Baby, I Wants to be Loved
Scott Ramsey, president of the Music City Bowl, thinks Tennessee is “very attractive.” Steve Erhart, executive director of the Liberty Bowl, would “love to have” us. But, Gator Bowl president Rick Catlett did not return phone calls of inquiry from the News Sentinel made on Tuesday.
Well, we can’t have all of the bowls schmoozing us, I suppose. But, it is nice to be loved a little, even if it is from men representing bowl games that we fans would turn down if the clock were turned back a decade or so.
How times have changed.
Here’s the essentials…
The SEC Teams are everywhere.
SEC affiliated bowls (Cotton, Capital One, Outback, Peach, Gator, Music City, Liberty, Compass) can’t offer more than hypotheticals until all of the BCS mess shakes itself out this weekend. Arkansas, South Carolina, and Auburn are all in the BCS mix – LSU likely is not, and if Auburn wins the crown, South Carolina will not be either. But if Auburn finally doesn’t win a game, then look for War Eagle, the Gamecocks, and the Hogs to possibly all go BCS bowling, unless the Razorbacks get stood up.
Tennessee ain’t going to the Cotton, Capital One, Outback, or Peach. Those are going to be filled by (not in any particular order) Alabama, LSU, Mississippi State, and South Carolina (unless Spurrier gets her done on Saturday). That leaves the Gator, Music City, Liberty, and Compass left to talk about for the Vols, the ‘Dawgs, the ‘Cats, and the Gaters.
Gaters in Gator?
This is the first of a new 4-year deal between the Gator Bowl and the SEC. Gator Bowl president Rick Catlett told a Florida newspaper on Monday that “the three teams at 6-6 in (the) mix all lost to Florida. That’s something that has to be taken into consideration.” The “three teams” he’s talking about are Tennessee, Georgia, and Kentucky. Since Florida never ever travels outside of their own state for a non-conference game if they can help it, put the Gaters in the Gator against some gawdawful Big Ten team like Iowa or Penn State.
Will they play in Ryman Auditorium?
The Music City Bowl will choose its SEC representative before the Liberty Bowl gets theirs – the Music City is the seventh-ranked of nine SEC-affiliated bowls. The Liberty is the eighth and the Compass (that’s the one in Birmingham) is ninth.
So, as long as something crazy doesn’t happen, like the ‘Cocks nipping the Tigers, throwing everything into a bit of an unpredictable mess, the Music City Bowl will get their pick from Tennessee, Georgia, and Kentucky, all with 6-6 overall records. Six ACC teams are in the running for their Music City Bowl spot: North Carolina, Clemson, Boston College, Miami, Georgia Tech, and Maryland.
In addition to the SEC, the Liberty Bowl is tied to the Conference USA champion, which will be decided on Saturday as either SMU or South Florida. I’ll have to tune in for that one!
The lowly Compass Bowl will suck the hind one that’s left over after three 6-6 SEC schools have signed up for their proms. The opponent will be some gawdawful Big East school like UConn or Pitt.
I can hear the country music playin’ already.
So, here it is Vol fans. We ain’t gettin’ anywhere near Jacksonville. We don’t want to play in that icy cold dump in Memphis against a CUSA school. And we sure as heck don’t want to drag this thing out until January 8 when the Compass Bowl puts on its party in the upper-deckless Legion Field.
Send the ‘Dogs and the ‘Cats to Memphis and Birmingham. Bring on the Vols and the ACC in Nashville! And, my Tar Heel spouse says she’ll root for the Big Orange to boot!
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