published Sunday, December 6th, 2009

SEC 10-team bowl representation clearing up

ATLANTA -- The Southeastern Conference will place 10 teams in bowl games for the first time in its history later today when the matchups are announced.

It's no secret which SEC teams are going where, but some of their opponents remained unclear late Saturday night. Here is what is known:

MUSIC CITY (Dec. 27): Kentucky will be making a record fourth consecutive bowl trip, with all four taking place in Tennessee. The Wildcats could face North Carolina in a rematch of Saturday's basketball game at Rupp Arena or Miami.

INDEPENDENCE (Dec. 28): If it's Georgia and Texas A&M, how will the Bulldogs scheme for Aggies quarterback Jerrod Johnson now that defensive coordinator Willie Martinez and two other defensive assistants are gone? Johnson threw for 342 yards and rushed for 97 in a losing effort to Texas.

Independence Bowl official Patrick Meehan said Georgia-Texas A&M would be a "blockbuster" after a year in which neither the SEC nor Big 12 had enough bowl-eligible teams, which resulted in a forgettable Louisiana Tech-Northern Illinois pairing.

CHICK-FIL-A (Dec. 31): In 2005, Bruton Smith offered Tennessee and Virginia Tech $20 million each to play at his Bristol Motor Speedway. The Chick-fil-A Bowl will be getting the Vols and Hokies for much cheaper.

OUTBACK (Jan. 1): Auburn and Wisconsin are the expected choices, which would provide a rematch of the Capital One Bowl after the 2005 season, in which the Badgers upset the Tigers in Barry Alvarez's finale.

CAPITAL ONE (Jan. 1): This will be LSU against whichever team the Fiesta Bowl doesn't select between Iowa and Penn State. If it's the Nittany Lions vs. the Tigers, then it's Joe Paterno vs. Les Miles, or Father Time vs. Time Management.

A Capital One Bowl official said Saturday that LSU already has sold its allotment of 12,000 tickets and has asked for more.

SUGAR (Jan. 1): Will Florida seem as disinterested against Cincinnati in New Orleans as Alabama was last season against Utah?

COTTON (Jan. 2): This could be renamed the Remember September Bowl with Ole Miss and Oklahoma State. The Cowboys were No. 5 in the country following an opening win over Georgia, while the Rebels ascended to No. 4 after a 2-0 start.

The Rebels defeated Texas Tech last season in the Cotton, but bowl representative Charlie Fiss has no problem with them returning.

"That's always one of the factors, because players come back and go to the same party events and all that," Fiss said, "but this year that really doesn't come into play for our game. Last year we kind of brought down the curtain on Cotton Bowl Stadium, and this year we raise the curtain on Cowboys Stadium."

PAPAJOHNS.COM (Jan. 2): Steve Spurrier has South Carolina in a January bowl for a second straight year, but January bowls don't mean what they used to when the opponent is probably Connecticut and the location is Birmingham.

LIBERTY (Jan. 2): A matchup of Arkansas quarterback Ryan Mallett and Houston quarterback Case Keenum was erased Saturday when East Carolina upset the Cougars in the Conference USA title game. The Hogs will be among the SEC's heavier favorites.

BCS CHAMPIONSHIP (Jan. 7): No league has ever produced four consecutive AP national champions, and now it's Alabama back waving the SEC banner.

about David Paschall...

David Paschall is a sports writer for the Times Free Press. He started at the Chattanooga Free Press in 1990 and was part of the Times Free Press when the paper started in 1999. David covers University of Georgia football, as well as SEC football recruiting, SEC basketball, Chattanooga Lookouts baseball and other sports stories. He is a Chattanooga native and graduate of the Baylor School and Auburn University. David has received numerous honors for ...

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vetforvols said...

Bruton Smith actually offered it to ND not VT. But Tennessee did not want to give up a home game.

December 6, 2009 at 11:36 a.m.
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