Tennessee bowl projections: where are we going and who are we playing?

Southeastern Conference Standings

(updated 11.29.2009 at 5:19 AM EST)

East Conf Overall
Florida Gators 8 0 12 0
Tennessee Volunteers 4 4 7 5
Georgia Bulldogs 4 4 7 5
Kentucky Wildcats 3 5 7 5
South Carolina Gamecocks 3 5 7 5
Vanderbilt Commodores 0 8 2 10
West Conf Overall
Alabama Crimson Tide 8 0 12 0
LSU Tigers 5 3 9 3
Mississippi Rebels 4 4 8 4
Arkansas Razorbacks 3 5 7 5
Auburn Tigers 3 5 7 5
Mississippi St. Bulldogs 3 5 5 7


So I can't find the poll right now, but if I remember right, most Vol fans thought before the season that either 8-4 or 7-5 would be a "successful" season in the Kiffin Chimera's first year. It didn't quite play out the way many of us thought it would. In making our predictions, most of us counted wins against UCLA and Auburn, and we didn't get those, but we did run the table in the toss up games against Georgia and South Carolina. Really, though, that loss to the Bruins is the one that kept us from reaching 8-4.

Still, we finished second the East, and who would've predicted that? Not only that, but only three teams in the SEC finished with better records, although we probably should call that four because of the head-to-head loss to Ole Miss. Hey,  if we're going to take it against Georgia, we ought to give it against the Rebels.

So now the question is where we're going bowling. Will's broken this down before, and he's much more knowledgeable on the subject than am I, but he's on the road back from Lexington and has important stuff like responsibilities and things to handle today, so you're stuck with me. And the way I roll is to pawn the entire question off to you.

So. Whattaya think? Who's going where? Alabama and Florida are obviously the cream that will be skimmed off the top. LSU is next with a 5-3 finish. After that is Ole Miss with a 4-4 record in the SEC and the tiebreaker over Tennessee plus an actual 8-4 overall record. So that's four teams gone.

Then there are six (six!) SEC teams with a 7-5 record. Tennessee and Georgia have the best SEC records, but the Vols have the head-to-head win over the Bulldogs, and let's be honest: Tennessee's a sexier team right now because it's headed in the right direction.

Tennessee's therefore the fifth-best SEC team, right? Or is it? Auburn's got a worse SEC record, but an identical overall record, and they stomped us. Arkansas is about the same, except we didn't play them. So maybe we're fifth- to seventh-best.

So I ask you: looking at the SEC bowl tie-ins, where do you think we'll be going and who do you think we'll play?

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