Monday, October 22, 2018

Alabama, four other SEC teams are postseason eligible.


Postseason Eligibility Watch

Amazing as it seems, thirteen of the fourteen teams in the SEC are still technically in the running for a spot in the postseason. (Ole Miss is still under the NCAA banhammer for rules violations). Yes, Arkansas, which while at 2-6, can still earn a spot in the postseason...if it can win its last four games on schedule.

Here's where things stand with each SEC team as of the end of Week 8. Five teams (Alabama, LSU, Kentucky, Florida, and Georgia) are already eligible for the postseason with six or more wins. 5-2 Texas A&M can join them in Week 9, while 5-3 Auburn has to wait for Week 10, as Week 9 is its bye week.

Teams still vying for a postseason spot have their schedule for the next four least included in their entry.

Projections for the postseason are via Jason Kirk of SB*Nation, and Jerry Palm of CBS Sports.

Postseason Eligible 


Alabama (8-0, 5-0 SEC West)

Postseason Projection

Kirk: 2018 Orange Bowl vs. Notre Dame (College Football Playoff, Dec. 29, Hard Rock Stadium, Miami Gardens, Fl.)

Palm: 2018 Cotton Bowl Classic vs. Michigan (College Football Playoff, Dec. 29, AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Tx.)

Of course Palm and Kirk have to disagree on not only the team 'Bama could face in the College Football Playoff, they have to disagree on whether it goes to the Cotton Bowl or the Orange Bowl.

Don't hold your breath on 'Bama playing Michigan anywhere, by the way. The Wolverines still have to face Penn State (Nov. 3) and Ohio State (Nov. 24)

LSU (7-1, 5-0 West)

Postseason Projection

Kirk: 2019 Fiesta Bowl vs. Iowa (Jan. 1, 2019, State Farm Stadium, Glendale, Az.)

Palm: 2019 Sugar Bowl vs. Oklahoma (Jan. 1, 2019, Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans, La.)

Palm has LSU staying close to home with his Sugar Bowl projection. Kirk has the Tigers going farther west in what would probably be a more disappointing bowl game for some LSU fans.

Kentucky (6-1, 4-1 SEC East)

Postseason Projection

Kirk: 2018 Citrus Bowl vs. Penn St. (Jan. 1, 2019, Camping World Stadium, Orlando, Fl.)

Palm: 2018 Peach Bowl vs. Texas (Dec. 29, 2019, Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta, Ga.)

Kentucky is currently tied for first place in the SEC East with Florida and Georgia. The Wildcats already upset Florida, with UGA coming up on the schedule on Nov. 3. An upset against the Dawgs could see Kentucky visiting Atlanta twice in the postseason, according to Palm's projection.

Kirk's projection of a Citrus Bowl meeting against Penn St. might be the more sensible projection, since even with winning the SEC East, a win against Alabama may be asking too much. A loss to Bama would probably pave the way for LSU to get the Sugar Bowl nod above any SEC East division winner.

Florida (6-1, 4-1 East)

Postseason Projection

Kirk: 2018 Peach Bowl vs. Central Florida

Palm: 2019 Citrus Bowl vs. Wisconsin

Both games are far better than what many expected from Florida at the start of the season.

Georgia (6-1, 4-1 East)

Postseason Projection

Kirk: 2019 Sugar Bowl vs. Oklahoma

Palm: 2019 Fiesta Bowl vs. Central Florida.

Both games feel a little underwhelming. A Fiesta Bowl invite would be a first for Georgia, so there's that.

Five Wins (Magic Number: 1)


Texas A&M (5-2, 3-1 West)

Next Four Weeks:

Oct. 27 @ Mississippi State

Nov. 3 @Auburn

Nov. 10 vs. Ole Miss

Nov. 17 vs. UAB

Postseason Projection

Kirk: 2019 Outback Bowl vs. Michigan State (Jan. 1, 2019, Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, Fl.)

Palm 2019 Outback Bowl vs. Penn St.

It looks as though Texas A&M is fated to go to Tampa for New Years. At least Aggie supporters can claim Jimbo Fisher's first year as head coach was successful, as the Outback Bowl has to be considered an upgrade from last year's Belk Bowl appearance.

Auburn (5-3, 2-3 West)

Next Four Weeks

Oct. 27 BYE

Nov. 3 vs. Texas A&M

Nov. 10 @ Georgia

Nov. 17 vs. Liberty

Postseason Projection

Kirk: 2018 Belk Bowl vs. Virginia (Dec. 29, Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, NC)

Palm: 2018 Texas Bowl vs. Texas Tech (Dec. 27, NRG Stadium, Houston, Tx.)

Could a trip to either the Belk Bowl or the Texas Bowl signal the end of the Gus Malzhan era at Auburn? Losing to both Georgia and Alabama (Nov. 24) might lead to the Gus Bus getting parked for good.

Four Wins (MN: 2)


Missouri (4-3 East)

Next Four Weeks 

Oct. 27 vs. Kentucky

Nov. 3 @ Florida

Nov. 10 vs. Vanderbilt

Nov. 17 @ Tennessee

Tennessee and Vanderbilt are the easier games on the schedule, but an upset win over either Kentucky or Florida might not be too much of a shock.

Postseason Projection

Kirk: 2018 Texas Bowl vs. Texas Tech

Palm: 2018 TaxSlayer Bowl vs. Michigan State

Kirk slides Missouri in the slot Palm has Texas A&M in as the SEC's representative for the Texas Bowl, while Palm himself sees Mizzou headed to Jacksonville to face Michigan St. in the Bowl Formerly Known as the Gator Bowl.

Mississippi State (4-3, 1-3 West)

Next Four Weeks

Oct. 27 vs. Texas A&M

Nov. 3 vs. Louisiana Tech

Nov. 10 @ Alabama

Nov. 17 @ Arkansas

It will be a pretty steep challenge for Mississippi St. to get to six wins in the next four weeks. Even the out-of-conference game against Louisiana Tech (currently 5-2) could be a dangerous hurdle for the Bulldogs.

Postseason Projection

Kirk: 2018 Music City Bowl vs. Virginia Tech (Dec. 28, Nissan Stadium, Nashville, Tennessee)

Palm: 2918 Music City Bowl vs. Virginia Tech

A rare agreement between Kirk and Palm here.

Three Wins (MN: 3)


South Carolina (3-3, 2-3 East)

Next Four Weeks 

Oct. 27 vs. Tennessee

Nov. 3 @ Ole Miss

Nov. 10 @ Florida

Nov. 17 vs. Chattanooga

Three wins in the next four weeks looks a little tricker than it does on first site. Two conference losses could put an end to both South Carolina's postseason hopes, as well as Will Muschamp's tenure as the Gamecocks head coach.

Postseason Projection

Kirk: None

Palm: 2018 Liberty Bowl vs. TCU (Dec. 31, Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium, Memphis, Tn.)

South Carolina becomes the first SEC team to get a thumbs down from Kirk to its postseason hopes. Palm is a little more gracious with a Liberty Bowl projection.

Tennessee (3-4, 1-3 East)

Next Four Weeks

Oct. 27 @ South Carolina

Nov. 3 vs. Charlotte

Nov. 10 vs. Kentucky

Nov. 17 vs. Missouri

Is anyone truly optimistic of Tennessee getting three wins over this upcoming four-game stretch?

Postseason Projection

Kirk: 2018 TaxSlayer Bowl vs. Purdue

Palm: None

Palm is the one who puts Tennessee on the outside looking in this go around.

Vanderbilt (3-5, 0-4 East)

Next Four Weeks

Oct. 27 @ Arkansas

Nov. 3 BYE

Nov. 10 @ Missouri

Nov. 17 vs. Ole Miss

It could take a win over Tennessee on Nov. 24 to punch Vanderbilt's ticket to the postseason.

Postseason Projection

Kirk: None

Palm: None

Vandy marks the first time Kirk and Palm agree on a team not making it to the postseason.

Two Games (MN:4)


Arkansas (2-6, 0-4)

Next Four Weeks 

Oct. 27 vs. Vanderbilt

Nov. 3 BYE

Nov. 10 vs. LSU

Nov. 17 vs. Mississippi St.

Arkansas needs to win all four of its next four games to have any hopes of a postseason. Don't bet on it happening with LSU on the schedule on Nov. 10.

Postseason Projection 

Kirk: None

Palm: None

All hope is pretty much lost for Arkansas.


No comments: