LSU's bowl options just got a lot more inviting thanks to its 24-21 victory over Alabama on Saturday.
The Tigers (8-1, 5-1) played their way back into the periphery of the national championship picture, but they're in great shape as far as securing an at-large berth in a BCS bowl. An 11-1 LSU team would just about be a lock for a BCS bowl. The only scenario that would probably keep the Tigers out of a BCS bowl, if they do indeed win out, would be Auburn winning out and then getting upset in the SEC championship game.
In that case, the SEC champion (Florida or South Carolina) would be the SEC's automatic invitee to a BCS bowl, and a one-loss Auburn team would likely grab the at-large spot.
Of course, Auburn (10-0, 6-0) has bigger plans.
With Arkansas winning at South Carolina and Alabama losing to LSU and dropping its second game of the season, there's going to be a scramble among the Western Division teams for the SEC's marquee bowl spots. Don't forget about Mississippi State, either. The Bulldogs (7-2, 3-2) have won six in a row and could really become a hot commodity if they win two of their last three games. They travel to Alabama this Saturday, then face Arkansas at home on Nov. 20 and end the regular season at Ole Miss on Nov. 27.
Tennessee's a new addition this week. The Vols (3-6, 0-5) need to win out to be bowl eligible, but they're off to a good start after crushing Memphis.
With three weeks remaining in the regular season, here's the way I see the bowl lineup falling in the SEC:
Tostitos BCS National Championship Game (Jan. 10, 8:30 p.m. ET): Auburn vs. BCS team
Allstate Sugar Bowl (Jan. 4, 8:30 p.m. ET): LSU vs. BCS team
Capital One Bowl (Jan. 1, 1 p.m. ET): Alabama vs. Big Ten team
AT&T Cotton Bowl (Jan. 7, 8 p.m. ET): Arkansas vs. Big 12 team
Outback Bowl (Jan. 1, 1 p.m. ET): Florida vs. Big Ten team
Chick-fil-A Bowl (Dec. 31, 7:30 p.m. ET): Mississippi State vs. ACC team
Gator Bowl (Jan. 1, 1:30 p.m. ET): South Carolina vs. Big Ten team
Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl (Dec. 30, 6:40 p.m. ET): Georgia vs. ACC team
AutoZone Liberty Bowl (Dec. 31, 3:30 p.m. ET): Kentucky vs. Conference USA team
BBVA Compass Bowl (Jan. 8, noon ET): Tennessee vs. Big East team