SEC Week 9 bowl projections: LSU, Alabama to jockey for playoff spot

We finally have something other than shot-in-the-dark conjecture upon which to base a bowl projection.

If the postseason started today, LSU and Alabama would both be College Football Playoff participants, having been named Tuesday as the No. 2 and 4 seeds in the selection committee’s initial rankings. Which team will still be there at this time next week is anybody’s guess. Unbeaten LSU’s Saturday visit to Alabama could flip-flop the conference -- and playoff -- pecking orders in a hurry.

For now, we’re basically still in the same spot as last week. The participants in the conference’s top bowls are holding steady, while those at the bottom of the SEC’s postseason hierarchy are still poring over the remaining schedule and wondering where the necessary wins will come from if they are to reach bowl eligibility.

We have serious reason to question whether 4-4 teams like Auburn, Kentucky, Missouri and Arkansas will reach the postseason -- in fact, losses this week will probably force us to drop a couple of them from the bowl list -- but we’ll still give them the benefit of the doubt for one more week.

Here are our projections:

College Football Playoff semifinal (Cotton Bowl): LSU

Allstate Sugar Bowl (New Year's Six): Alabama

Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl (New Year's Six): Florida

Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl: Ole Miss

AutoZone Liberty Bowl: Georgia

TaxSlayer Bowl: Mississippi State

Outback Bowl: Texas A&M

Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl: Arkansas

Belk Bowl: Tennessee

AdvoCare V100 Texas Bowl: Auburn

Birmingham Bowl: Kentucky

Camping World Independence Bowl: Missouri