Wally Hall is the managing sports editor for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. A graduate of the University of Arkansas-Little Rock after an honorable discharge from the U.S. Air Force, he is a member and past president of the Football Writers Association of America, member of the U.S. Basketball Writers Association, past president and current executive committee and board member of the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame, and voter for the Heisman Trophy. He has been awarded Arkansas Sportswriter of the Year 10 times and has been inducted into the Arkansas Sportswriters and Sportscasters Hall of Fame.
Like It Is:
There's plenty of SEC love to go around in bowls
Alabama players hold a championship sign after the Southeastern Conference championship NCAA college football game between Georgia and Alabama, Saturday, Dec. 4, 2021, in Atlanta. Alabama won 41-24. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)
No more waiting. The postseason bowl invitations will be announced today, and it appears all 13 SEC teams who earned bowl eligibility will be be in postseason action.
Starting at 11 a.m. today the College Football Playoff selection committee announces its final four, and then eight teams for the Sugar, Rose, Fiesta and Peach bowls will be revealed. Those four bowls along with this season’s hosts for the semifinals, the Cotton and Orange, are the rotating hosts of the playoffs.
Those 12 programs share in the revenue which is far more than a regular bowl game.
The CFP Championship Game will be Jan. 10 in Indianapolis.
Not only did Alabama assure its place — again — in the playoffs but most likely will be No. 1 because of its win over previously undefeated Georgia.
If the selection committee is smart, and it is, the members would have an immediate rematch of the SEC divisional winners because no one outside of Georgia and Alabama want them meeting in the championship, and perhaps Georgia Coach Kirby Smart picked up some things from this loss to Nick Saban.
The way it works in the SEC, which frowns on teams turning down a bowl, after those initial teams are announced, the Citrus Bowl picks which SEC school it wants.
Then the remaining bowls give the SEC a three-team wish list and every SEC bowl eligible team gives the SEC its three bowl wish list.
Then hard-working associate commissioner Mark Womack sits down with the wish lists and tries to make everyone happy, which is virtually impossible.
The SEC should be looking at something around $80-90 million in total bowl payoffs and that is shared, after expenses, by all 14 members.
As for the other bowls they look at won-loss records, rankings and how fans will travel among other things. The programs think about fan travel and exposure.
Below is just a guess at it will all work out for the SEC.
College Football Playoffs:
Selection committee bowls:
Sugar Bowl — Ole Miss. The Rebels had the third best overall record at 10-2 and conference at 6-2 and earned the right for this prestigious bowl. Biggest play of the season may have been stopping Arkansas on its two-point conversion attempt.
Texas Bowl ($6.4 million) – Texas A&M. The Aggies were 8-4 and had big losses to Arkansas, Mississippi State and LSU which probably hurt them with the Citrus Bowl. If it didn’t, it should have.
Citrus Bowl ($8.2 million) — Kentucky. The Wildcats finished 9-3 and 5-3 and should get the nod.
Outback Bowl ($6.4 million) — Arkansas. This is probably some wishful thinking combined with common sense and there’s a chance the Razorbacks end up in the Gator.
Gator Bowl ($5.3 million) — Tennessee. It was this or the short drive to Nashville.
Music City Bowl ($5.7 million) — Mississippi State. The Bulldogs offense makes them attractive.
Duke’s Mayo Bowl ($4.7 million) — South Carolina. Every other year this is the Belk Bowl. Happy shopping to the Gamecocks.
Liberty Bowl ($4.7 million) — Auburn. This is a lucky draw for a team that lost its final four games and yes, the running back should not have gone out of bounds against Alabama.
Birmingham Bowl ($1.3 million) — LSU. The Tigers will enjoy Dreamland ribs and the short drive to the game.
Quick Lane Bowl ($2 million) — Missouri. The Tigers are an at-large selection in Detroit, but the good news is the game is played in a dome.
Boca Raton Bowl ($900,000) — Florida. A far cry from past bowls, but they are lucky to be anywhere.
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