Vols large part of SEC bowl talk

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Making the SEC championship game could mean another December trip to Atlanta for Tennessee.

Win out and UT's bowl destination is simple. The Vols would be the SEC champion representative in the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans on Jan. 1.

Lose the SEC championship game to LSU, which has secured the SEC West title, and the Vols likely would be headed back to Atlanta for the Chick-fil-A Bowl on Dec. 31.

The Chick-fil-A Bowl would prefer to land Alabama from the SEC, a source close to the bowl told the News Sentinel. That looks unlikely since the Chik-fil-A holds the fourth SEC bowl pick and must take the championship game loser if that team is still available.

Assuming LSU wins out, the Tigers will play in the national championship game. Then, the Capital One Bowl would have the first pick among the remaining teams. Georgia and Florida likely would be the top choices. The Outback Bowl would then have the next pick.

The winner of the Auburn-Alabama game seems likely to end up in the Cotton Bowl. That would leave UT in position to play in the Chick-fil-A, formerly the Peach Bowl.

That could change if the Outback or Cotton decide to exercise their mandatory selection of an SEC championship game loser.

Those two bowls, along with the Capital One and Chick-fil-A, must take the SEC championship game loser at least once in a four-year cycle. Capital One did so last year when it selected Arkansas.

The Outback seems an unlikely destination for UT since the Vols played there last year, losing to Penn State 20-10. It's rare that the Cotton elects to take a team from the SEC East because of proximity.

The Cotton Bowl has picked only two SEC East teams in the past nine years, both times UT (2001 and 2005).

The best chance for UT to move up in the bowl pecking order would be for Georgia to win out and receive an at-large selection from a BCS bowl. That could open the door for UT to play in the Capital One, although that still seems unlikely with nearby Florida in line.

The Chick-fil-A views UT as an appealing selection if Alabama is not available, the source said, despite the fact UT played poorly in its last two trips there. The Vols lost to Clemson, 27-14, following the 2003 season and fell to Maryland, 30-3, in 2002.

If UT doesn't win out and plays in the SEC championship game, the Chick-fil-A Bowl still is possible, although the slide would likely be to the Music City Bowl in Nashville or the Independence Bowl in Shreveport, La.

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Comments » 86

tenvolone writes:

Jeez...these bowl reps are picky! More reason for a playoff system in D1.

volunteerTY23 writes:

were going to the BCS sugar bowl this yr. I think we can beat LSU, we all rem. what happenned last time we played LSU in the SECcg, we hada chance to play in the rose bowl for the NC, we lost, the'll have a chance to play in NC and the'll loose to us.........it all comes full circle.

scttmcdonald#551862 writes:

"The Chik-fil-A views UT as an appealing selection if Alabama is not available, the source said, despite the fact UT played poorly in its last two trips there."

Why is it that Tennessee always gets second billing, no matter what? I know we have a poor recent history, but it seems no matter what we do, Tennessee is mentioned almost out of second thought. Even after the National Championship, any comments about UT on the national level were almost always included with a non verbal asterics. Like Rodney Dangerfield, we get no respect!

Oenoboy writes:

I believe we all like the way you think tyronious23. Let's hope the football gods throw us a Sugar coated bone.

dwilson#275551 writes:

BTW Its spelled "Chick-fil-a"

waterskier3#226480 writes:

based on their performance over the last 5 years that's why the better bowls do not want us.... they want a match up with exciting style of play and that is not tn... plus we've been blown out in so many bowls they tv ratings would not be that good i.e. adverting sponser will complain... its all about money in the bowls that's why we need a playoff because the bowls don't care about the team just how much money you are going to bring...

99gator writes:

in my opinion....if all the favored sec teams won out... and lsu beats tenn in the sec title game....

lsu-national title...
georgia- bcs at large bid (sugar)
florida-capital one.
music city-alabama
independence-mississippi state

i gave tennessee the cotton because they were in the ouback bowl last year. but, i think tenn will get the bowl game with the bigger payout... the outback, peach or cotton. i just do not know who has the biggest payout. but, auburn went to the cotton last year and tenn went to the outback last year. i also do not know the level of order of picks and payout with the liberty, music city, and independence

don't get too upset with me. this is just a guess

99gator writes:


if bama wants a bid to the peach or better... they have to beat auburn. i do not know where that game is going to be played, but i did this assuming auburn beats bama

99gator writes:


oops. correction. kentucky losing to georgia and tennessee would make them 7-5. flip flop bama and kentucky.

bama to the peach.

kentucky back to the music city.

scttmcdonald#551862 writes:

Has that ever happened? 75% of the teams in one conference receiving bowl bids?

99gator writes:

cbs sportsline has....

lsu-oregon (national title)
georgia-hawaii (sugar)
florida-illinois (capital one)
missouri-auburn (cotton)
tennessee-wisconsin (outback)
alabama-fsu (music city)
kentucky-clemson (peach)
texas a&m-miss state (independence)
ucf-arkansas (liberty)
south carolina-air force (armed forces)

the sec does not have a tie in with the armed forces bowl... so that spot would have to open up

VolSwaff writes:

georgia hawaii sugar?? thats the weirdest combo i have ever heard..

scttmcdonald#551862 writes:

georgia hawaii sugar?? thats the weirdest combo i have ever heard..

If Colt Brennan is healthy, Hawaii will wax Georgia.

Hunter writes:

(Capital One) "You take Tennessee..."
(Outback) "No, I had 'em last time, you take 'em."
(Peach) "Ugh, do I gotta?"
(Cotton) "Fine, I'll do it. Geez...."

jdcvols#230433 writes:

or, we lose to Vandy and they get a bowl.


No way Hawaii could beat any team from the SEC except for Ole Piss. Hawaii doesn't deserve to even be in the top 25. They couldn't even make it into the top 5 in the Big East, much less beat Georgia.

99gator writes:

in my opinion.... other than the big bowls.... the key to these bowl games is how much do the teams and coaches care.

there are several examples.... but, kentucky beating the heck out of clemson in the music city last year. the stadium was covered in blue. clemson fans, coaches and players did not care and they played like it. i remember tennessee laying an egg against maryland in the peach bowl. florida got destroyed by iowa in the outback bowl when zook was coach.... etc, etc, etc.

that's why i don't think you can use bowl games (as the sole means) to compare conferences. people like to argue the big 10 is better than the SEC because wisconsin beat arkansas and penn state beat tenn. so florida beating ohio state made it 2-1 big 10. i don't look at it that way, because you don't always have a team that plays hard in a bowl game.


I've seen Hawaii play twice this year and they just don't look good to me. They won both games, of course, but they barely won against teams the caliber of Louisiana-Lafayette. Hawaii struggles alot. Their QB is good, but as a team they seem weak to me. Just my opinion. I agree with Boise St. though. They can be scary at times.

GoVol writes:

To the ole 'ball coach' Stever Spurrier - You cannot spell SUCKS without a SC!!!

Titan writes:

If Vandy finishes with 6 wins and is "bowl eligible", I wonder if there will be pressure on the Music City Bowl to take them? I'm not sure if the bowl would be forced to pick a "better" team such as MS State or if they have free choice after the other bowls have picked. After all, Vandy is only bowl eligible once every quarter century so you better take them while they're hot. I know Vandy would not provide the financial benefits that an out of town team would, but they probably would sell some tickets since it wouldn't take much effort to get there.

Orange4life writes:


Tenn wins out then defeats #1 LSU in the SEC title game. Goes on to play whoever they bring out. Thats what I'd like to see. Get behind our boys folks, they need us!

agentorange writes:

i just want to beat the dores.

DCVolFan (Inactive) writes:

Hawai'i would burn our secondary like a cheap cigar. I'd love to go the Sugar Bowl, but I'd almost rather play smashmouth football against a Big 12 team than play a sprint-fest with Hawai'i.

DCVolFan (Inactive) writes:

I must also say that I agree with agentorange. I want to punish the West End Finishing School for even being in the SEC.

phi0129 writes:

Well this just proves to all the Fulmerons what we have been saying all along. It's time for a coaching change when your former "everyone wants us in their bowl" team turns into the "no you take em" team. If we make it to the SEC championship game and lose and a bowl takes GA despite the fact that we waxed them, it just goes to show what we have been saying all along...our program is eroding! We match up well with a big 10 team such as wisconsin. But knowing the recent Vols, we will fail to show up in the bowl game and quit trying by halftime, resulting in ANOTHER bowl loss and even less respect than before.

Southland writes:

shoot I had rather them go to the Music City Bowl rather than go to The Peach Bowl again. Hey, I just whereever they go they remember to play and not get the snot beat out of them as we have lately in bowls

rickhillal#577233 writes:

Is it official policy for UT to let the football players use the bowl game as a "reward" for a great season and thus can relax and not play well? Seems like there was some comment to that effect in the news many years ago when UT lost to Penn State.

Da_Bishop writes:

I don't much care where we play as long as we well and that its some where halfway warm

racasey71 writes:

Fact of the matter is NO team travels well to bowl games, bowls are next to never sold out, and if they are tickets are soooo easy to get way under face value (other than SOME BCS games.) Anyone who has ever attended a bowl, or even looked at buying tickets knows this, so if you think its just UT "that doent travel well", you have never got off your couch and bought tickets- I had Orange Bowl Tickets for 3 years- FSU/Miami sold pair for $20, OU/USC NATIONAL Title game, sold for $250, PSU/FSU gave away- thats 5 diff "powerhouse" school that "dont travel well." Dont take shots at UT, we travel better/sell more tickets than most.

thesavageorange writes:

The only bowl I'm worried about is the General Neyland we gotta have this game bowl this Saturday followed by the Commonwealth it aint't all about basketball bowl.(they would rather play us in football right now)Then I will worry about what post season bowl we get.Honestly though anything but the Chick-fil-a.Lots of bad memories.

10ACVOL writes:

I heard the KY game is going to be on PPV too


DCVolFan -- Hawaii might score 30 or 35 points on us, but we'd score 70 or 80 them if we needed to. Even with Ainge playing below par the way he is right now. Their defense is much worse than ours. Their defense is a typical WAC or Sun Belt type defense or worse. I highly doubt we'll play them though. There's no way the Sugar Bowl would take them and they won't get picked by another SEC affiliated bowl. Not enough interest there.

webbofconfusion writes:

I had a friend on that team... He and a certain QB not to be named went out til 3AM the night before..... He swears the QB never made it back to the hotel..... It was a big party, because it did not have NC implications. I don't blame them, but at least work hard for the fans.

hcjournals#206623 writes:


I thought we all told you and Jwray and CR to tone down. Please cool your jets. Thanks on behalf of all real Vol fans........

GreerVol22 writes:

Eat all the cake and the icing will taste like pure "Sugar".

vol4jesus writes:

___CR your a Sun Belt man watcher no doubt. Lost in your fantasy world of negativity. Leaving it at that to keep post kinder/gentler sir. GO VOLS!!!

CoverOrange writes:

"The best chance for UT to move up in the bowl pecking order would be for Georgia to win out and receive an at-large selection from a BCS bowl."

Excuse me? I understand (to a point) why Ga is more attractive right now: higher ranking. But, if they lose out, the drop like a rock and who would the Sugar take then (assuming LSU wins SECCG blahblahblah)? When was the last time UT was in New Orleans? Try 17 years ago. Ga has been twice in the last 5 years.

99gator writes:


i hate to break it to y'all, but if georgia lost and tenn lost the sec championship game. florida (if they won out) would get an orange bowl bid. tennessee is in a winner take all situation. they have to win out to get to a BCS game, the sugar.

i'm not saying this is right, fair or whatever. but, it is what it is.

i had to remind sjt18 about 2001. in 2001, vols beat florida, go to the sec champ and get upset by lsu. florida, not tennessee, got a major bowl invite (the orange bowl vs. maryland).

among other things, this really stems from the loss to cal.

that's why tenn and georgia win out. but, tenn loses the sec title game. georgia is sitting pretty. a 10-2 georgia would get a bcs bid over a 9-4 tennessee easily, despite the fact tenn beat the hell out of georgia.

last year, it was believed that if florida lost to arkansas in the sec champ game, they would not get a bcs bid either. lsu would have. and that for florida, it was national title game or bust.

the bowl selection process is not about fairness. never has been, never will be. and people forget the power of the committees and who is on those committees.


The play of Ainge is what worries me the most right now. We might get by without good QB play against Vandy (if the defense continues to play well), but I don't think we will against Kentucky. I think Kentucky will score at least 27 points, even if our defense does play well. We'll need the offense we saw against Cal and Georgia to beat Kentucky.

99gator writes:


i'm not going to pretend that florida is a great team right now. they are not the "mighty gators"

but, if they finished 9-3, in the sec, with one of those losses being to the #1 in the country, on the road, by 4......

well, then you find me 10 to 15 other schools with a better resume.

99gator writes:


i like your posts... you try to be as kind as you can.... but i truly think you hate florida so much it clouds your judgment.

at least a little


sjt18 -- My thoughts exactly regarding Hawaii.

Does anyone think Ainge's problem the last 4 or 5 games could be his pinky? Could it be getting worse?

asleep#212036 writes:

The problem with the Peach Bowl selection is that a bowl choosing between two teams cannot, by rule, choose the lower team in the conference standings unless that team finished within one conference loss of the higher team. If we win out and Auburn beats Alabama at home (very likely), we would have 2 conference losses and Alabama and Kentucky would have at least 4. That means if Georgia goes to the BCS by beating KY and GTech, then there would be 3 New Year's Day Bowls and only 3 teams eligible for them. FL, UT, and Auburn would slot in Capital One, Outback, and Cotton. Capital One committee is about 75% Florida grads so the math there is easy. Auburn went to Cotton last year and UT was in Outback so I think that math is pretty easy as well. We go to Cotton and Auburn to Outback. The only caveat is if they count a championship game loss against you when assigning pecking order for the bowls. If they do, we will definitely get screwed because after 1998, we quit showing up for non-BCS bowl games. But the Peach pays better than Cotton and is indoors so we could do worse. Our best option is to win the SEC outright and then hit New Orleans. Go Vols!!!

GreenbackMike writes:

sjt, I couldn't have said it any better than that myself. HI is a overhyped team that ESPN is trying to shove down our throughts so we can forget about how bad all "their" teams are playing. It makes me sick that I have to depend on them for my College football information. What ever happen to the unbiased media??? I guess that is only a wish. Am I wrong or do I make sense?

iowavol writes:

Moorevols - the announcers for the Ark game said exactly that. Obviously something is up. This past game was a little different in that the coverage was fairly tight. But he missed two TD passes, one in opposite corners of each endzone, throwing to the left. In both cases, the ball coming out sooner and with a little more air would have been TD's. Both times, the receiver, Taylor and Briscoe, had a step and half on their guy. But instead of the touch pass, the ball was thrown on a wire. Personally, I don't think Ainge is managing the game badly, he's just not making the throws he's capable of making. I heard surgery for the pinky after the season. Regardless, let's focus on next week's game and the bowls will take care of itself.

TDTN, we would all love to see a TN/WIS matchup just for you good buddy. Couldn't happy to a nicer crybaby.


I was at the game last Saturday, so I didn't get to hear the LF broadcast. The pinky thing could be the problem. Who knows? Ainge missed a possible TD down the west sideline too, heading toward the north endzone. I think it was Moore that had his man beat on that one, #83. Ainge underthrew the route and it was almost picked off. Fortunately Arkansas had one of their many offsides penalties on that play.

SmokeDog72 writes:

The Peach Bowl......

Like closing time at the Bunny Ranch....

Not the worst you have ever done, but would have been nice to get things sorted out earlier!!!!!

asleep#212036 writes:


Didn't mean to imply that the Peach was more prestigious than the Cotton, it just pays more money (that's a recent turn once Chik-Fil-A got involved), it's indoors in a new facility, and it's in Atlanta, which is much closer for me. Certainly I would rather see us in a NYD bowl and I would gladly make the drive. Actually, I'd rather we earn the Sugar Bowl and I wouldn't miss that for the world. I'm not lowering my standards, just comparing two bowls that I've been to before - believe me, the Peach is better. Go Vols!!!

bigtimevol writes:

I can't say we're being treated unfairly. We've made our bed, now we have to fix things by winning out, or accept the consequences of "perception is reality". I live in Charlotte, and there was a comment on a call in show on the local am sports talk radio that sums up what people outside of TN think right now. They were briefly talking about challengers for LSU in the championship game, and the two guys hosting the show talked about FL and GA...no mention of UT, though we're in the driver's seat! Though we've had some big wins this year (GA, SC, ARK), people remember FL and Bama...unfortunately. Let's keep playing with our backs against the wall and come out of this thing in New Orleans with a big win in Jan. This team is a little like the Sugar Vols of '85...they lost a few games but kept hanging around and ended up beating Miami 35-7. I say 2007 Vols can do the same!

bigorangesob writes:

Vandy is mediocre at best, we will beat them, and if you've seen Kentucky play lately, they look like the old Kentucky (1:30 CBS) and LSU has looked beatable to me all year, so I think our chances are pretty damn good..GO VOLS

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