There was some clamoring (ok, one request) after the win this weekend for me to start in with the SEC bowl projections and speculation about where UK might go. I am going to hold off at least one more week. After checking the tape, I found that I didn't start until October 26th last year. At that time, UK had five wins and was heading to Starkeville. In an unrelated note, I posted a hell of a lot more last year.
I won't predict today, but here are some general observations:
1. Once again, the SEC seems assured of sending two teams to BCS bowls. This means ten bowl slots are available for our beloved conference. More details on this later, but for now, know that the rough pecking order is BCS(x2),Capital One, (Cotton, Outback), Chick-Fil-A, (Liberty, Music City), Independence, Papajohns.com.
2. Coincidentally, I project that ten SEC teams will be bowl eligible. Vandy and Mississippi State look like they will miss the cut. UK, Arkansas and Tennessee could end up staying home if they don't take care of business, but in each case it is unlikely. Everyone else has a fairly safe ticket. Caveat: Keep one eye on Ole Miss, which is probably stunned at the direction its season has taken and could collapse.
3. This means, unlike last year, 6-6 is probably not going to get the Cats or anyone else above the dreaded Shreveport hole. Six wins is probably a ticket either there or to the Pizza web site Bowl (in Birmingham, a place I actually wouldn't mind going). Last year, the Cats were able to sneak into the Liberty Bowl at 6-6 by virtue of collapses by Auburn, UT, and Arkansas who all finished 5-7. I don't think that will happen again.
4. I enjoyed looking at Chris Low's ESPN.com SEC blog tonight. He has projections for bowls, and also does a good job at calling each team's "best case" and "worst case" for the close of the season. He has us finishing 7-5, along with a host of other SEC teams.
5. At gunpoint, I'd pick Florida to beat Alabama in the SEC championship game, and end up playing for the national title. I think the Tide is a better team, but I'd never bet against Tim Tebow in a game he has to have.
6. More on this weekend's opponent, who we'd better take seriously, later in the week.
7. Anyone have a parking pass that will go to waste Saturday if you don't give it to me?
Jim Ross’ Thursday News and Views
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