SEC bowl projections after Week 8
Saturday’s slate of college football games didn’t offer much promise, with a lot of big teams on bye weeks (including No. 1 Georgia) and no matchups between teams ranked in the Associated Press Top 25 poll.
But sometimes when you think nothing interesting will happen, that’s when you have to pay the most attention.
No. 7 Penn State was shocked by Illinois, No. 8 Oklahoma State feel from the ranks of the unbeaten with a loss to Iowa State, and even No. 4 Alabama got a scare for a while before beating Tennessee.
So where does all of this leave the SEC? Frankly, in pretty much the same spot as last week. We are still projecting 4 SEC teams into the New Year’s Day 6 bowls, with the Dawgs making the College Football Playoff. Alabama will keep trying to make the case for another return trip to the CFP (though we are projecting a loss to UGA in the league title game), while Mississippi and Kentucky each still has only 1 loss (the Wildcats were also idle on Saturday).
There were no big upsets in the conference this week, but we still shuffled a few teams in our projections, partly because of the possible impact Ed Orgeron’s pending departure from LSU will have on the Tigers. They lost to Ole Miss and next have to face Alabama on Nov. 6 after a bye next week. It’s hard to say what kind of emotional repercussions last week’s announcement will have on the LSU team. Besides — and we have said this before — there are about 8 teams in the middle to bottom of the league that have become almost impossible to predict. At this point, y’all have fun scrambling the mid-tier bowls to suit you.
As always, this list reflects the predicted status of these teams when they end the 2021 season, not where they are at the moment.
After the SEC champion goes to a New Year’s Day 6 bowl (most likely in the CFP) and other teams get their presumed NYD6 assignments, the top league team remaining will be invited to the Citrus Bowl. From there, the SEC has a tier of 6 bowls that are considered equal: The Liberty, Music City, Texas, Outback, Gator and Duke’s Mayo games. The Birmingham Bowl would get the next-best SEC pick if any bowl eligible teams remain.
These are the latest SEC bowl projections: