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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Let's Go Bowling

Georgia is 5-4 with three to play, so while it's not a done deal that the Dawgs will be bowl eligible, it seems to be a relatively reasonable assumption. With Auburn and Kentucky coming to Athens and a date in Atlanta with Georgia Tech to close out the season, Georgia needs to take just one game to ensure it will play a postseason game -- the bigger question might be: Which one?

Mark Schlabach has Georgia headed for a return trip to Nashville for the Music City Bowl, as does Chris Low, while Bruce Feldman has the Dawgs set for Shreveport and the Independence Bowl.

A 3-0 finish to the season could certainly give the Dawgs a boost and potentially send them to Tampa. A 1-2 conclusion to the season probably leaves them circling the drain. A date in Atlanta for the Chick-fil-A Bowl isn't out of the question either.

So what seems likely?

Well, here are the SEC's destinations:

BCS Title Game

Details: Jan. 7, 8 p.m, Pasadena, Calif., ABC

Matchup: Barring a jarring upset, either Florida or Alabama will end up here.

Sugar Bowl

Details: Jan. 1, 8:30 p.m., New Orleans, La., FOX

Matchup: The loser of the SEC title game likely ends here, probably against one of the BCS busters like Boise State or TCU.

Capital One Bowl

Details: Jan. 1, 1 p.m., Orlando, Fla., vs. Big Ten #2, ABC

Matchup: The SEC's No. 3 goes here against the Big Ten's runner up. LSU is a virtual lock for this one, probably taking on Penn State, Iowa or Ohio State. Any of those would make for an intriguing matchup. Theoretically, an Ole Miss upset of the Tigers could send Ole Miss here, too, with Tennessee or Auburn needing some help to make it happen.

Outback Bowl

Details: Jan. 1, 11 a.m., Tampa, Fla., vs. Big Ten #3, ESPN

Matchup: This spot is generally reserved for the No. 2 team in the SEC East, which at this point, believe it or not, is Georgia. The Dawgs have two more conference games left, however, which could theoretically drop them all the way to fourth in the East. But that would require South Carolina beating Florida, which isn't going to happen. So the question then is, can Georgia finish ahead of Tennessee and lock up a spot in Tampa? The Vols finish with three winnable conference games -- at Ole Miss and home vs. Vandy and Kentucky -- so if they win out, they're in. We'll probably have a much better idea after this weekend, and if the Dawgs top Auburn and the Vols fall to the Rebels, Georgia would have the inside track.

Cotton Bowl

Details: Jan. 2, 2 p.m., Dallas, vs. Big 12, Big 12 #2, FOX

Matchup: This spot typically goes to the No. 2 team in the SEC West, but with LSU likely headed to Orlando, this spot either goes to Auburn or Ole Miss. Again, this weekend's games will likely decide which one.

Chick-fil-A Bowl

Details: Dec. 31, 7:30 p.m., Atlanta, vs. ACC #2, ESPN

Matchup: This game pits the ACC's No. 2 team (or this year, potentially the No. 3) against the SEC's No. 5 (or this year, likely the No. 6). There's a good chance the Dawgs end here, but would the Chick-fil-A Bowl want to bring Georgia back to Atlanta for a second straight game after the Dawgs close out with Georgia Tech? Or could the SEC West team that misses out on Dallas end up here instead? In the ACC, the Atlanta trip is intriguing, too, as Virginia Tech might well be the No. 3 team in the conference, but has already been to Atlanta twice this year (vs. Tech and Alabama).

Music City Bowl

Details: Dec. 27, 8:30 p.m., Nashville, Tenn., vs. ACC #6, ESPN

Matchup: The SEC's No. 6 or 7 team ends up here, which makes Georgia a likely participant. If the Dawgs don't go to Dallas, Atlanta or Tampa, that means Ole Miss, Auburn and Tennessee already have bids to those destinations, meaning the Music City would need to select Kentucky or South Carolina over UGA -- which would be tough to do considering the Dawgs have already beaten South Carolina and would probably have topped Kentucky to become bowl eligible. This would pit Georgia against the No. 6 team from the ACC -- which at this point would probably be North Carolina. But the ACC is such a mess, it's certainly possible Boston College, Virginia Tech, Florida State or -- gasp! -- even Duke could end up here. UGA-Duke in Nashville… can you feel the excitement?

Liberty Bowl

Details: Jan. 2, 5 p.m., Memphis, Tenn., vs. C-USA #1, ESPN

Matchup: The Music City usually takes the middling East team, which puts a middling West team here, and assuming the Hogs can win one more game, Arkansas seems a likely choice. They'll take on the Conference USA champ, which means a shootout with Houston.

Independence Bowl

Details: Dec. 28, 5 p.m., Shreveport, La., vs. Big 12 #7, ESPN2

Matchup: This marks the SEC's last season doing business with the Shreveport, La. spectacular, and the No. 9 team from the conference is likely headed here. Odds are, that's Kentucky or South Carolina, but there's a chance Mississippi State wins two of its last three (vs. Alabama, at Arkansas, vs. Ole Miss) to become bowl eligible and steals this spot. There's also an outside chance, as Feldman appears to be betting on, that Georgia slides all the way down here, too. That would involve Georgia beating Auburn but losing to Kentucky, giving the Music City an option of taking the Wildcats rather than bringing the Dawgs back to town for a second time this season. I say that's unlikely. Bowl

Details: Jan. 2, 2 p.m., Birmingham, Ala., vs. Big East #5/6, ESPN):

Matchup: The SEC's last bid goes here, and while Mississippi State has an outside shot, Dan Mullen's boys would have to pull two upsets to make it happen. Odds are, this will be the final East team, either South Carolina or Kentucky. Given that the Gamecocks will be the underdogs in their final two -- Florida and Clemson -- and could end the season with losses in five of their last six games, Steve Spurrier better keep his fingers crossed that Mississippi State doesn't pick up win No. 6.

So, what do you think is most likely? What's your preference?

Do you want to spend your New Year's Eve inside the Georgia Dome for the Chick-fil-A Bowl?

Or wake up early on New Year's Day for the Outback Bowl?

Or is a trip to Shreveport just the vacation you've been waiting for?

Would you like to see Georgia take on another middling Big Ten team or does a potential matchup against Bobby Bowden in Nashville intrigue you?

Let me know what you think.


Anonymous said...

If we had defense which could adjust, then we would have a chance in two of the games.

Are you going to do an article on the fact Colt McCoy will probably break David Green's winning games record. If our current DC had been here then, David would never have set the record.

Anonymous said...

Obviously, Bruce Feldman is a not a real Dawg fan and has a small weenie.

In terms of pure BBQ pleasure, the nod goes to Memphis over Nashville, but New Year's Eve at home ain't nothing to sneeze. However, New Year's at Disney World is kind of fun, whether you're up and driving to Tampa or staying in lovely Orlando.

DAWG said...

Outback or Peach......or Shreveport believe it or not, they have some pretty nice casinos to help drown your sorrows. I've been to a few smaller conventions/meetings there, and it's nicer than many give it credit for. Not somewhere you want to bowl every year, but we are far from that.

Anonymous said...

How much credit does UGA get for their fans traveling? I was part of the ASU road trip, and it was amazing how many dawgs were there. Tech is the number 7 team in the nation and does not sell out its home games. Bowls must take that kind of thing into consideration.

Bernie said...

When it comes to bowl season, I just wanna see a win. A good game is just gravy.

The ACC is athletically challenged and the Big 11 is just awful. So I'd prefer the Music City or the Chick-Fil-A, with the outside chance at the Outback on a flyer.

Just don't give me Houston.

Anonymous said...

I always like looking at it in terms of 'best case scenario'...I think the two key games in sorting this stuff out are this weekend with Ole Miss v. Tenn and UGA v. Aub. If Tenn wins, they really seem like a lock to go to at least the Outback assuming they take care of UK and Vandy. Ole Miss would then either be faced with Atlanta or Dallas no matter what they did in their last two. Assuming Dallas doesn't want them two years in a row, Atlanta becomes a pretty likely destination.

The question then comes down to Auburn and UGA which hinges on this weekend's game. Auburn wins...they finish with 4 losses (assuming a loss v. Bama) and are a lock for the Cotton. However...UGA wins. Auburn ends the season with 2 losses in a row and 5 total.

That puts UGA in a scenario where they could be very attractive to the Cotton Bowl....if they can beat Auburn and UK, they would have a chance to beat a 'hot' Tech team to close our the season with 4 wins in a row and only 4 total losses. While the Cotton does chose a West team on most occasions, the lack of an obvious choice plus UGA's reputation for travel and the renewed energy after beating Tech would make UGA very attractive especially against a national name like Oklahoma or Nebraska. 2005 is a good example on how this could play out with Tennessee being selected.

Anyway, it is always nice to be playing for something and I think as UGA fans winning out would be a huge positive and would really say something about these players.

Anonymous said...

I think we go 0-3 and start interviewing new coaches.

Anonymous said...

I'm hoping for a Music City Bowl rematch with Boston College. It's been a lousy season, but it would at least give the opportunity to get revenge for the 2001 Music City Bowl loss.

Unknown said...

I want to play Clempsun in the Peach Bowl. Stokan should do everything in his power to make that happen.

What a draw that would be? Traditional rivals meeting once again on New Year's Eve?


Anonymous said...

I wouldn't mind staying in Atlanta. I'm broke after traveling to Knoxville and Jacksonville and want to go to a bowl game without having to travel far.

genxdawg said...

The CFA Bowl is always cool b/c they do such a good job with it.

The Outback Bowl is fabulous b/c who doesn't want to play on New Year's day.

Shreveport or anywhere else would be wonderful for me. I love bowl games, period. I love the pageantry of it all. I'm that much of a pure Georgia football fan. I will be proud of my team and cheer them regardless of who they're playing or where. The way I see it, unless you're jockeying for the MNC or a BCS game (and hoping for a quality match-up) you should let the season be what it is, take another chance to cheer your team on and allow any bowl invite add to the joy of your holiday season. Life is short. Why not enjoy it.

Anonymous said...

Lets do Nashville.I only live 2 hours away and it's my only chance to go to a bowl game.
BC would be interesting

BigMuddyDawg said...

I live in Memphis and would love a chance to see the Dawgs play without leaving home. However, that would be so incredibly selfish of me because not only would that mean we would be playing in the Liberty Bowl, it would also mean that my fellow Dawgs fans would have to be subjected to the Grozny-like hell that is Memphis. Nobody wants that.

Anonymous said...

I'd hate to lose to Duke's passing game.