Written by Adam Sparks at The Tennesseean.com
Twelve of the SEC’s 14 teams will play in bowls, but pairing a school with a game can get complicated.
After the top three bowls, the next six SEC bowls are ranked evenly in the same group, including Music City Bowl, Outback Bowl, TaxSlayer Bowl, Belk Bowl, Liberty Bowl and Texas Bowl. After that, the Birmingham Bowl gets the next choice, followed by the Independence Bowl.
Here are the possible bowl scenarios and why, listed in order of first choice to final choice.
Atlanta, Dec. 31
Who goes and why?: Alabama (12-0, 8-0 SEC) or no SEC team. The Peach Bowl is the College Football Playoff semifinal this year. If Alabama wins the SEC title game, it’s in as the No. 1 seed.
New Orleans, Jan. 2
Who goes and why?: If Alabama wins the SEC Championship Game, Auburn (8-4, 5-3) automatically gets the Sugar Bowl bid as highest remaining team in the College Football Playoff rankings. If Florida (8-3, 6-2) upsets Alabama in the SEC title game, then the Gators get the Sugar Bowl as the conference champion. Alabama would still make the playoff.
Orlando, Fla., Dec. 31
Who goes and why?: Florida or LSU (7-4, 5-3). The Citrus Bowl gets first pick after the College Football Playoff and Sugar Bowl selections. Florida is the likely choice because Gainesville is about 100 miles away from Orlando, and the Gators are the SEC East Division champion. But Florida played in the Citrus Bowl last year, so LSU could be picked to avoid a repeat.
Tampa, Fla., Jan. 2
Who goes and why?: LSU or Florida, whichever is not chosen by the Citrus Bowl. Both teams would bring plenty of fans, and LSU has the built-in storyline of kicking off the Ed Orgeron era as the permanent coach rather than interim.
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