Sunday, October 28, 2018

Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, LSU, and Florida are postseason bowl eligible. Seven SEC teams still in the hunt.

Bowl Eligibility Watch

Week 9 saw only one major change in the SEC's postseason eligibility status. That was Arkansas finally being mathematically eliminated from postseason eligibility, where it joins banhammered Ole Miss staying at home for the holidays.

Here's the full rundown of where the teams of the SEC stands in regards to their hopes of making it to a 2018 postseason bowl game or better.

Projections are via SB*Nation's Jason Kirk, and CBS Sports' Jerry Palm.

Postseason Eligible

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

Postseason Projection

Kirk: 2018 Cotton Bowl Classic (College Football Playoff) vs. Notre Dame (Dec. 29 @ AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Tx.)

Palm: 2018 Cotton Bowl Classic vs. Michigan

Kirk and Palm have Alabama in the Cotton Bowl, only with two separate opponents. They both have Clemson in the Orange Bowl facing the other's non-'Bama Cotton Bowl opponent.

Georgia (7-1, 5-1 SEC East Division)

Postseason Projection

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

Palm: 2019 Fiesta Bowl vs. Central Florida (Jan. 1, 2019 @ State Farm Stadium, Glendale, Az.)

Despite a win over Florida, there is no change from the post-Week 8 projections for Georgia.

The only way up for UGA is to beat its final SEC opponents (Kentucky and Auburn), dodge a potential trap game against UMass (quit snickering, it could happen), beat in-state rival Georgia Tech, and then beat Alabama for the SEC Championship. That's not asking for too much, is it?

LSU (7-1, 4-1 West)

Postseason Projection

Kirk: 2019 Fiesta Bowl vs. Penn State

Palm: 2019 Sugar Bowl vs. Oklahoma

Only difference between here and last week is that Penn St. takes over the Fiesta Bowl spot that Iowa held last week.

LSU faces Alabama at home next week. Things could either get interesting or go pretty bad for the Tigers in facing 'Bama. Hope for interesting.

Kentucky (7-1, 5-1 East)

Postseason Projection 

Kirk: 2019 Citrus Bowl vs. Iowa (Jan. 1, 2019 @ Camping World Stadium, Orlando, Fl.)

Palm: 2018 Peach Bowl vs. Washington State (Dec. 29 @ Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta, Ga.)

No change in bowls for Kentucky.

The Peach Bowl would be the preferable game, as it's a CFP-affiliated bowl.

Florida (6-2, 4-2 East)

Postseason Projection

Kirk: 2018 Peach Bowl vs. UCF

Palm: 2019 Citrus Bowl vs. Iowa

No changes for Florida from last week, except for Iowa replacing Wisconsin in Palm's projection.

Five Wins (Magic Number: 1 win)

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

Postseason Projection

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

Palm: 2019 Outback Bowl vs. Michigan State

Despite Texas A&M's loss to division rival Mississippi State, there are changes from last week's projections for the Aggies.

Mississippi State (5-3, 2-3 West)

Postseason Projection

Kirk: 2018 Music City Bowl vs. Boston College (Dec. 28 @ Nissan Stadium, Memphis, Tn.)

Palm: 2018 Music City Bowl vs. Boston College

No change from last week for Mississippi St., with the exception that Kirk and Palm replaced Virginia Tech with Boston College.

Auburn (5-3, 2-3 West)

Postseason Projection

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

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

The only change for Auburn this week is in Palm projecting Iowa St. as its potential Texas Bowl opponent.

The biggest question still remains whether Gus Malzahn remains head coach of Auburn by the time either bowl game is played.

Four Wins (Magic Number: 2)

South Carolina (4-3, 3-3 East)

Postseason Projection 

Kirk: None

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

Kirk apparently wasn't impressed enough with South Carolina's win over Tennessee to change his blackballing the Gamecocks from the postseason.

Palm's Liberty Bowl projection changes only in switching TCU out with Texas Tech.

Vanderbilt (4-5, 1-4 East)

Postseason Projection

Kirk: None

Palm: None

Kirk and Palm still have no faith in Vandy getting two more wins this season.

Missouri (4-4, 0-4 East)

Postseason Projection

Kirk: 2018 Texas Bowl vs. Texas Tech

Palm: 2018 Gator Bowl vs. Wisconsin (Dec. 31 @ TIAA Bank Field, Jacksonville, Fl.)

What gives Missouri better chances of making a bowl over South Carolina or Vanderbilt? Apparently, it's the fact that the Tigers final four games of the regular season see them face Florida, Vandy, Tennessee, and Arkansas.

To be honest, I wouldn't bet the farm on Mizzou going 2-2, though.

Three Wins (Magic Number: 3)

Tennessee 3-5 (1-4 East)

Postseason Projection

Kirk: 2018 Gator Bowl vs. Purdue

Palm: None

Palm is the more correct of the two.

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