I didn’t completely steal this from Beastman’s bowl projections, but I did discover from that post that the Liberty Bowl and BBVA Compass Bowl are equal, and get sorted out in consultation with the SEC office. Without ever looking it up, in my mind the Liberty was always the better bowl, but apparently they are now on the same level and seek to host the league’s 8th and 9th place teams.
Mississippi State is 10th in the SEC with a 6-6 overall record, the final bowl eligible team. That would put us in the Independence Bowl, however, the SEC will once again get two BCS selections so everyone moves up a spot, meaning the Liberty and BBVA get the 9th and 10th place teams.
Here’s how the dominos fall:
- SEC Champ + Bama go to BCS (1, 2)
- Loser in ATL to Capitol One, SC and LSU take Cotton and Outback (3, 4, 5)
- There are three 8-win teams: UGA, A&M and Vandy for two premo bowls: Chick-Fil-A and Gator; 95% chance Vandy is the odd man out (6,7)
- Music City doesn’t want to host hometown Vanderbilt again, so they will choose Ole Miss instead (8)
- The Liberty Bowl wants MSU (see: 2007) and Vandy played there just two years ago; they work to get State (9)
- The Commodores get stuck with the BBVA Compass Bowl – the only way I see this not happening is if the SEC forces the Gator Bowl to take Vandy, but that’s highly unlikely since they have an equal win total to UGA and A&M (although you would think Vandy’s transplant alumni with money would like to take a trip to Jacksonville for New Year’s?)
So if it happens like this, State would be in Memphis on New Year’s Eve (3 pm) to play the winner of Conference USA. The C-USA Championship Game will be played this weekend between Marshall and Rice. Both are 9-3 on the year and Rice is hosting, but Marshall is a 4.5 point favorite so I’m going with that (because I haven’t seen either team play and have no idea otherwise).
The only other option for MSU is the BBVA Compass Bowl. If that’s the case most expect the opponent to be Rutgers (they are not yet bowl eligible but are 6 point favorites vs. USF this weekend). That game will take place on January 4th at noon.