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SEC Bowl Projections: Entering the Back Stretch

As the teams are at or nearing the midpoint of the season, let’s guess where they may go bowling

Allstate Sugar Bowl - Mississippi v Oklahoma State Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

Alabama and Texas A&M have punched their bowl tickets and Tennessee could join them this weekend be gaining bowl eligibility. And for at least two more weeks, every other SEC team has a possibility of getting to six wins.

So the question becomes, who goes where? Unlike the weekly power poll which is based on what a team has done, our bowl projections also factor in what we think a team will do.

As a reminder, here is the SEC bowl selection process:


This season, the Peach and Fiesta Bowls are the semi-final hosts with Raymond James Stadium in Tampa hosting the Championship Game.

Chris Novak Alabama
Alex Dusza Alabama
Cam Newton Alabama
Joe Clarkin Alabama
Julian Council Alabama
Will Marshall Texas A&M
Niesha Middlebrooks Alabama
Jonathan Waldrop Alabama
Tom Stephenson Alabama

Sugar Bowl

After any teams chosen for the College Football Playoff, the next highest ranked team in the playoff standings goes to the Sugar Bowl.

Allstate Sugar Bowl - Oklahoma v Alabama Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
Chris Novak Texas A&M
Alex Dusza Texas A&M
Cam Newton Texas A&M
Joe Clarkin Texas A&M
Julian Council Tennessee
Will Marshall Alabama
Niesha Middlebrooks Texas A&M
Jonathan Waldrop Texas A&M
Tom Stephenson Texas A&M

Orange Bowl

Capital One Orange Bowl - Mississippi State v Georgia Tech Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

An SEC team can go to the Orange Bowl as the next highest ranked SEC or Big Ten team after the Playoff, Sugar Bowl and Rose Bowl have their picks of SEC and Big Ten teams. For example, Ohio State wins the Big Ten and goes to the Playoff, Michigan finishes 11-1 but loses to Ohio State and goes to the Rose Bowl, then likely no other Big Ten team would finish ahead of the next ranked SEC team after the Playoff and Sugar Bowl get their picks and an SEC team would be headed to Miami.

Chris Novak Tennessee
Alex Dusza Ole Miss
Cam Newton Tennessee
Joe Clarkin Tennessee
Julian Council Texas A&M
Will Marshall Tennessee
Niesha Middlebrooks Tennessee
Jonathan Waldrop Ole Miss
Tom Stephenson Ole Miss

Citrus Bowl

NCAA Football: Citrus Bowl-Michigan vs Florida Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

After the Playoff and access bowls get their picks, the Citrus Bowl can select the next best available team.

Chris Novak Ole Miss
Alex Dusza Tennessee
Cam Newton Ole Miss
Joe Clarkin Ole Miss
Julian Council Ole Miss
Will Marshall Ole Miss
Niesha Middlebrooks Ole Miss
Jonathan Waldrop Tennessee
Tom Stephenson Tennessee

Pool of Six

Outback Bowl - South Carolina v Michigan Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

After the Citrus Bowl, the next group of six games is assigned by the SEC office in consultation with the schools and bowls.

Belk Liberty Music City Outback TaxSlayer (Gator) Texas
Chris Novak Georgia Arkansas LSU Auburn Florida Missouri
Alex Dusza Georgia LSU Kentucky Arkansas Florida Auburn
Cam Newton UGA Auburn Mizzou Arkansas Florida LSU
Joe Clarkin Georgia Auburn Arkansas LSU Florida Missouri
Julian Council Arkansas LSU Missouri Georgia Florida Auburn
Will Marshall Georgia Arkansas Mizzou LSU Florida Mississippi State
Niesha Middlebrooks Georgia Arkansas LSU Auburn Florida Missouri
Jonathan Waldrop Missouri Arkansas Florida Auburn Georgia LSU
Tom Stephenson Georgia LSU Missouri Florida Auburn Arkansas

Birmingham and Independence Bowls

Following the group of six games, the Birmingham then Independence Bowl get their picks. Any other bowl eligible teams can get a bowl berth from another conference that does not fill their slots, but none of our projectors thought that would be needed.

NCAA Football: Birmingham Bowl-Auburn vs Memphis Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

Birmingham Independence
Chris Novak Mississippi State
Alex Dusza Mississippi State
Cam Newton Mississippi State
Joe Clarkin Mississippi State
Julian Council Kentucky
Will Marshall Auburn
Niesha Middlebrooks Mississippi State South Carolina
Jonathan Waldrop Mississippi State
Tom Stephenson