SEC bowl projections following Week 1
College football is back, and it’s as glorious as ever.
Alabama and Georgia look like they haven’t missed a beat, but several other SEC teams proved they can play with the big boys, too. Florida shocked the nation, downing No. 7 Utah at home while Arkansas stayed calm and collected in a 31-24 slow burn win against No. 23 Cincinnati.
In fact, the SEC is 14-0 so far this season, only excluding LSU’s game against Florida State on Sunday night. No pressure, Tigers.
As of now, our projections indicate 12 SEC programs will crack a bowl this season (Sorry, Vanderbilt and Mizzou) after a record-breaking 13 teams did so in 2021. Despite Vanderbilt’s hot 2-0 start under Mike Wright, the Commodores have a lot of ground to make up in their SEC slate to be considered as truly contending for a bowl.
The SEC lineup is similar to that of last season’s. The Las Vegas Bowl will replace the Duke’s Mayo Bowl (No mayo bath for Shane Beamer this year!) in its rotation between B1G and SEC. If the ReliaQuest Bowl sounds like a new one, it’s because it changed its branding from the Outback Bowl.
As usual, the Sugar Bowl and Orange Bowl have an SEC tie-in because they are not hosting this season’s College Football Playoff. Those distinctions go to the Peach Bowl and the Fiesta Bowl this season.
Three SEC teams are projected to reach a New Year’s 6 bowls: Alabama, Georgia and Texas A&M. After that, the Citrus Bowl gets their pick (SEC vs. B1G) followed by the rest. The Las Vegas, ReliaQuest, Gator, Music City, Texas and Liberty Bowls are considered equal, followed by the Birmingham and Gasparilla Bowls.
There’s a long season ahead of us, but here’s the SEC Bowl projections following a strong slate of college football in Week 1.
SEC college football bowl projections following Week 1
Peach Bowl (Playoff semifinal): Alabama vs. Clemson
Fiesta Bowl (Playoff semifinal): Georgia vs. Ohio State
Sugar: Texas A&M vs. Baylor
ReliaQuest: Florida vs. Wisconsin
Citrus: Arkansas vs. Michigan State
Music City: Ole Miss vs. Penn State
Gator: Tennessee vs. West Virginia
Liberty: Kentucky vs. Kansas State
Texas: LSU vs. Iowa State
Birmingham: Auburn vs. SMU
Gasparilla: Mississippi State vs. Coastal Carolina
Las Vegas: South Carolina vs. Oregon State