Can you feel that excitement? No I am not talking about the new megapower that is Belmont University basketball. I am talking about the news that will come very soon of Kentucky’s bowl destination. Yes folks, the Cats are soon to find out where they will go bowling and to be honest, at this point it is very much still up in the air. The possibilities arent endless, but they are narrowing and the view is a bit crisper. All that is left is one game against Tennessee that will have a severe impact either way on Kentucky’s destination. Lets look at the possibilities:
Beat Tennessee and the picture may be as clear as possible. With a Kentucky win, it is very likely Kentucky ends up in the Outback Bowl, playing against the Wisconsin Badgers. The Cats would finish 8-4 and would likely find themselves the fourth most desireable bowl team from the SEC. LSU and Georgia would take the BCS spots, Florida ends up in the Citrus Bowl and Kentucky takes the Outback over Tennessee by virtue of their head to head win and the fact that UT went there last year. Wisconsin is the likely opponent, if we assume that Illinois climbs up and takes a BCS spot…..not a certainty, but looking more and more likely. IF not, then the opponent becomes the fighting Zooks. There is still a possibility with a loss that Kentucky drops to the Peach Bowl, but at this point, this is the most likely option.
This becomes much more of a crapshoot. With a Tennessee win, the Vols go to the Championship game, get blown out by LSU and the BCS likely still takes Georgia and LSU. Florida is in the Citrus and then the Outback is in an odd position, take a UT team they had last year or jump a Kentucky team that just lost to UT. However there may be a third option…..the Cotton Bowl might choose to bypass Western Division Auburn (especially if they lose to Alabama this week) and bring Tennessee west. IF that happens, then Kentucky ends up in the Outback Bowl even with a loss…..a bizarre result.
If however that doesnt happen and the Cotton takes Auburn and the Outback UT, then we likely see Kentucky in the Peach Bowl, doing the double rematch thing against Clemson or potentially playing an Al Groh Virginia team. The former is a matchup I dont want….I like the idea of Atlanta on New Year’s Eve, but we just played Clemson and I cant have Marty Moore flashbacks from 1993. But this may end up being the scenario. However, if South Carolina were to upset Clemson, the Gamecocks might jump us to this spot and then…..
the Music City and Liberty Bowls come into play. Now the Music City is of course where we were last year and they would love to have the Cats sell out the place again. A 7-5 Cats team might end up here but only if Clemson loses to USC…..meaning that Clemson drops, maybe even to this spot…..which would mean that the Cats would play Clemson either way. However it is also possible that a higher bowl takes Clemson and the Cats see either Florida State or Georgia Tech here. I would prefer the Seminoles and a chance to give it to Bobby Bowden on our home turf.
If however the Cats were to lose and dominoes were to fall, they could end up in Memphis playing Central Florida in the Liberty Bowl. Pray this doesnt happen. A no-win game against a team you cant get excited about in….Memphis of all places. Seeing the ducks at the Peabody can only do so much. This is the worst of all options and one to dread.
Finally, one wildcard. IF Kentucky beats Tennessee and Auburn loses to Alabama, the Cats would be in position to be considered by the Cotton Bowl. It is likely the old game would choose a more established program (even Tennessee that just lost) due to the fact they are likely getting the Kansas/Missouri loser from the Big 12, but you never know……dont sell out on Dallas yet.
So bottom line….it is likely Tampa or Atlanta, with a possibility of Nashville. I hope its Tampa and the Badgers…..I like the idea of going to Florida on New Years and playing a team at 11 am…..ok I dont like that second part, but if it means a New Years Day Bowl, I can get up. Go Cats!