Monday, November 14, 2016

Eight SEC teams bowl eligible, five teams still in the hunt.

Bowl Eligibility Watch

Auburn vs. Georgia Nov. 12. Image via

Over half of the SEC is now bowl eligible. Georgia and LSU finally made it to six wins, making them both eligible for a bowl appearance.

Eight SEC teams will now be going to a bowl. Five teams still have a chance to increase that number. The bad news for those five teams is that four of them have to play other SEC schools in Week 12, and two of those four have to play each other.

Here's the rundown of where the SEC schools stand when it comes to bowl eligibility. Thirteen out of fourteen SEC schools are either guaranteed to go to a bowl, or are still competing to go to a bowl. Hint: If you're Missouri, you're not on the list.

Bowl projections for the bowl eligible SEC schools are from SB*Nation's Jason Kirk.

Bowl Eligible (Six-plus wins)

Alabama (10-0)
Projected bowl: 2016 Peach Bowl (College Football Playoff semifinal) vs. Louisville (Atlanta, Ga. Dec. 31)

Yeah, I'm not holding my breath about 'Bama facing Louisville in the CFP, either.

Florida (7-2)
Projected Bowl: 2016 TaxSlayer Bowl vs. Virginia Tech (Dec. 31, Jacksonville, Fl.)

Auburn (7-3)
Projected bowl: 2017 Outback Bowl vs. Nebraska (Jan. 2, 2017, Tampa, Fl.)

Tennessee (7-3) 
Projected bowl: 2016 Citrus Bowl vs. North Carolina (Dec. 31, Orlando, Fl.)

Texas A&M (7-3)
Projected Bowl: 2016 Texas Bowl vs. Texas (Dec. 28, Houston, Tx.)

The Texas and Texas A&M haven't been played since 2011, after which the Aggies officially defected to the SEC. This matchup would be a dream for those longing for days gone by, virtually guaranteeing that this won't happen.

LSU (6-3)
Projected bowl: 2017 Sugar Bowl (New Year's Six bowl) vs. Oklahoma (Jan. 2, 2017, New Orleans, La.)

Arkansas (6-4)
Projected Bowl: 2016 Music City Bowl vs. Iowa (Dec. 30, Nashville, Tn.)

Georgia (6-4)
Projected bowl: 2016 Liberty Bowl vs. TCU (Dec. 30, Memphis, Tn.)

On the Brink (Five wins, one win needed to become bowl eligible)

Kentucky (5-5)
Week 12: vs. Austin Peay (Nov. 19)

Kentucky final two games are against FCS school Austin Peay (Nov. 19), and a road game against in-state rival Louisville. Obviously extra pressure is going to be on the Wildcats to win this weekend and get bowl eligibility over and done with, and not have to face a team the Cardinals, who are now in line for a place in the College Football Playoff.

South Carolina (5-5)
Week 12: vs. Western Carolina (Nov. 19)

The ghost of The Gamecocks loss to The Citadel is gonna hang hard around this game. The difference here is that while The Citadel was a FCS Playoff team last season with an end-of-the-year 9-4 record, the Catamounts of Western Carolina are currently 2-8 this season. There's really going to be no excuse for South Carolina to lose this one.

If South Carolina does somehow manage to lose to Western Caolina, its last hope for a sixth win and bowl eligibility will be against Clemson on Nov. 26.  At Death Valley. Good luck to that.

Ole Miss (5-5)
Week 12: @Vanderbilt (Nov. 19)
Ole Miss upset Texas A&M in Week 11, reviving its hopes for a shot at bowl eligibility. The bad news, it's got to go through two SEC opponents to do it. First up is Vanderbilt, which managed to lose against Missouri, the worst team in the SEC this season. Of course, this Vandy team also beat Georgia earlier in the season, so anything could happen here.

Ole Miss closes out the 2016 season in the Egg Bowl against Mississippi State on Nov. 26. The game will be in Oxford, so the Rebels will have homefield advantage. At this point both the Rebels and the Bulldogs could be fighting for both the Egg Bowl trophy, and the chance to see which one of the two in-state rivals gets to go to a bowl game.

Running Out of Days (Four wins, two wins needed to become bowl eligible) 

Mississippi State (4-6) 
Week 12: vs. Arkansas (Nov. 19)

Fate really is against both 4-6 SEC schools at the moment. The only real advantage is that they both have homefield advantage this weekend.

Mississippi St. hosts Arkansas, for example. The Razorbacks are coming off a loss to LSU, and looking to make a rebound, which will make it a little more difficult for the Bulldogs.

Should Mississippi St. get a win against the Razorbacks. The Egg Bowl on Nov. 26 against rival Ole Miss could be for all the marbles - the win, the trophy, and the chance for a bowl invitation.

Vanderbilt (4-6)
Week 12: vs. Ole Miss (Nov. 19)
Vandy has beaten only one SEC team this season: Georgia. Other than that, the conference schedule has been a giant goose egg. Don't hold your breath that the Commodores will accomplish anything here, either.

The Commodores's las game of the season will be hosting Tennessee on Nov. 26. When the Vols hit Nashville, even what should be a home game for Vandy turns into a road game.

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