SEC Bowl Projections after Week 2
We’re still a week away from ‘Show Me What You Got’ Saturday in the SEC with four notable conference clashes, but Saturday’s results may have provided a glimpse into a few early pretenders in the Top 25.
In short, Auburn’s preseason stock is tumbling despite an unbeaten start. The Tigers fell 12 spots in Sunday’s Week 3 AP Top 25 are narrowly avoiding catastrophe at home against Jacksonville State, an FCS team. The six-touchdown favorites needed a clutch drive from Jeremy Johnson at the end of regulation and an overtime sack by Cassanova McKinzy to stave off a Playoff-ending upset.
Arkansas, a perceived contender in the West, dropped a heartbreaker to Toledo and Razorbacks fans let Bret Bielema hear it.
Week 2’s biggest win for bowl implications was Kentucky’s decision at South Carolina, the Wildcats’ first at Williams-Brice Stadium since 1999. Kentucky snapped a lengthy SEC skid away from home with a 24-point first half, holding on at the end to send the favored Gamecocks into a possible early tailspin.
South Carolina (1-1) travels to seventh-ranked Georgia next week and hasn’t started a season 1-2 since 2008. Looking at the rest of the schedule for the Gamecocks, they’ll be considered underdogs in six of their final 10 games which isn’t a good omen for getting to bowl eligibility. South Carolina’s preseason over/under was 6.5 on it feels like Spurrier’s team could be teetering on that edge with quarterback Connor Mitch out for at least a month and most likely longer.
Kentucky meanwhile increased its odds substantially of reaching the postseason for the first time since the 2010 season with rare road win. We’re putting the Wildcats in this week ahead of a home showdown against Florida (2-0) Saturday night.
Glancing at our latest bowl projections, one of the toughest calls to make in the SEC pecking order once at-large New Year’s Six selections are made (and even those are educated guesses at this point). Mississippi’s game at Alabama on Saturday will dictate the early SEC West favorite and will certainly play a role in postseason picks down the road.
2015 SEC BOWL PROJECTIONS AFTER WEEK 2 (12 invites)
- College Football Playoff Semifinal (Cotton Bowl): Alabama vs. TCU
- New Year’s Six Peach: Georgia vs. Florida State
- New Year’s Six Sugar: Ole Miss vs. Baylor
- Citrus: Texas A&M vs. Wisconsin
- Outback: Auburn vs. Michigan
- Music City: Mizzou vs. Nebraska
- Belk: Tennessee vs. Duke
- Liberty: Florida vs. Texas
- TaxSlayer: Arkansas vs. Clemson
- Texas: LSU vs. Kansas State
- Independence: Mississippi State vs. Louisville
- Birmingham: Kentucky vs. Memphis
On the outside looking in: South Carolina, Vanderbilt