For months leading up to the college football season, uncertainty regarding which conferences would participate, when games would take place, and how they would go about doing so safely plagued the sport. It wasn’t until last week that the Big Ten and Pac-12 announced they would be playing at all, weeks after the ACC and Big 12 had already begun their seasons and days before the SEC kicked off on Sept. 26.
With the entire Power Five officially back and/or continuing forward, the NCAA Division I Football Oversight Committee also recommended the removal of bowl eligibility measures for the 2020 season, meaning the typical .500 minimum record to participate in postseason play is off the table for a year.
With the major conferences back and bowl restrictions lifted, the Football Bowl Association has made it clear that all 41 scheduled bowls will take place this year.
“Absolutely,” Football Bowl Association Executive Director Nick Carparelli said, via Stewart Mandel of The Athletic. “With all the conferences playing, (the NCAA waiver) is not necessarily to ensure enough teams are available, but just to ensure the conferences can fulfill their agreements without having to worry about which teams are .500 or better.”
With bowl season officially on the table and moving forward, The Athletic published a complete early-season prediction of postseason matchups, including one very intriguing game for the Kentucky Wildcats.
How does Kentucky vs. Louisville in the Gator Bowl sound?
The SEC’s conference-only schedule didn’t allow for a UK vs. UofL matchup the first time around, but The Athletic projects the Wildcats and Cardinals to face off when postseason play rolls around, creating a must-see rivalry event in an upper-tier bowl.
Gator | Louisville (ACC) vs. Kentucky (SEC)
Outside of Kentucky’s projected matchup, here are just a few of the high-profile projections from The Athletic elsewhere:
Jan. 1 | Rose | Alabama (CFP No. 2) vs. Ohio State (CFP No. 3)
Jan. 1 | Sugar | Clemson (CFP No. 1) vs. Florida (CFP No. 4)
Jan. 2 | Orange | Miami (ACC) vs. Georgia (SEC)
Jan. 2 | Fiesta | USC (Pac-12) vs. Notre Dame (at-large)
Jan. 1 | Peach | Cincinnati (G5) vs. Penn State (at-large)
Dec. 30 | Cotton | Oklahoma (Big 12) vs. Mississippi State (at-large)
Citrus | Wisconsin (B1G No. 2) vs. Auburn (SEC No. 2)
Outback | Michigan (B1G No. 3) vs. Tennessee (SEC No. 3)
Would the Big Blue Nation be up for a trip back to Jacksonville on Jan. 2, 2021 to take on the Cards?