SEC bowl projections after Week 9
We’ve reached November.
And after nine weeks of the regular season, there appears to be only three elite teams in the SEC — LSU, Alabama and Florida.
The Tigers and Crimson Tide will meet on Saturday night in arguably the biggest game in college football this season, No. 4 vs. No. 7, for the front-runner spot in the SEC’s bid toward the Playoff. Ole Miss still controls its own destiny in league play as far as Atlanta’s concerned, but the loss to Memphis means the Rebels would likely miss out on the final four even if they won every remaining contest this season.
Speaking of those Paxton Lynch-led Tigers …
One of the major changes I made this week was replacing Memphis with Houston in the New Year’s Six Peach Bowl against Florida. Watching both teams extensively in recent weeks, the Cougars have a noticeable edge defensively right now.
The winner of the Memphis-Houston matchup on Nov. 14 will likely finish unbeaten and win the American Athletic Conference. No disrespect to Temple, one of the league’s three ranked — and unbeaten — teams, but the Tigers and Cougars haven’t suffered many spells of offensive ineptitude like the Owls.
There are three additional SEC teams on the bowl bubble — Auburn, Arkansas and Kentucky. The Tigers (4-4) must win one of their next two games — at Texas A&M, vs. Georgia — to get to 6-6 in my opinion. Arkansas and Kentucky are in a similar predicament. The Wildcats have lost three in a row since beginning the season 4-1.
And Mark Stoops badly needs a bowl berth.
2015 SEC BOWL PROJECTIONS AFTER WEEK 9 (11 invites)
- College Football Playoff Semifinal (Cotton Bowl): LSU vs. Baylor
- New Year’s Six Sugar: Alabama vs. Michigan State
- New Year’s Six Peach: Florida vs. Houston
- Citrus: Ole Miss vs. Michigan
- Outback: Texas A&M vs. Iowa
- Music City: Tennessee vs. North Carolina
- Belk: Mississippi State vs. N.C. State
- Liberty: Arkansas vs. Texas Tech
- TaxSlayer: Georgia vs. Penn State
- Texas: Auburn vs. West Virginia
- Birmingham: Kentucky vs. Cincinnati
On the outside looking in: Mizzou, South Carolina, Vanderbilt