Because there are still conference title games to be played, and there’s a pecking order to this bowl selection process, and nobody wants to be accused of stepping on anybody’s toes, we can’t report to you for certain that Georgia appears to be as devalued a product now as it was before it defeated Georgia Tech.
But that’s the way it looks.
Had the Bulldogs lost to Tech, they almost certainly would’ve been ticketed for the Independence Bowl in Shreveport or PapaJohns.com Bowl in Birmingham. Turns out winning the Tech game may not lead to a bowl upgrade.
Maybe you don’t think that’s fair. But remember, bowl games are businesses. It doesn’t matter to them that Georgia fans can now make life miserable for Tech fans for 364 days. They only care if all of those Georgia fans are going to buy tickets to their bowl game. And seriously, after a 7-5 season, how many folks do you suppose are up for a trip?
According to various reports, this is the way bowls layout for SEC teams: The Florida and Alabama winner to the BCS title game, the loser to the Sugar Bowl, LSU to the Capital One, Auburn to the Outback, Mississippi to the Cotton, Tennessee to the Chick-fil-A, Kentucky to the Music City, Georgia to the Independence and South Carolina to the PapaJohns.com. (The Dogs and Gamecocks also could switch places.)
Chick-fil-A Bowl president Gary Stokan denied a Knoxville News report to our Tim Tucker that the bowl already has settled on a Tennessee-Virginia Tech matchup. The Tennessee report followed stories in Alabama that the Outback Bowl will break from tradition and invite Auburn instead of a team from the SEC East (most likely Tennessee). From there, the dominoes fell: Kentucky to the Music City, Georgia to the Independence, etc.
Why not the Dogs to Nashville? Because the Wildcats always bring a lot of fans there. The same can’t be guaranteed by Georgia. It’s business.