As much as Alabama football fans enjoyed South Carolina’s dismantling of Tennessee, the loss of the Vols may have hurt the Crimson Tide. As Iron Bowl week begins, Alabama now has three likely postseason options.
Barring two season-ending excitements from Vandy and Missouri, the SEC will have 10 bowl teams. Unless a SEC 5-7 team sneaks in based on their academic progress rating. For the sake of accuracy, one more possibility needs to be included – the most unlikely outcome of an Auburn upset on Saturday.
Where will Alabama football go bowling? The answer will become clearer after Tuesday night’s CFB playoff rankings. At this point, most projections have the Crimson Tide in the Orange Bowl. Less commonly predicted is the Alabama Crimson Tide in the Sugar Bowl, the Citrus Bowl, and a decided fringe opinion that the Crimson Tide will play in the Cotton Bowl.
Possible opponents of the Alabama Football Bowl
Aside from an unexpected trip to the Cotton Bowl, Alabama’s possible bowl opponents include some interesting encounters. There’s the possibility of TCU in the Sugar Bowl, Clemson in the Orange Bowl, and Penn State or Illinois in the Citrus Bowl.
Blame the Tennessee Vols for including the Citrus Bowl as Tide’s postseason game. Now with two losses, Tennessee won’t be in the CFB playoffs. The top two ranked non-playoff teams will likely be LSU and Tennessee. Alabama will be close, but with losses for both teams, the Crimson Tide could be January 2 in Orlando instead of December 30 at Miami Gardens.
The above outcome assumes the Sugar Bowl votes for LSU and Tennessee gets the Orange Bowl. Another reason for Crimson Tide fans to cheer for the Commodores on Saturday. Not that the citrus bowl is a bad bowl. It’s arguably better than the Cotton Bowl, but even as it’s grown in stature in recent years, the Citrus doesn’t have the Orange Bowl’s cachet.
Probable SEC football bowl competitions
As per Jerry Palm’s current prediction, the nine other SEC football teams will participate in the matchups listed below.
- Georgia Bulldogs – CFB Playoff Semifinals, Peach Bowl
- LSU Bengal Tigers – Sugar Bowl
- Alabama Crimson Tide—Orange Bowl
- Tennessee Vols—Cotton Bowl
- Ole Miss Rebels – citrus zest
- South Carolina Gamecocks – ReliaQuest Bowl
- Kentucky Wildcats – Music City Bowl
- Arkansas Razorbacks-Gator Bowl
- Mississippi State Bulldogs – Texas Bowl
- Florida Gators-Las Vegas Bowl
Unlike most others who do bowl projections, Jerry Palm also has Missouri in the Birmingham Bowl and Auburn in the Liberty Bowl. With Palm projecting Alabama to the Orange Bowl, he projects Auburn at 5-7 and will fill an open bowl slot based on his APR.
Alabama football fans may not be able to embrace the Crimson Tide postseason fully enough to travel in large numbers. What will be more interesting is how many Crimson Tide players will also skip the trip.