As reported in the AJC earlier this week, the bowl scenarios for the SEC Championship game loser are very unclear at this point.
The winner will, of course, be in the Discover BCS Championship Game and Florida (11-1) appears slated for Nokia Sugar Bowl. That leaves the Capital One, Cotton, Outback and Chick-fil-A bowls to fight it ouot for the SEC loser. Selections will be announced on Sunday.
The SEC has an agreement with the Chick-fil-A to not let the title game loser fall past it in the selection process. Chick-fil-A Bowl chairman Leeman Bennett, in his weekly selection blog posted on Wednesday, listed as its five SEC favorites LSU, Mississippi State, South Carolina, Texas A&M and Vanderbilt.
But, he also wrote this caveat at the end: “The final thing to consider would be our role to protect the runner-up in the SEC Championship Game that could see either Georgia or Alabama in the Chick-fil-A Bowl this year. Again, not very likely, but something to consider.”
The key is what happens between the Capital One in Orlando and the AT&T Cotton Bowl in Arlington, Texas. It appears both may want the Aggies and their Heisman Trophy favorite Johnny Manziel. The Capital One, in the SEC’s selection process, gets first dibs on any teams not included in the BCS. But you can be sure that the Cotton Bowl’s representatives are falling all over themselves to match Texas with Texas A&M. The two schools did not play for the first time in nearly 100 years this season since the Aggies bolted the Big 12 for the SEC.
If the Cotton happens to win that battle, then that would open up the Capital One for the SEC loser. Georgia played in the Outback last year and South Carolina played in the Capital One, making it unlikely (though not ruled out) that either one would return this year.