (Jan. 4, 8:30 p.m. ET): Auburn vs. BCS team
  • Capital One Bowl (Jan. 1, 1 p.m. ET): Alabama vs. Big Ten team
  • AT&T Cotton Bowl (Jan. 7, 8 p.m. ET): Arkansas vs. Big 12 team
  • Outback Bowl (Jan. 1, 1 p.m. ET): LSU vs. Big Ten team
  • Chick-fil-A Bowl (Dec. 31, 7:30 p.m. ET): South Carolina vs. ACC team
  • Gator Bowl (Jan. 1, 1:30 p.m. ET): Mississippi State vs. Big Ten team
  • Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl (Dec. 30, 6:40 p.m. ET): Tennessee vs. ACC team
  • AutoZone Liberty Bowl (Dec. 31, 3:30 p.m. ET): Florida vs. Conference USA team
  • BBVA Compass Bowl (Jan. 8, noon ET): Georgia vs. Big East team
  • Little Caesars Bowl: (Dec. 26, 8:30 p.m. ET): Kentucky vs. MAC team

SEC bowl projections

November, 14, 2010
11/14/10
8:30
PM ET
The SEC remains in excellent shape to get two teams up in the BCS.

If Auburn makes the BCS National Championship Game, LSU would be an obvious choice for the Sugar Bowl. There’s still a couple of weeks to play, though, and both Alabama and Arkansas may have something to say about the postseason plans of both Auburn and LSU.

South Carolina helped its bowl outlook tremendously by hammering Florida 36-14 in the Swamp on Saturday. The Gamecocks (7-3, 5-3) would be a prime candidate for the Capital One Bowl if they can win their next two games against Troy and Clemson. They’re thinking bigger than that at this point. A win over Auburn in the SEC championship game would put the Gamecocks in a BCS bowl.

The Capital One Bowl is going to have some excellent choices after the BCS makes its selections. Depending on what happens, Alabama, Arkansas, LSU and South Carolina could all be in play, and all four teams in the Top 25 of the newest BCS standings.

Tennessee continues to make a late run at a bowl game, while Ole Miss looks like it can forget about the postseason this year. Kentucky also gained bowl eligibility for the fifth straight year with its win over Vanderbilt.

Here’s the way I see the bowl lineup shaking out with two weeks remaining in the regular season:
  • Tostitos BCS National Championship Game (Jan. 10, 8:30 p.m. ET): Auburn vs. BCS team
  • Allstate Sugar Bowl (Jan. 4, 8:30 p.m. ET): LSU vs. BCS team
  • Capital One Bowl (Jan. 1, 1 p.m. ET): Alabama vs. Big Ten team
  • AT&T Cotton Bowl (Jan. 7, 8 p.m. ET): Arkansas vs. Big 12 team
  • Outback Bowl (Jan. 1, 1 p.m. ET): South Carolina vs. Big Ten team
  • Chick-fil-A Bowl (Dec. 31, 7:30 p.m. ET): Mississippi State vs. ACC team
  • Gator Bowl (Jan. 1, 1:30 p.m. ET): Florida vs. Big Ten team
  • Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl (Dec. 30, 6:40 p.m. ET): Tennessee vs. ACC team
  • AutoZone Liberty Bowl (Dec. 31, 3:30 p.m. ET): Georgia vs. Conference USA team
  • BBVA Compass Bowl (Jan. 8, noon ET): Kentucky vs. Big East team

SEC bowl projections

November, 7, 2010
11/07/10
8:30
PM ET
LSU's bowl options just got a lot more inviting thanks to its 24-21 victory over Alabama on Saturday.

The Tigers (8-1, 5-1) played their way back into the periphery of the national championship picture, but they're in great shape as far as securing an at-large berth in a BCS bowl. An 11-1 LSU team would just about be a lock for a BCS bowl. The only scenario that would probably keep the Tigers out of a BCS bowl, if they do indeed win out, would be Auburn winning out and then getting upset in the SEC championship game.

In that case, the SEC champion (Florida or South Carolina) would be the SEC's automatic invitee to a BCS bowl, and a one-loss Auburn team would likely grab the at-large spot.

Of course, Auburn (10-0, 6-0) has bigger plans.

With Arkansas winning at South Carolina and Alabama losing to LSU and dropping its second game of the season, there's going to be a scramble among the Western Division teams for the SEC's marquee bowl spots. Don't forget about Mississippi State, either. The Bulldogs (7-2, 3-2) have won six in a row and could really become a hot commodity if they win two of their last three games. They travel to Alabama this Saturday, then face Arkansas at home on Nov. 20 and end the regular season at Ole Miss on Nov. 27.

Tennessee's a new addition this week. The Vols (3-6, 0-5) need to win out to be bowl eligible, but they're off to a good start after crushing Memphis.

With three weeks remaining in the regular season, here's the way I see the bowl lineup falling in the SEC:
  • Tostitos BCS National Championship Game (Jan. 10, 8:30 p.m. ET): Auburn vs. BCS team
  • Allstate Sugar Bowl (Jan. 4, 8:30 p.m. ET): LSU vs. BCS team
  • Capital One Bowl (Jan. 1, 1 p.m. ET): Alabama vs. Big Ten team
  • AT&T Cotton Bowl (Jan. 7, 8 p.m. ET): Arkansas vs. Big 12 team
  • Outback Bowl (Jan. 1, 1 p.m. ET): Florida vs. Big Ten team
  • Chick-fil-A Bowl (Dec. 31, 7:30 p.m. ET): Mississippi State vs. ACC team
  • Gator Bowl (Jan. 1, 1:30 p.m. ET): South Carolina vs. Big Ten team
  • Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl (Dec. 30, 6:40 p.m. ET): Georgia vs. ACC team
  • AutoZone Liberty Bowl (Dec. 31, 3:30 p.m. ET): Kentucky vs. Conference USA team
  • BBVA Compass Bowl (Jan. 8, noon ET): Tennessee vs. Big East team

SEC bowl projections

October, 31, 2010
10/31/10
8:30
PM ET
At this point, it's not a given that the SEC will be able to fill all of its bowl slots.

Kentucky, Ole Miss, Tennessee and Vanderbilt all still have work to do.

The Alabama-LSU matchup this coming Saturday in Baton Rouge will go a long way toward determining which of the SEC teams will claim the second BCS at-large berth and possibly even a spot in the BCS National Championship Game. The Crimson Tide would have a very good chance to move into the top two spots of the final BCS standings if they can win out, which would include beating Auburn on Nov. 26.

The other team that helped itself this past weekend was Florida. The Gators improved their bowl destination by beating Georgia for the 18th time in the past 21 meetings, and the team the bowl scouts are going to love is Mississippi State. The Bulldogs have won six straight, haven't been to a bowl since 2007 and have 30,000-plus maroon-clad, cowbell-clanging fans salivating at the thought of going on a road trip.

Here is this week's projection of the SEC bowl lineup. With Auburn winning again, the Tigers remain in the marquee game. Also notice there's one fewer team this week from the SEC:
  • Tostitos BCS National Championship Game (Jan. 10, 8:30 p.m. ET): Auburn vs. BCS team
  • Allstate Sugar Bowl (Jan. 4, 8:30 p.m. ET): Alabama vs. BCS team
  • Capital One Bowl (Jan. 1, 1 p.m. ET): LSU vs. Big Ten team
  • AT&T Cotton Bowl (Jan. 7, 8 p.m. ET): Mississippi State vs. Big 12 team
  • Outback Bowl (Jan. 1, 1 p.m. ET): South Carolina vs. Big Ten team
  • Chick-fil-A Bowl (Dec. 31, 7:30 p.m. ET): Arkansas vs. ACC team
  • Gator Bowl (Jan. 1, 1:30 p.m. ET): Florida vs. Big Ten team
  • Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl (Dec. 30, 6:40 p.m. ET): Georgia vs. ACC team
  • AutoZone Liberty Bowl (Dec. 31, 3:30 p.m. ET): Kentucky vs. Conference USA team

SEC bowl projections

October, 24, 2010
10/24/10
8:30
PM ET
There’s still a lot of football remaining, but the Alabama-Auburn showdown on Nov. 26 in Tuscaloosa could easily end up deciding who in the SEC lands the most attractive bowl trip.

It’s also a trip that could culminate in the fifth straight BCS national championship for the league if everything goes right.

Auburn, the SEC’s only unbeaten team, is in excellent shape to get one of the top two spots in the final BCS standings and play for the title on Jan. 10 in Glendale, Ariz. Alabama is also right in the hunt.

However it shakes out, the SEC will almost certainly send two teams to BCS bowls for the fifth straight year.

Here’s this week’s projection of the SEC bowl lineup. It’s pretty much the same as last week. The only difference is that Alabama and Auburn have swapped places. Until Auburn loses, the Tigers get top billing:
  • Tostitos BCS National Championship Game (Jan. 10, 8:30 p.m. ET): Auburn vs. BCS team
  • Allstate Sugar Bowl (Jan. 4, 8:30 p.m. ET): Alabama vs. BCS team
  • Capital One Bowl (Jan. 1, 1 p.m. ET): LSU vs. Big Ten team
  • AT&T Cotton Bowl (Jan. 7, 8 p.m. ET): Arkansas vs. Big 12 team
  • Outback Bowl (Jan. 1, 1 p.m. ET): South Carolina vs. Big Ten team
  • Chick-fil-A Bowl (Dec. 31, 7:30 p.m. ET): Mississippi State vs. ACC team
  • Gator Bowl (Jan. 1, 1:30 p.m. ET): Georgia vs. Big Ten team
  • Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl (Dec. 30, 6:40 p.m. ET): Florida vs. ACC team
  • AutoZone Liberty Bowl (Dec. 31, 3:30 p.m. ET): Kentucky vs. Conference USA team
  • Birmingham Bowl (Jan. 8, noon ET): Ole Miss vs. Big East team

SEC bowl projections

October, 17, 2010
10/17/10
8:30
PM ET
The SEC is always going to stand a good chance of landing two BCS bowl berths, and that’s with or without a team in the BCS National Championship Game.

With both Auburn and LSU unbeaten right now, the winner of their game this Saturday at Jordan-Hare Stadium would certainly position itself nicely to potentially play for the national title. Don't forget about Alabama, either. The Crimson Tide are back within striking distance.

The SEC has sent two teams to BCS bowls each of the past four years. Extending that streak to five consecutive years looks promising for the league, which means everybody else moves up in the bowl pecking order.

The SEC has agreements to send nine of its teams to bowl games this season, but that number grows to 10 teams assuming two get BCS invites.

The Capital One Bowl gets the first choice following the BCS selections and typically takes the highest ranked team.

Bowl games are also looking to get teams on the rise, and that would be Mississippi State this season. The Bulldogs have won four in a row and have an excellent chance to make it five in a row this weekend with UAB coming to town.

At this point, Tennessee (2-4, 0-3) and Vanderbilt (2-4, 1-2) are probably the two teams least likely to qualify for a bowl game. Ole Miss (3-3, 1-2) needs to get busy, too. The Rebels have to come up with three more wins to be bowl eligible and still have to play at Arkansas, at LSU and at Tennessee. They close the season at home against arch-rival Mississippi State.

There’s a still long way to go, but here’s my first stab at how the bowl lineup might shake out for the SEC:
  • Tostitos BCS National Championship Game (Jan. 10, 8:30 p.m. ET): Alabama vs. BCS team
  • Allstate Sugar Bowl (Jan. 4, 8:30 p.m. ET): Auburn vs. BCS team
  • Capital One Bowl (Jan. 1, 1 p.m. ET): LSU vs. Big Ten team
  • AT&T Cotton Bowl (Jan. 7, 8 p.m. ET): Arkansas vs. Big 12 team
  • Outback Bowl (Jan. 1, 1 p.m. ET): South Carolina vs. Big Ten team
  • Chick-fil-A Bowl (Dec. 31, 7:30 p.m. ET): Mississippi State vs. ACC team
  • Gator Bowl (Jan. 1, 1:30 p.m. ET): Georgia vs. Big Ten team
  • Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl (Dec. 30, 6:40 p.m. ET): Florida vs. ACC team
  • AutoZone Liberty Bowl (Dec. 31, 3:30 p.m. ET) : Kentucky vs. Conference USA team
  • Birmingham Bowl (Jan. 8, noon ET): Ole Miss vs. Big East team

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