SEC bowl projections after Week 1
The ludicrous job of projecting bowl tie-ins after one week of play (less than a week for Ole Miss, which still hasn’t played yet) has been complicated by the fact that the conference failed to produce 11 teams that look like bowl teams.
It was that bad, and the national media noticed.
But it’s also a bit of a mirage. This is a year where a lot of SEC teams are looking for new quarterbacks. As the season goes on, stars will emerge and teams will start playing better. This is the opposite of 2013 when Johnny Manziel, AJ McCarron, Zach Mettenberger, Nick Marshall and Connor Shaw were all starting for their teams.
So don’t panic.
Eventually, Jacob Eason will round into form for Georgia or maybe Greyson Lambert will hold him off because he has improved. Same at South Carolina with Brandon McIlwain and Perry Orth.
These storylines are happening all over the league this year, even at Alabama.
So it’s not so much a down year overall. It’s just a year to get SEC teams early while they are still trying to figure out their QB situations.
The league will get better as the year goes on, and 2017 will be more vintage because most of these young stars will be back.
For now, it’s a work in progress.
Sometimes an ugly work in progress.
2016 SEC bowl projections after Week 1 (11 invites)
- College Football Playoff semifinal (Peach Bowl): Alabama vs. Ohio State
- New Year’s Six (Sugar Bowl): Georgia vs. TCU
- Citrus Bowl: Tennessee vs. Wisconsin
- Music City Bowl: Ole Miss vs. Penn State
- Outback Bowl: Texas A&M vs. Michigan
- TaxSlayer Bowl: Florida vs. Pitt
- Liberty Bowl: LSU vs. West Virginia
- Texas Bowl: Auburn vs. Texas
- Belk Bowl: South Carolina vs. North Carolina
- Birmingham Bowl: Arkansas vs. Navy
- Independence Bowl: Missouri vs. Duke
On the outside looking in: Vanderbilt, Mississippi State, Kentucky.