Bowl projection - too close to call

The last couple of years I have had a good feel for where Arkansas would end up after this weekend in the season. I don’t this year because the SEC has had such a mediocre season.

Alabama and Florida are the only teams that control their destiny, so to speak. After that, who knows?

Tennessee losing tonight really throws a wrench in everything. Had Tennessee won, it would be in the Sugar Bowl with an Alabama win in the SEC Championship Game. Now Tennessee is probably back in the group of six picture.

Alabama is going to the College Football Playoff with a win next week. The likelihood of that happening is high.

Florida’s road is simple: if it wins, it goes to the Sugar Bowl; it if loses, it probably goes to the Citrus Bowl as the SECCG participant that didn’t make a New Year’s 6 bowl game.

Auburn may make it to the Sugar Bowl by default. The Tigers are the highest ranked SEC team behind Alabama in this week’s CFP poll, two spots ahead of Florida and four spots ahead of Tennessee. Auburn may fall below Florida next week in the poll, but I would bet it is ahead of the Gators if they lose to Alabama next week, especially if they lose badly.

LSU would seem to be in good shape for the Outback Bowl with an Alabama win next week. Some will say Tennessee here, but I don’t see the Vols getting a repeat bid to the bowl in which they played last year.

I think the TaxSlayer, Belk, Music City and Liberty will all want Tennessee. I kind of think the Belk might get the Vols as they would likely sell the most tickets to that game. Georgia is probably in the mix for all four of these bowls, too, but less likely the Belk and TaxSlayer because it has played in those two games the last two years.

I still think Texas A&M remains a strong candidate for the Texas Bowl.

With 7-5 records, I would assume Arkansas, Georgia and Kentucky make it into the group of six. I still think Arkansas’ most likely destination is Nashville, but Tennessee, Kentucky and Vanderbilt would all be strong - and probably stronger - draws there.

If one of the group of six bowls takes Vanderbilt, that would probably knock either Arkansas, Kentucky or Georgia to Birmingham.

South Carolina probably got bumped to Shreveport with its big loss and Vanderbilt’s win.

With all of that said, here is my projection:

CFP - Alabama
Sugar - Auburn
Citrus - Florida
Outback - LSU
Belk - Tennessee
Texas - Texas A&M
TaxSlayer - Kentucky
Liberty - Georgia
Music City - Arkansas
Birmingham - Vanderbilt
Independence - South Carolina

Something else to consider: Those projections are based on the SEC putting more stock into overall record than the conference record. If the conference record carries weight, then Arkansas is tied with South Carolina and Vanderbilt as the bowl-eligible teams with the fewest conference wins.

Shreveport gets the last pick. Birmingham gets the pick before that.

I don’t know that the record, either overall or in SEC play, is going to carry all that much weight this time with the jumbled standings. The bowls will have their preferences on which teams would bring the most fans, etc., and in this climate, the SEC might be even more likely to listen to those preferences than usual.

I think you’re probably right about Auburn to Sugar, unless Florida pulls off the upset in Atlanta. (Bama is CFP regardless). Citrus gets the next best SEC team. To me that’s Florida. Then you get to the Group of Six bowls, though, which can cater like crazy. Outback doesn’t generally like West teams but has had LSU recently. Tennessee to Belk makes the most sense. Not sure about Kentucky to Jacksonville; that might be a little over their pay grade at 7-5, but then who else do you put there? Georgia? I think I might flip Liberty and TaxSlayer in your scenario – Georgia to Jacksonville, UK to Memphis. Jax is an easy trip from most of Georgia, and of course they play there every year anyway in the WLOCP. And Memphis is 300 miles closer to Lexington than Jacksonville is.

So basically I agree with your picks with the possible exception of Memphis and Jacksonville.

If proximity is going to play a bigger role than normal I could see us being shipped to Shreveport and S Carolina to Nashville. Heck, might even be our preference given the importance of north Louisiana from a recruiting standpoint.

Both teams have 3 wins in the SEC, not in the top 25, etc. Is 7-5 over 6-6 really a big enough distinction for Hogs to get the Nashville selection over SC?

Will we hear something “un-official” this week or will we have to wait until after the SEC CG? … e-payouts/

A$M travels better than AR which could put them in far away and slot AR in Houston which is where they probably belong. UT travels well no matter where slotted and will be the prize choice for following. Only LSU is playing well enough currently to deserve the Sugar, so who the CFP ranks in the meaningless slots below the top 4 could get real whimsical and end up with some awful crappy slottting. Probably will in all likelihood.

The SEC does not want the teams playing in the same bowl within a two-year window. I don’t think Arkansas is going to be in Houston or Memphis because of that. No one has played well enough to deserve the Sugar this year other than Alabama, but Auburn is probably going to get it based on the standings.

I do not think you will hear anything until Sunday. The slight chance of Florida winning the game will make it to where nothing is official until at least late Saturday night.

I originally had Georgia in Jacksonville, but then realized that is where it played last season. The SEC doesn’t want repeat bowl bids unless it can’t avoid it - i.e. Florida getting to the Citrus Bowl as the loser of the championship game.

I am in total agreement with you on recruiting implications in North La. I think this is the most important aspect now that the season has ended the way it did. The way the season ended that will cause people to look at proximity and cost thus we could lose some bowl attendance to Nashville or Birmingham. Central and South Arkansas fans and DFW fans can make it to Shreveport with ease and low cost. … story.html

so much for me to just keep inside and not cross the trolling/provocation line when it come to our success or lack thereof and how our coaching staff plays into that. To quote Jen, “Karma”.

I had forgotten that, or maybe never knew it at all. I really didn’t pay much attention to any 2015 bowl games other than the one in Memphis.

With the SEC calling the shots we were going to get a sh-- bowl anyway. The loss to Missouri only confirms that that is what we deserve.

Hogs get no respect because we haven’t earned it - Independence Bowl… :roll:

Belk Bowl was better than what I was anticipating - Hope hog fans travel well to Charlotte - I’ll be calling the hogs from an armchair (had knee surgery recently). Belk Bowl was a pleasant surprise to me.

Because the SEC is calling the shots we got the Belk Bowl – so the contrary. If they were not calling the shots, Carolina would be in Charlotte and we’d be in Birmingham.

To be honest, I think Shreveport would have been better in terms of fan travel.

I’m not hearing much good from folks about attending.

My guess is there will probably be about 6,000 or so from Arkansas there and about 30,000 or so from Virginia Tech.