After Kentucky’s loss in Starkville, the bowl situation for the Cats grew a bit clearer, but a bit less appealing as well. Lets start with what is clear. Unlike some rumors earlier this week, if Kentucky gets to six wins, it will make a Bowl game. Vanderbilt will not be bowling, the schedule makes it unlikely that Ole Miss will be bowling and Tennessee will need to sweep the final three of Ole Miss, Vandy and UK to go bowling. Even if Tennessee is able to do that, it would leave 10 bowl eligible teams, and with the increasing likelihood that the SEC gets two teams in the BCS, that would leave everyone a spot. So if the Cats get to six (by beating either Vandy or UT), they will find a home.
So where will that home be? Well if the Cats get to seven wins, it is likely back to the Music City bowl in Nashville yet again, this time with a projected game against Georgia Tech or Miami. Seven wins would likely put UK ahead of Georgia (who is projected to finish with 6 wins), and with Tennessee at that point ineligible, one team would get the Music City and one team the Liberty…with UK playing Louisville on the same day (and the same time) as the Liberty Bowl, it is unlikely that UK goes there…so back to Nashville it is. If the Cats win 6, then it might be Birmingham to play Rutgers in the Birmingham Bowl. The Vols might be bowl eligible under this scenario, and the Cats would fall to the lowest rung of the SEC games, getting a Big East team that is fourth in conference…right now projected to be Rutgers (although it could end up being Louisville). This game is bizarrely scheduled for January 8th, meaning UK would be one of the last six teams playing college football…an odd result befitting of an odd season.
Even with the plausible Birmingham scenario, most signs point to UK in Nashville again. Even if UK gets only six wins, the likelihood of Tennessee slipping up to Vandy or Ole Miss is high, and at that point the last SEC slot would actually be at the Music City. So Cat fans, it could be another December 30th in Nashville….just please dont let it be Clemson once again.