Final SEC Bowl Projections: Does SEC get 2 in Playoff?

Jim Tomlin | 6 months ago

Georgia has a way of making life interesting for Alabama.

Alabama has a way of making life heartbreaking for Georgia.

That’s the takeaway for our final SEC bowl projections, where we seem to have just one league team headed for the College Football Playoff.

Had the Bulldogs hung on, both they and the Crimson Tide would have been headed for the CFP.

But again, as ESPN expert Heather Dinich and 100 others (including me) keep saying: The CFP committee is not going to put a 2-loss non-champion in the Playoff instead of a 1-loss conference champion. Just. Not. Happening. Whether it should happen in favor of Georgia is a worthy debate. But it is not happening.

As it is, we project the same semifinals that we have been forecasting for the past few weeks: No. 1 seed Alabama vs. Oklahoma and No. 2 Clemson vs. No. 3 Notre Dame.

It’s possible that the Sooners might pass the Fighting Irish for the No. 3 spot as a reward for winning the Big 12 conference championship on Saturday. Oklahoma avenged its only loss this season by defeating Texas. So if the CFP committee flips those teams — meaning Alabama faces Notre Dame — you’ll know that we at least thought about it.

I just have a hard time envisioning the committee punishing an undefeated Notre Dame team that owns 10 victories over Power 5 teams.

Then again, what do I know about the CFP’s direction?

I thought LSU would fall below Penn State in the ranking and fall out of the New Year’s 6 after the Tigers lost to Texas A&M. I was wrong.

So, yes, once again we have four SEC teams in the NY6: Bama in the CFP, and Georgia, LSU and Florida in the other three NY6 bowls outside the Playoff and the Rose Bowl.

Where they will go is an interesting question. I still think Georgia, as the second-best SEC team and conference runner-up, will take the SEC’s contracted spot in the Sugar Bowl, where they will face contracted Big 12 opponent Texas.

Florida and Group of 5 representative UCF is such an intriguing possible matchup, and geographically it makes so much sense for the Peach Bowl. But UCF went to the Peach Bowl last year. Will that matter as much as it would ordinarily?

Hmmmm.

I might be wrong again, but whatever the rankings say, it makes more sense for LSU to go to the Fiesta, where the Tigers have never been. Florida seems a logical pick to head up Interstate 75 to play in the Peach Bowl, where the Gators have not been since 2004 and only twice ever.

Now for our final SEC bowl projections:

CFP Semifinal (Orange Bowl)
December 29, 2018
Miami, FL
vs.

Sugar Bowl
January 1, 2019
New Orleans, LA
vs.

Fiesta Bowl
January 1, 2019
Glendale, AZ
vs.

Peach Bowl
December 29, 2019
Atlanta, GA
vs.

Citrus Bowl
January 1, 2019
Orlando, FL
vs.

Outback Bowl
January 1, 2019
Tampa, FL
vs.

TaxSlayer Bowl
December 31, 2018
Jacksonville, FL
vs.

Liberty Bowl
December 31, 2018
Memphis, TN
vs.

Belk Bowl
December 29, 2018
Charlotte, NC
vs.

Music City Bowl
December 28, 2018
Nashville, TN
vs.

Texas Bowl
December 27, 2018
Houston, TX
vs.

2017-2018 POSTSEASON
CFP NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP
26
vs.
23

CFP SEMIFINAL (SUGAR BOWL)
24
vs.
6

CFP SEMIFINAL (ROSE BOWL)
54
vs.
48

PEACH BOWL
27
vs.
34

CITRUS BOWL
21
vs.
17

OUTBACK BOWL
26
vs.
19

TAXSLAYER BOWL
31
vs.
27

MUSIC CITY BOWL
23
vs.
24

BELK BOWL
52
vs.
55

TEXAS BOWL
33
vs.
16

The

Comments Section (Hot Takes Welcome!)

You must be logged in to post a comment. Please sign in or register

  • I gotta gut feeling that UGA will not get in the playoffs.

    We will be eating steak dinners on New Year’s Day and will finish 12-2 and in the top 5.

    It’s gonna be a long wait but I will be rooting for all SEC teams to win over their non-SEC opponents.

  • Gator bowl again? We kind of beat Texas A&M by 2 TDs and have he best defense in the country so maybe Outback?

  • Can someone explain why Texas would be in the Sugar over WV?

  • Gator isn’t happening. State will either be in the Outback or Mysic City. The only crazy thing that could happen is the Citrus decides it wants a MState/Penn State matchup in their bowl, and I don’t see that happening because Kentucky deserves to go that bowl. (Citrus is the only bowl outside the big boys that can pick their own teams)

  • Can someone please explain to me why D 1 College Football is the only sport in the world that refuses to have a playoff

    • They’ve had one since 2014 lol

      • 4 teams is hardly a playoff. The FCS has a 24 team format. I would agree 24 is too many for the FBS but it needs to expand to at least 8. You’d get every team with a legitimate shot and UCF would learn some things.

      • The Final 4 is not a playoff it is decided by a committee

        Tell Ohio State or Central Florida they don’t deserve a shot

        • I’ll tell UCF they don’t deserve a shot. Who do I call?

        • Ok we don’t take non power 5 teams seriously due to their schedule

          So I ask you why does Notre Dame get a shot?

          Notre Dame is independent

        • Notre Dame played 10 power 5 teams and zero FCS schools. Any more questions?

    • $$$$$$$$$$$ Or I should say the control of it. If you had a key to the bank vault, would you give everyone else a copy? Same as what’s wrong with the country in general; GREED. The only way it will ever change (barring a major change in societal character & values) is for all FBS schools not part of the elite 5-8 to withdraw from the NCAA and form their own organization. The 5-8 would join them in a season or two. Sorry, I got pedantic and I promised I wouldn’t do that.

  • Yehawww !!! Belk Bowl!!

  • Ok, Florida has literally one job. If they blow it, we get to berate them for a year along with Auburn.

  • All the whining and crying about your team not getting into the national playoff.
    Should they raise it to 8 games? What about No. 9 getting left out? Let’s do 16 and start the season on August 1st. How about 32 and start it right after the 4th of July.
    OR let’s limit the regular season to nine games, eight conference games, one non conference game and only those who have a winning, not 50-50, going to a ‘bowl’.
    I’d be all for that.
    As far as UCF, they need to play a ACC team, a SEC team and and another Power Five school. If they go win eleven games, then let them go to the playoffs.
    Too many ‘bunny games, that get you half way to the ‘sacred six’ level. Heck, the school in Lexington Kentucky is opening with TWO Mid American Conference teams, back to back, to influence the playoff committee.
    Yea, that ought to do it for them.
    Heck, let’s go with 32 teams and start the season in June!

Tailgating With