As much as Alabama football fans enjoyed South Carolina’s dismantling of Tennessee, the Vols’ loss may have hurt the Crimson Tide. Going into Iron Bowl week, Alabama now has three probable, post-season possibilities.
Without two season-closing upsets from Vandy and Missouri, the SEC will have 10 bowl teams. Unless an SEC 5-7 team sneaks in based on its Academic Progress Rating. For accuracy, another possibility must be included – the most unlikely result of an Auburn upset on Saturday.
Where will Alabama Football go bowling? The answer will become more clear after Tuesday night’s CFB Playoff rankings. At this point, most projections have the Crimson Tide in the Orange Bowl. Less often predicted is the Alabama Crimson Tide in the Sugar Bowl, the Citrus Bowl, and a decidedly fringe opinion the Crimson Tide will play in the Cotton Bowl.
Possible Alabama Football Bowl Opponents
Except for an unexpected trip to the Cotton Bowl, Alabama’s possible bowl opponents include some interesting matchups. There is the possibility of TCU in the Sugar Bowl, Clemson in the Orange Bowl and Penn State or Illinois in the Citrus Bowl.
Blame the Tennessee Vols for the Citrus Bowl being included as the Tide’s post-season game. Now with two losses, Tennessee will not be in the CFB Playoffs. The two top-ranked, non-Playoff teams are likely to be LSU and Tennessee. Alabama will be close, but with losses to both teams, the Crimson Tide may be in Orlando on Jan.2, rather than Miami Gardens on Dec. 30.
The above result presumes the Sugar Bowl will choose LSU and Tennessee gets the Orange Bowl. Hence, another reason for Crimson Tide fans to be rooting hard for the Commodores on Saturday. Not that the Citrus Bowl is a bad bowl. It is arguably better than the Cotton Bowl, but even with increased stature in recent years, the Citrus does not have the cachet of the Orange Bowl.
Probable SEC Football Bowl Contests
According to Jerry Palm’s current projection, the nine other SEC football teams will participate in the matchups listed below.
- Georgia Bulldogs – CFB Playoff Semi-Final, Peach Bowl
- LSU Bengal Tigers – Sugar Bowl
- Alabama Crimson Tide – Orange Bowl
- Tennessee Vols – Cotton Bowl
- Ole Miss Rebels – Citrus Bowl
- South Carolina Gamecocks- ReliaQuest Bowl
- Kentucky Wildcats – Music City Bowl
- Arkansas Razorbacks – Gator Bowl
- Mississippi State Bulldogs- Texas Bowl
- Florida Gators- Las Vegas Bowl
Jerry Palm, unlike most others doing bowl projections, also has Missouri in the Birmingham Bowl and Auburn in the Liberty Bowl. With Palm projecting Alabama to the Orange Bowl, he is projecting Auburn at 5-7, will fill an open bowl slot, based on its APR.
Alabama football fans may not fully embrace the Crimson Tide’s post-season enough to travel in big numbers. More interesting will be how many Crimson Tide players will also skip the trip.
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