Where Will Mississippi State go Bowling?


Jan 3, 2014; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; A general view of the field prior to the game between the Clemson Tigers and the Ohio State Buckeyes in the 2014 Orange Bowl college football game at Sun Life Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

I’m ready to just forget that Egg Bowl loss and look forward. What’s next? A bowl game, and a darn good one too.

Things are a little different this year. With the new College Football Playoff there are also four other big time bowl games associated with the playoff rotation – similar to what the BCS bowls were in the past. With the Sugar and Rose being the semi-final games this year, here are the other major bowls which will be played on December 31st and January 1st:

  • Peach Bowl – Dec. 31 at 11:30
  • Fiesta Bowl – Dec. 31 at 3:00
  • Orange Bowl – Dec. 31 at 7:30
  • Cotton Bowl – Jan. 1 at 11:30

The chances of Mississippi State being involved in one of these games are around 99%. At 10-2, they’ll likely end up with the second best record and ranking in the SEC. The only way that won’t happen is if Missouri beats Alabama in the SEC championship, but in that case I would still imagine MSU would be placed in these bowls along with both Mizzou and Bama….especially since that would probably mean the SEC is left out of the playoffs. In the next College Football Playoff rankings, the Bulldogs should be 8th behind only Arizona as a two loss team. There are 12 teams who will be apart of the top six bowls.

So….which one of these games will State play in?

1. Orange Bowl

According to the 2014 bowl tie-ins, the Orange Bowl will select the ACC champion vs. the highest ranked SEC or Big Ten who doesn’t qualify for the playoffs. So that means it’s likely go be Georgia Tech or Florida State vs. MSU. Of course, that could be the other MSU – Michigan State. I project Michigan State will be ranked just behind (9th) Mississippi State in the next playoff ranking, and neither team has any games left….but I could be wrong, and if so the Spartans would head to Miami.

2. Peach Bowl

The Peach Bowl (formerly Peach, then Chick-Fil-A, now back to Peach) does not have a specific tie-in like the Sugar, Rose and Orange do….so they can just select the best match-up. Well, that is, the playoff committee can select the best match-up. The Peach Bowl won’t be sending out invitations anymore, the selection committee places these teams. If the Orange Bowl doesn’t work out, I would have to assume they’d see Mississippi State in Atlanta as good for business. Possibly TCU or Baylor as an opponent if they don’t get into the top four.

3. Cotton Bowl

This one would surprise me, but it could happen. Most likely I think they’ll try to match the loser of the Big Ten and Pac 12 championship games. Missouri is also an option here, especially if they win the SEC.

It’s hard to imagine any scenario where MSU is pushed out of these elite bowl games. If it were to happen, however, the Citrus Bowl (formerly Citrus, then Capitol One, now back to Citrus) wouldn’t be a bad landing spot. But State will still be in the top 10 (if not top 6 or 8 in the final rankings) after a 2nd place finish in the great SEC West, and that will be enough to play in a big time game on New Year’s Eve.