There's a lot of churn bouncing around the Intertubes about the SEC's bowl pairings, and it looks to be in part because of the hand of Mike Slive and the SEC office. Whether you want to think those moves are in the best interests of the conference and its members is a matter of perspective, I guess, but here's what I've been able to gather so far:
- Set: Alabama, Florida and South Carolina. Alabama will be locked into the BCS National Championship Game to face Notre Dame. Florida is all but certain to wrap up the No. 3 spot and take on Louisville after NIU managed to crash the BCS. South Carolina is seen as nearly certain to go to the Outback Bowl, where the opponent will be Michigan.
- It looks like Georgia will face Nebraska in the Capital One Bowl. That's the final conclusion people are arriving at after a fluid day. Projections and rumors have had the Bulldogs all over the board, from the Chick-fil-A Bowl to the Cotton Bowl and then to the Capital One Bowl. But if they go to the Capital One Bowl after days of Texas A&M rumors and reports, it's likely to keep the Dawgs from falling too far after a close loss in the SEC Championship Game.
- LSU and Texas A&M will go to the Chick-fil-A and Cotton bowls, in some order. There's still a lot of uncertainty about where the Tigers and the Aggies will end up. Part of that comes from Oklahoma being bumped out of the BCS and likely landing in the Cotton Bowl. According to which reports you want to believe, either the Cotton Bowl, Texas or Texas A&M wants to avoid a Texas-TAMU matchup in Dallas. (My money is on Texas, but it doesn't really matter at this point.) Again, the word here appears to be fluid. The opponents are likely Oklahoma in the Cotton Bowl and Clemson in the Chick-fil-A Bowl.
- The rest of it looks stable. The Gator Bowl is planning an announcement in a few minutes; that will probably be Mississippi State facing Northwestern. If that goes as planned, look for Vanderbilt to go to the Music City Bowl (to the chagrin of many Vanderbilt fans) and Ole Miss to head to the Compass Bowl.
- This could change. At this point, you have to think that the bowls are locking everything down, but there's still the chance for a last-minute switch.
Stay tuned. We'll have more as it becomes available.