UT, Kentucky jockey for bowl position

Announcements of bids could come as soon as today

Just days after beating Kentucky, the Wildcats remain Tennessee's competition for the SEC's bid to the Outback Bowl, according to a source close to the selection process.

Tickets sold - or the promise of - likely will be the determining factor despite the fact that UT (7-5, 4-4) has a better conference record than Kentucky (7-5, 3-5) and the Vols beat the Wildcats 30-24 on Saturday.

Using guarantees of tickets sold as a determining factor in offering bowl bids is not allowed by SEC rules, yet the Outback Bowl has been suspected of doing so before.

UT athletic director Mike Hamilton reminded the media of that rule after the Kentucky game. Hamilton hasn't been known to take part in bowl bidding wars.

The Vols looked destined to end up in the Outback Bowl following the 2003 regular season when they were ranked sixth in the nation. Instead, the Outback chose Florida. UT slipped to the Chick-fil-A as the highest-rated team in the bowl's history.

An official announcement could come as early as today, though the SEC may not release non-BCS teams to be selected by bowls until Wednesday or later, according to SEC associate commissioner Charles Bloom.

If the conference decides not to release those teams an announcement wouldn't come until Sunday, though clearly the bowls are hoping to start selling tickets as soon as possible.

"We're of the hope that we're going to be able to announce something (today)," said Mike Schulze, director of communications for the Outback Bowl. "We need the BCS to commit to taking two SEC teams, which they should and we're hoping they'll do on their teleconference, and then everybody can move forward.

"We haven't done anything yet. We're talking to everybody today that's potentially eligible for us. The first thing is, we need to get the OK from the SEC."

Once cleared, it should come down to UT and Kentucky, both of which would have energized fan bases. UT finished 7-5 after a 2-3 start under first-year coach Lane Kiffin. The Vols played Alabama and Florida close on the road.

Kentucky beat Auburn and Georgia on the road for one of their most memorable seasons in school history, though it ended with more bitter disappointment against the Vols.

Even that loss didn't leave them out of the mix for the league's prestigious bowls, and both the Wildcats and Vols were included in rumors of a possible Outback and Cotton Bowl swap.

That Cotton Bowl deal was seemingly nixed by a report from ESPN's Ivan Maisel on Twitter that indicated Ole Miss would earn the bid to Dallas, leaving the Outback with its traditional SEC East pick safe.

Which team will face them likely won't be determined until the weekend, but Wisconsin appears to be the favorite.

If the Vols lose out on the Outback Bowl bid, they would not fall further than the Chick-fil-A Bowl in Atlanta, according to the source.

Virginia Tech is thought to be the likely ACC opponent in Atlanta because of the way the Hokies finished the season with four wins.

Georgia Tech and Clemson meet Saturday in the ACC title game. The winner will get a BCS bowl bid. The loser will finish with two straight losses.

If the Outback selects UT, Georgia would be the likely pick for the Chick-fil-A bowl.

Austin Ward contributed to this report.

© 2009 govolsxtra.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Comments » 75

kdaff51 writes:

FIRST.............YESSSSSSSSS

2407westTN_VOLSfan writes:

Let's go OUTBACK with the BIG ORANGE. FIRST?

all_vols writes:

in response to kdaff51:

FIRST.............YESSSSSSSSS

How proud you must be...lol

go_vols_go writes:

in response to kdaff51:

FIRST.............YESSSSSSSSS

douche

Cldvols1 writes:

Well I know the Outback is a New Years Day bowl but it begins @ 11est...New Years Day headache?? The Chick-Fil-A Bowl is Dec 31st @ 8:30p est, just the right time for alcohol consumption? Just 15 hours separate the bowls so I'm hoping the Vols are ATL bound. Plus I'd love a matchup with the Hokies better than the Badgers, although they'll have the same outcome! Go Vols!!!

kdaff51 writes:

in response to go_vols_go:

douche

Douche'. Isn't that French for first?

CHITOWNVOL writes:

The Peach would be a disappointment for sure. I like how the SEC teams are "overmatched" in nearly every bowl arrangement. Virginia Tech or whoever from the ACC would probably feel like they got the shaft if they have to play a 5th, 6th, or 7th SEC team. Funny thing is we will still beat them. If we get the Outback, I would prefer to rematch it with Wisconsin as opposed to Northwestern. I went to Northwestern vs Penn St this year, and despite the score, Northwestern had them on the ropes. They also upset Iowa and Wisconsin. They are an inconsistent team with limited talent, but lots of desire and can step up periodically. UT will put a smack down on an overrated Wisconsin team.

kdaff51 writes:

in response to all_vols:

How proud you must be...lol

Waited for over a year to be "first". Do I get a plaque?

FWBVol writes:

I understand the money aspect of things for the Outback Bowl people with ticket sales and all, but as the story states, using ticket sales as a determining factor is a violation of conference rules. The SEC should do something to monitor the practice and step up and tell the Outback people that UT finished second in the East and beat Kentucky so we get the bid.

That's what should happen, but Mike Slive is probably too busy monitoring the comments of the SEC coaches to step up and do something important.

govols26 writes:

in response to CHITOWNVOL:

The Peach would be a disappointment for sure. I like how the SEC teams are "overmatched" in nearly every bowl arrangement. Virginia Tech or whoever from the ACC would probably feel like they got the shaft if they have to play a 5th, 6th, or 7th SEC team. Funny thing is we will still beat them. If we get the Outback, I would prefer to rematch it with Wisconsin as opposed to Northwestern. I went to Northwestern vs Penn St this year, and despite the score, Northwestern had them on the ropes. They also upset Iowa and Wisconsin. They are an inconsistent team with limited talent, but lots of desire and can step up periodically. UT will put a smack down on an overrated Wisconsin team.

yea I was at the Wisconsin-Indiana game where a pretty bad Indiana team nearly knocked the badgers off. I agree though, I'd rather see the vols take on wisconsin so we can really beat a big ten team down!

allvol9 writes:

What a crock that Kentucky is even being considered....unbelievable! Can't imagine anyone but UT getting the nod. Go Vols!

asleep#212036 writes:

in response to FWBVol:

I understand the money aspect of things for the Outback Bowl people with ticket sales and all, but as the story states, using ticket sales as a determining factor is a violation of conference rules. The SEC should do something to monitor the practice and step up and tell the Outback people that UT finished second in the East and beat Kentucky so we get the bid.

That's what should happen, but Mike Slive is probably too busy monitoring the comments of the SEC coaches to step up and do something important.

Exactly. Slive is a lawyer, meaning he has no b@lls to step up on matters of principle, because he has none. You will never convince me that if the SEC office threatened to pull out of a bowl that wouldn't work with them on their picks, this kind of stuff would stop immediately. There is absolutely no way Kentucky should get that bid over us, period. Now do I really want to go to Tampa? No, I'd much prefer Dallas this time around. But we DESERVE that bid and it will be a travesty if we don't get it, especially after we got hosed so badly in the Outback/Peach bowl fiasco a few years back. Go Vols!!!

asleep#212036 writes:

I've looked on every site I can find and no one of them has Tennessee in the Peach. Most are reporting Outback and a few still holding out for Cotton. Now I know these guys can be wrong but I can't imagine that not one of them, with all their connections in and around these bowl committees, wouldn't be scooping something as big as Kentucky jumping UT for the NYD spot. Just don't see it - I guess we'll find out this week. Go Vols!!!

richvol writes:

in response to asleep#212036:

Exactly. Slive is a lawyer, meaning he has no b@lls to step up on matters of principle, because he has none. You will never convince me that if the SEC office threatened to pull out of a bowl that wouldn't work with them on their picks, this kind of stuff would stop immediately. There is absolutely no way Kentucky should get that bid over us, period. Now do I really want to go to Tampa? No, I'd much prefer Dallas this time around. But we DESERVE that bid and it will be a travesty if we don't get it, especially after we got hosed so badly in the Outback/Peach bowl fiasco a few years back. Go Vols!!!

I couldn't have said it any better...Slive is a worthless figurehead of a commissioner if he doesn't put his foot down on this matter that is really important. We already question the job he does so let's see him do something right for a change. The disrespect he shows for Tennessee is obvious enough without him allowing the Outback to screw us a second time. Hamilton needs to do his job here and protect Tennessee's interests.

chbradshaw writes:

Does anyone know anything about Charles Bloom the assistant SEC commissioner?

Would he be a good candidate to replace Tennessee-hater Mike Slive when we get him fired?

Slive clearly hates the Vols from his days as a Memphis State lap-dog as commissioner of Conference USA.

tonyvick#213307 writes:

Never forget it's all about the "most" money after the BCS bids (which are guaranteed to bring in a return on investment) They are really weighing will the fan base of Kentucky bring more dollars in than the fan base of Tennessee. Will yall go to Tampa, Atlanta is a given.

Couchdummy writes:

in response to tonyvick#213307:

Never forget it's all about the "most" money after the BCS bids (which are guaranteed to bring in a return on investment) They are really weighing will the fan base of Kentucky bring more dollars in than the fan base of Tennessee. Will yall go to Tampa, Atlanta is a given.

I personally like the Chik-Fil-A Bowl precisely because it IS on new years eve!! Fun to get people together to watch on HDTV on NY eve. (Traveling to see UT or the cost of tickets precludes us older people from seeing UT in person--thanks Mike Hamilton--but that is another story.) Also, I would like to break the hex of losing at the ATL dome!!

rocky_topper writes:

for those of you who want to go to the outback, are you traveling to tampa to support the vols or is this just something you want to watch on the TV? just curious!

pdhuff#552644 writes:

in response to long_vol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Amen to no Chick-Fil-A.

Don't know if I can ever exorcize those demon memories.

DingoVol writes:

I already have a hookup for a box at Raymond James. Pleeeeeze let it be the Outback. I've bought enough Outback Specials and Bloomin Onions to warrant the bid.

tennesseekilt#206652 writes:

Being a Bristol native, I would much prefer a match with VA Tech in the Peach Bowl, although 2 of the worst losses in recent UT history happened there. There are fans here of both teams, and a rematch of 1994 would be fun.

A rematch with Wisconsin in the Outback just isn't very appealing - but yes a beatdown there (as oppposed to an 'either-way' game with VA Tech) would possibly help recruiting. So I'd be OK either way, but VA Tech would be more fun to watch and a better win if we pull it off.

GreerVol22 writes:

in response to navonodb:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

...with an old Barber and a jelly head QB. Bucs haven't done much this season either huh?

with 30+ bowl games, the economy will drive the big non-BCS bowls. Will more fans from UT go to Tampa or Atlanta? Is the Peach bowl really a slight? many good question but one thing is for sure.....were going bowling and ain't it fun to be worrying 'bout such things?!

yabadabadoo1026 writes:

in response to long_vol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

you get what you earn and Hamilton has nothing to do with ti

the Chick is one the better bowls with among the best more exciting games all the time------its not the bowls fault we have stunk it up there twice

sitinhere writes:

in response to kdaff51:

Douche'. Isn't that French for first?

I know it is German for shower.

smokymtman writes:

Don't understand all the SPECULATION! Why needlessly go through these bowl scenarios? Just wait until the bowl selections are made and you won't have to guess. Does it matter where the Vols end up: at 7-5, hardly worth getting excited about. Figure folks don't have anything better to do than sit around and speculate.

AlpharettaVol writes:

in response to CatScratchFever:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Thank you for bringing a voice of sanity to this discussion. Your Cats played us a great game but to the victor goes the spoils. Looking forward to meeting the Cats in BB.

Mr_Brownstone writes:

http://www.gainesville.com/article/20...

what will "little softie" do? i say suspension will be for first series.

lol - Gators

crimsonviper writes:

in response to CatScratchFever:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

No doubt it is about the money.
Regardless of the bowl you can't put a dollar value on the extra practice time...GBO!

crimsonviper writes:

in response to kdaff51:

Douche'. Isn't that French for first?

No, it is Vol fan speak for hiresanders.

scott_m99 writes:

I don't think that getting the peach is a bad thing. Traditionally, a new years day bowl is what you want, but the peach would ensure a great matchup, larger tv audience and a packed ga dome. It doesn't really matter to me though...atleast we are bowling in a decent bowl and not regulated to the music city or liberty which would have happened if we would have lost to keturkey

RichmondVol42 writes:

Wisconsin (yawn) in the NOON Outback Bowl (no viewers) does NOTHING for the recruiting effort. Give me a prime-time audience against Va Tech in Atlanta any day, regardless of our past history there.

GreensboroVol writes:

in response to vol1:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I agree. When we played Wisconsin in the Outback Bowl in 2007, it was such a boring game. I think (while a lesser bowl) playing Va. Tech in Atlanta is a much more appealing match up. I also hate the 11am kick off for the Outback vs. a New Year's Eve game in Atlanta.

bluesandbarbq writes:

I'm just glad to be going bowling. Anything else including practicing for 5 more weeks is bonus. After last year and the inauspicious start this year - yeah Whatever Bowl!

GBO

TommyJack writes:

in response to MakerDew:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Would be a hosing of epic proportion.

jone8191#247590 writes:

The Chicken-fillet Bowl is a trip to purgatory for Tennessee and the Georgia Dome is an abosolute Hellhouse. Hopefully the Outback Bowl is the choice. The Georgia Dome is such a haunted house for the Vols, it could even derail the Lane Train and all the momentum it has. And Atlanta sucks that time of year!

gnm53108 writes:

in response to jone8191#247590:

The Chicken-fillet Bowl is a trip to purgatory for Tennessee and the Georgia Dome is an abosolute Hellhouse. Hopefully the Outback Bowl is the choice. The Georgia Dome is such a haunted house for the Vols, it could even derail the Lane Train and all the momentum it has. And Atlanta sucks that time of year!

Purgatory?

I didnt know Atlanta was in AL.

jone8191#247590 writes:

in response to gnm53108:

Purgatory?

I didnt know Atlanta was in AL.

My bad!

cloudodust writes:

This years Tennessee team will be more than happy with practically any bowl invitation (no Shreveport, please). A New Years Day bowl would be an honor for a 7-5 Tennessee team and I'd love to see it happen but is it to be..? The Peach-Filet is close to my home and I'd work like heck to get inside the Dome. I have the feeling that wherever the Vols end up, it'll be a W...GBO

volpreacher writes:

Hey we won't hear much from the lopers today. Carlos Dunlap was arrested for public drunkenness. That was on the light side, you who throw stones...... but truly it is sad that these kids, UT's included waste their opportunities doing stupid stuff.

rabidvol1998 writes:

in response to vol1:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

With you on that one. A short drive isn't bad either. Let Kentucky have there one day in the sun per 25 years, who cares about playing a boring Wisconsin again. All that matters is extra practice, TV exposure and a fun game.

ThurmondEppy writes:

in response to RichmondVol42:

Wisconsin (yawn) in the NOON Outback Bowl (no viewers) does NOTHING for the recruiting effort. Give me a prime-time audience against Va Tech in Atlanta any day, regardless of our past history there.

I live in the ATL, so I'd like to go to the Peach and wear my sweet new Ray Mears orange sportcoat to the game. Giddyup!

volsfan74 writes:

Honestly, I don't want to play the Hokies because of their Qb's ability to run nor do I want to play Clemson because of Spiller. I don't want to see another Dexter McCluster type performance. That is my only concern facing VTech or Clemson.

give_him_6 writes:

in response to kdaff51:

Douche'. Isn't that French for first?

No, it's french for dumb azz

VolunTampa writes:

One of factors that plays into Kentucky's consideration for the Outback Bowl is that Outback Steakhouse founder, Chris Sullivan, is a UK grad. Kentucky was selected over a higher ranked Tennessee team for the 1999 Outback Bowl, largely as a result of Sullivan's influence. The Outback Bowl touted Kentucky's exciting quarterback, Tim Couch, (yawn) as a huge draw...

topgun writes:

OK, easy everyone. This bowl stuff ain't about you and me--it's about the TEAM. Kinda like the old credit card commercial:

Outback Bowl...............$750.
Chick-fil-A................$750.
Weeks of extra practice....PRICELESS!!

The team seems to want the Outback, New Year's day game, etc. AND, I had much rather have a boring win than an exciting loss. VT would be a tough matchup!!

BUT, knowing Slime and his SEC bunch, KY might get the Outback Bowl as the highest bidder in the tickets sold category. If so, I would strongly suggest the name be changed from "Outback" to "KICKBACK" Bowl.

GOVOLS!!

TommyJack writes:

I never had a problem with GA DOME. We've been beat up there simply because we got beat up there. Unless you believe in voodoo science, the dome would work fine for many.

topgun writes:

in response to TommyJack:

I never had a problem with GA DOME. We've been beat up there simply because we got beat up there. Unless you believe in voodoo science, the dome would work fine for many.

Maybe Witch Doc could whip up a MoJo potion for the team!!

Ayres_Hall writes:

The Peach Bowl went out with the "working like heck" mentality. This new staff will make winning the bowl game a priority. So forget the past.

Personally, I hope its the Cotton Bowl against Oklahoma.

Volaholic75 writes:

Auburn will be in the Outback bowl. What a crock of S^%$. The Outback committee is full of Gators, and once again we have gotten the shaft. I will never eat there again.

geojeff writes:

I will travel to the Outback Bowl. Not the Chick-Fil-A. Rain and sleet in Atlanta? or Sun and Ybor City in Tampa. No brainer. Hamilton, make it happen!

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