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SEC Football Bowl Projections: Alabama to the Playoff, Ole Miss to the Sugar

Now that Alabama has punched its ticket to the playoff bracket, where are the other SEC teams going bowling?

John Reed-USA TODAY Sports

Thanks to Alabama's win against Florida in the SEC Championship Game, we now know that the Tide will go to the College Football Playoff and Ole Miss will almost certainly head to the Sugar Bowl to take on Oklahoma State. But what about your favorite team? Where will the rest of the SEC end up in the postseason?

Here's the latest look at bowl projections for the SEC before the match-ups start rolling out no Sunday. For entertainment purposes only.

Final 2015-16 Bowl Projections
College Football Playoff / New Year's Six Bowls
Orange Bowl (Semifinal) (4) Michigan St. Spartans (1) Clemson Tigers
Cotton Bowl (Semifinal) (3) Oklahoma Sooners (2) Alabama Crimson Tide
Fiesta Bowl Houston Cougars Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Peach Bowl Florida St. Seminoles Iowa Hawkeyes
Rose Bowl Stanford Cardinal Ohio St. Buckeyes
Sugar Bowl Ole Miss Rebels Oklahoma St. Cowboys
Other SEC Bowls
Citrus Bowl Florida Gators Michigan Wolverines
Outback Bowl Tennessee Volunteers Northwestern Wildcats
Music City Bowl Georgia Bulldogs Penn St. Nittany Lions
TaxSlayer Bowl Texas A&M Aggies Miami (FL) Hurricanes
Liberty Bowl Arkansas Razorbacks Kansas St. Wildcats
Texas Bowl LSU Tigers Texas Tech Red Raiders
Belk Bowl Mississippi St. Bulldogs Duke Blue Devils
Birmingham Bowl Auburn Tigers Temple Owls

My reasoning for the big-money games is pretty self-explanatory. Michigan State should move ahead Oklahoma in the College Football Playoff rankings, and I've seen some people speculate that it might happen. But here's why I think Oklahoma can hold on: Before now, according to Jeff Long, Oklahoma hasn't been counted as a conference champion. Now they will be, and I think that bounce is enough to keep the Sooners from falling behind the Spartans. After that, it's largely (though not entirely) paint by number thanks to the complicated set of contracts that keeps the playoff running.

It's still tricky to try to figure out which teams go where, because the "pool of six" arrangement is still new. For those unfamiliar: from the Outback Bowl through the Belk Bowl, there is no longer a bowl selection order in the SEC. Instead, all six of those bowls are considered equal, and it falls to the conference office to try to take the preferences of the bowls, the preferences of the schools and, really, the preferences of the conference and mash them together as well as possible. A lot of this is just guess right now, because I have no sources, but I like to think that it's at least educated guessing.

Most of these match-ups look intriguing on some level. I'm particularly partial to the idea of Miami (FL) playing Texas A&M, which might be one of the longer shots on this board, and LSU against Texas Tech. There are only a few more hours to wait to see if some of those dream showdowns become a reality.