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Kentucky’s Updated Bowl Projections Following New CFP Rankings

Is this our third post on Kentucky’s bowl projections in the last three days? Yes, but the new College Football Playoff rankings could change everything, specifically Alabama being out of the top ten.

Right now, both LSU (No. 2) and Georgia (No. 4) are in the top four of the rankings, but that will change if the Bulldogs lose to the Tigers in the SEC Championship on Saturday. If that happens, LSU will remain in the top four while Georgia would drop to the New Year’s Six Bowls with Florida (No. 9). Auburn is now No. 11 and Alabama is No. 12, and if both are out of the top ten in the final rankings on Sunday, Kentucky will get kicked down the ladder.

In that scenario, the Crimson Tide would likely end up in the Citrus Bowl, which has the first choice of the SEC teams left, pushing Auburn into the “Pool of Six” (the Outback, Gator, Liberty, Belk, Music City and Texas bowls). There is no official pecking order in the Pool of Six, but Kentucky (7-5, 3-5 in SEC) would be competing with Auburn (9-3, 5-3), Tennessee (7-5, 5-3), Texas A&M (7-5, 4-4), and Mississippi State (6-6, 3-5). Going into last night, it seemed Gator Bowl reps were smitten with the Cats, but will they be able to pass on Auburn or Tennessee?

Here’s a handy chart to make it all a little simpler:

Here are updated bowl projections following the CFP rankings reveal:

Media OutletBowlLocationDate, TimeOpponent
USA TodayLiberty BowlMemphisDec. 31, 3:45 p.m.Kansas State
WatchStadium (Brett McMurphy)Belk BowlCharlotteDec. 31, NoonVirginia Tech
CBS SportsGator BowlJacksonvilleJan. 2, 7 p.m.Michigan
ESPN (Kyle Bonagura)Belk BowlCharlotteDec. 31, NoonPittsburgh
ESPN (Mark Schlabach)Gator BowlJacksonvilleJan. 2, 7 p.m.Wisconsin
247SportsLiberty BowlMemphisDec. 31, 3:45 p.m.Texas
The Athletic (Stewart Mandel)Belk BowlCharlotteDec. 31, NoonVirginia Tech

As Matt tweeted this morning, Kentucky’s chances of making the Gator Bowl would improve considerably if Auburn moves into the top ten, which could happen if Baylor or Wisconsin lose big this weekend. The Music City Bowl is still a possibility, but Kentucky was just there in 2017, so Tennessee may be a more attractive draw. Also, Louisville is widely expected to be in the Music City Bowl, and reps will want to avoid a rematch.

So, the Gator, Belk, Music City, or possibly even Liberty Bowl. Thankfully, we’ll know for sure on Sunday.

Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

No, I will not make you a sandwich, but you can follow me on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR or email me.

17 Comments for Kentucky’s Updated Bowl Projections Following New CFP Rankings

  1. DelrayCat
    11:16 am December 4, 2019 Permalink

    I think it is inevitable the Cats are in Memphis or Charlotte since they’ve never been to either.

    • DelrayCat
      11:19 am December 4, 2019 Permalink

      And both are New Years Eve games!.. in two moderately fun cities. But one definitely nicer than the other….
      Anyway, versus Texas in Memphis would be crazy and maybe the one game Big Blue has a smaller crowd.

    • quietude38
      11:42 am December 4, 2019 Permalink

      We won the 2009 Liberty Bowl over East Carolina.

  2. clarks
    12:09 pm December 4, 2019 Permalink

    Miss st going to the liberty Tennessee will b music city and auburn outback Texas a and m to texas

    • makeitstop
      12:59 pm December 4, 2019 Permalink

      That’s kind of the way I figure it if nothing changes. Gator Bowl likes us. We travel. We hv the most exciting player in the country NOT in a NY6 bowl. Miss St. barely qualified but Memphis is in their market and attendance counts. Tennessee would fill the stadium in Nashville, same story, and it pays a lot more than Gator. TAMU to the Texas Bowl seems a done deal. They will be the home team, and get a big payday and they suck on the road but play well at home. Auburn will draw eyeballs, so whether it’s Citrus or Outback they’re a big name and good draw. Bama is the pick of the litter but I remain optimistic that this is a volatile year where u can drop 3 – 4 notches w a loss (Baylor or UW best candidates for that. PSU isn’t moving up their work is done. But on reflection, a 10-2 ‘Bama can’t be out of the top 10 especially if LSU wins pretty big and the other championships aren’t close. That puts us in Florida.

  3. classof68
    12:11 pm December 4, 2019 Permalink

    This season has been so wild and crazy, we deserve a bid from the Unbelievea Bowl.

  4. RackEmWillie
    12:12 pm December 4, 2019 Permalink

    I don’t think UofL would accept a bid if their opponent was UK. I mean, after all the whining they had after the game, UK would beat them by 75 and try to run for 700 yards. And I think they could do it.

    I think the Belk Bowl is probably the most realistic bet, though.

    • makeitstop
      1:04 pm December 4, 2019 Permalink

      Honestly, they whine like they’re French. It’s a stinkin’ football game, ur whining about non threatening hand gestures and tables. What a bunch of snowflakes. U think there will be enough safe spaces for them? They should go to the Red Box Bowl in Cali, it comes w Safe Space Zonez.

    • ClutchCargo
      2:36 pm December 4, 2019 Permalink

      ^ All of that being said, there is no way UofL is turning down a bowl game invitation.

  5. makeitstop
    1:14 pm December 4, 2019 Permalink

    Another thing to factor in, We are essentially competing with Tennessee for the Gator bc TAMU and MSU hv gone since we have, the former almost certainly going to the Texas Bowl and it’s 2x as large purse. UT is 2.5 hours from Nashville and 3.5 to Charlotte. It would fill the stands and pick up $2m more than in Jax. They’re still paying off Butch Jones so while we can afford to say “we’ll take less for more prestige,” they can’t. Don’t know that for sure, but it’s not an unreasonable consideration.

  6. N-UR-i
    2:20 pm December 4, 2019 Permalink

    Wisconsin is pegged to go to the Gator bowl. I do not like our chances against them.

    • CJKAssassin123
      2:48 pm December 4, 2019 Permalink

      Me either Johnathan Taylor would tourch us!!! Plus Wisconsin has great a Defense especially against the run. The are one of the Most Physical teams in all of College Football.

  7. rogerd
    2:30 pm December 4, 2019 Permalink

    Well, at least they aren’t talking about us playing Indiana anymore. That would stink.

    • CJKAssassin123
      2:47 pm December 4, 2019 Permalink

      What are you talking about a UK-IU game in Jacksonville or in Nashville would be awesome think about the payout and we would crush them with our ground attack. Send the Senior class and likely also Bowden out the right way on New Year’s. It would be a fun end to the season.

  8. thenamerobdigity
    2:57 pm December 4, 2019 Permalink

    Everything depends on how many SEC teams get in the New Year’s 6 and Playoff. With the playoff rankings, it is almost assured that LSU, Georgia, and Florida will be in that category regardless of the outcome of the SEC Championship game.

    The keys are Auburn and Alabama. The committee seems has Auburn ranked higher, so I will use them for my examples. Auburn needs to make a New Year’s 6 game, or UK will move down 1 in the bowl order.

    1. Oklahoma vs Baylor. The Big 12 gets a Sugar Bowl representative whether Oklahoma makes the playoff or not. If Oklahoma makes the playoff (say they blowout Baylor in the Big 12 Championship), then Baylor will still go to the Sugar Bowl representing the Big 12 regardless of their final ranking. The Sugar Bowl requires a representative from the Big 12, taking spot for a wild card (Auburn). If Oklahoma barely wins and does not make the playoff, then Baylor may still stay in the New Year’s 6 taking up a second spot for the Big 12. Baylor would finish with 2 losses. If Baylor wins, they would only make the playoff if Utah loses.
    The way I see it, it is likely that this game does not matter for the SEC. Regardless of outcome, both teams are likely to have a New Year’s 6 representation.
    Oklahoma win = Oklahoma Playoff or Sugar, Baylor Sugar (Automatic bid to Sugar if Oklahoma makes playoff), OR at large New Year’s 6 bid (Okla must miss playoff), or out (depending on what the selection committee likes, and assuming Okla misses playoff)
    Baylor win = Baylor to Sugar, Oklahoma At large New Year’s 6 bid.

    2. Ohio State vs Wisconsin. The Big 10 championship game depends on Wisconsin. If they get blown out, then they are likely out of the New Year’s 6. If they lose a close one, then we see how the ranking committee likes them. They will have 3 losses, but 2 are to Ohio State, in which they had to play an extra game, BUT they have a horrible loss to Illinois. The automatic New Year’s 6 game for the Big 10 is the Rose Bowl. Penn State will go if OSU wins, and Wisconsin would go as the Big 10 champion if they win.
    The way I see it, if Wisconsin wins the Big 10 championship, they will get the Rose, OSU still in the playoff, and Penn State will take up an At-Large bid.
    If OSU wins, they will go to the playoff, Penn State to the Rose, and Wisconsin likely out of the New Year’s 6 .
    For the SEC to get 4 New year’s 6/playoff teams, OSU needs to win to give Wisconsin 3 losses (Illinois, Ohio State (38-7), and Ohio State again).
    OSU win= OSU playoff, Penn State Rose, Wisconsin out
    Wisconsin win= OSU playoff, Wisconsin Rose, Penn State At large New Year’s 6 bid.

    3. Oregon Vs. Utah. If Utah wins, then they are either going to make the playoff, or take up the spot for the Pac 12 automatic Rose Bowl bid. If Oregon wins, then they may have 2 New Year’s 6 teams. Automatic with the Rose, and an at Large.
    They way I see it
    Utah win = Utah to either playoff or Rose, Oregon, Rose (if Utah makes playoff), or out of at large (If Utah doesnt make playoff).
    Oregon win = Oregon Rose, Utah gets and at large bid to the new years 6 or out depending on who selection committee likes.

    In summary. Either Oklahoma or Utah are likely going to the playoff. If they both win, the conference that makes the playoff will have someone in the automatic New Years 6 bid. Ex. Oklahoma in playoff = Baylor Sugar, or Utah in playoff = Oregon Rose. Only Utah or Oklahoma will make the playoff, and neither conference has a 3 team for an at large. Likely no at large bids will matter unless there is an upset, meaning Baylor or Oregon win. So it is possible 2 at large bids are taken, so to get 4 in the New Years 6/playoff for the SEC, we want the favorites to win.

    For the Big 10, we want OSU to beat Wisconsin, who will in turn be sent out of the New Years 6.
    I will interchange Utah and Oklahoma depending on playoff committee selection
    Playoff OSU, LSU, Clemson, then Oklahoma or Utah
    Rose- Penn St. (auto big 10) vs. (Oregon or Utah if not playoff)
    Sugar- Georgia (auto SEC) vs. (Baylor or Oklahoma if not in playoff)
    Orange – Virginia (auto ACC) vs. at large Florida
    Cotton – Memphis (non power 5 auto) vs. See Below (one will be selected

    Current ranking but I project another loss for Baylor and Wisconsin. 7 Baylor, 8 Wisconsin, 11 Auburn, 12 Alabama
    Baylor 11-2 (only top 25 win was Oklahoma St ranked 25th) then (2 losses both to 5 Oklahoma)
    Wisconsin 10-3 (top 25 wins 16 Iowa, 14 Michigan, 18 Minnesota) then (3 losses, #1 OSU twice and Illinois)
    Auburn 9-3 (Top 25 wins Oregon 13, Alabama 12) then (3 losses #2 LSU, #9 Florida, and #4 Georgia)

    Baylor has no good wins but 2 “Good losses”, Wisconsin has 3 losses due to playing the in Big 10 championship but have the worst loss, and Auburn has the 2 best wins, but didnt have themselves at risk of losing in the conference championship.

    I say they choose either Auburn or Wisconsin. A Blowout to Wisconsin (38-7 first meeting) may give the bid to Auburn.

    • dcforuk
      7:59 pm December 4, 2019 Permalink

      I starred reading but got lost with who on first. IDK (3rd base) crept in during the Oklahoma-Baylor analysis. Then, I got side-tracked realizing my Christmas gift shopping is only 5% done. I better just wait to see how things shake out Monday…

    • dcforuk
      8:00 pm December 4, 2019 Permalink

      On Sunday that is……