Bowl scenarios: It’s anywhere from Sugar Bowl to Chick-fil-A for Dogs
Where is Georgia going to play in a bowl game?
Excellent question, and one that’s impossible to answer at this point. Now if you couch it to ask, where might the Bulldogs go bowling?, we can give that one a go.
Much is going to depend on the outcome of today’s game between Georgia and Georgia Tech, and other rivalry games as well. Suffice it to say, a Bulldogs’ win — which would be their 10th in a row – puts them in a very favorable position. However, a loss to the Jackets followed by another one to LSU makes Georgia a bit of a problem for the bowl bosses.
Regardless, Georgia should end up in one of these five bowl games:
- Allstate Sugar Bowl, New Orleans, Jan. 3: The Bulldogs get here only if they beat LSU in the SEC Championship Game. They would be representing the league as SEC champion, then could hang around six days in New Orleans to catch LSU and/or Alabama play in the Allstate BCS National Championship Game on Jan. 9.
- Capital One Bowl, Orlando, Jan. 2: The Cap One folks have a tough decision — take a 10-2, top-10-ranked Arkansas team or a Georgia team that will be coming off a loss in the SEC championship game. Go ahead and cross off this option if the Dogs lose to Georgia Tech. And even if Georgia beats the Jackets, it still might look like an easy choice for the Razorbacks based on record and ranking. However, economic factors such as travel and attendance make it less obvious. The majority of the fanbase being within easy driving distance could work in UGA’s favor.
- Outback Bowl, Tampa, Jan. 2: This would seem the most likely destination if the Cap One passes on the SEC loser. But you never know what this volatile bowl selection group might do. They could decide to pick South Carolina on the argument the Gamecocks won head-to-head against Georgia, especially if they can beat Clemson. Auburn could enter the picture with a win over Alabama or Florida with a win over FSU.
- AT&T Cotton Bowl, Dallas, Jan. 6: Expect a real tug-of-war between the Cotton Bowl and the Cap One for Arkansas. Dallas is a traditional destination for the former Southwest Conference-dwelling Hogs and their fans will certainly travel well there, especially not having been back since 2007. Then again, Georgia hasn’t played there since beating Texas 10-9 in 1984 and a lot of Bulldog fans have expressed interest in going back.
- Chick-fil-A Bowl, Atlanta, Dec. 31: Lopsided losses to Tech and/or LSU could seriously jeopardize the Bulldogs cachet in the bowl hierarchy. But the SEC now has a “protection system” designed to keep the loser of the SEC title game from slipping too far. By contract, Commissioner Mike Slive can call on any of the non-BCS bowls in the SEC’s alliance and ask them to protect the SEC loser. It’s unlikely Slive would let Georgia slip past the Outback or Cotton. Nevertheless, Chick-fil-A Bowl President Gary Stokan told me himself he would protect Georgia from getting past them.
As you can see, the outcomes of today’s rivalry games will have a profound effect on the bowl scenario as we know it. So you might as well settle in and watch. By Saturday night, the picture should sharpen considerably.