SEC Week 3 bowl projections: Ole Miss makes push for playoff

Remember when Alabama and Auburn were the SEC’s top two teams, vying for a spot in the College Football Playoff in our (way-too-early) bowl projections? Those days are over, at least for now.

Ole Miss is now the team to beat in the SEC and the league’s top playoff contender after the Rebels went to Tuscaloosa on Saturday night and took down Alabama in a game that felt like it would never end. As we learned last season, the Crimson Tide aren’t out of it. But they did slide in this week’s bowl projections.

Technically, Auburn isn’t out of it, either. Two years ago, Gus Malzahn and his team lost to LSU early in the season and wound up playing for a national championship. However, it appears this Auburn team has a lot more problems after Saturday’s blowout loss in Baton Rouge, a game that subsequently put LSU in the mix for a New Year’s Six bowl.

And don’t forget about Georgia. The SEC West stole the spotlight Saturday, but Greyson Lambert and the Bulldogs looked mighty impressive in their win over South Carolina.

Other movers and shakers included Florida, which moved into the middle category of SEC bowls with its road win at Kentucky, and Arkansas, which dropped to the bottom after a second straight nonconference loss. The Razorbacks have yet to play a conference game, but the last two weeks don’t bode well for their chances.

Following Week 3, here are our best guesses as to where SEC teams will play this postseason:

College Football Playoff semifinal (Cotton Bowl): Ole Miss

Allstate Sugar Bowl: Georgia

Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl: LSU

Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl: Texas A&M

AutoZone Liberty Bowl: Missouri

TaxSlayer Bowl: Florida

Outback Bowl: Alabama

Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl: Auburn

Belk Bowl: Tennessee

AdvoCare V100 Texas Bowl: Mississippi State

Birmingham Bowl: Kentucky

Camping World Independence Bowl: Arkansas