SEC bowl projections after Week 5
The easy part is the top 2.
Alabama and Georgia are still projected into the College Football Playoff after blowing out SEC foes in top-12 matchups on Saturday.
The rest? Well, there were a few upsets, both in the SEC and the rest of the country.
And that produced some interesting twists.
First, we are now projecting that, glory be, a Group of 5 conference team is going to break the CFP glass ceiling. We don’t think anybody in the Big Ten will finish unbeaten (even though the league still has 4 teams with perfect records), and the Pac-12 pretty much killed off its chances with Oregon’s loss at Stanford on Saturday. The ACC is already toast. Considering all of that and Cincinnati’s landmark win at Notre Dame, and we think the Bearcats will emerge from the American Athletic Conference to appear in the CFP when the dust settles.
As for the SEC lineup after the CFP, it gets tricky. Assuming the league does get 2 teams into the CFP, a 3rd conference member is contracted to go the the Sugar Bowl to face a Big 12 opponent. Last week, we projected Florida to that spot. Not anymore.
For now, it’s Mississippi to the Sugar. Yes, the Rebels moved up the projection pecking order and into the New Year’s Day 6 bowl picture even after losing at Alabama by 3 TDs. Long story short, that result didn’t change our opinion of the potential of Ole Miss. Florida’s loss very much changed our opinion of the Gators’ postseason destination.
But to be honest, after Bama and UGA, you could drag out a hopper and pick an envelope with any one of several names on it. This week, we have Ole Miss. Could be Arkansas (we’ll find out soon enough when the Hogs visit Oxford next week). Could be Kentucky after its first home win over UF since 1986. Could be Auburn after its first win at LSU since 1999. Heck, don’t count out UF or Texas A&M just yet, but don’t count them in right now, either.
At the other end of the projections, Missouri keeps sliding down the pecking order, this time after getting blown out at home against Tennessee.
As always, this list reflects where teams are projected to be in December, not necessarily their current standing.
The SEC, after its champion is chosen for a NYD6 bowl (probably in the CFP), sends the next best team to the Citrus Bowl. Then comes a tier of 6 bowls that share equal status: Texas, Music City, Liberty, Outback, Gator and Duke’s Mayo. If the SEC has any eligible teams left, the Birmingham and Gasparilla bowls have options.
Here are the latest SEC bowl projections: