SEC bowl projections

The SEC bowl picture should clear up a lot more this coming week, although Arkansas certainly helped itself by outlasting Mississippi State 38-31 in double overtime on Saturday.

The Arkansas-LSU game in Little Rock could have major BCS implications. If LSU wins and finishes 11-1, the Tigers would be a lock for an at-large berth in a BCS bowl unless South Carolina upsets Auburn in the SEC championship game.

Arkansas (9-2, 5-2) could also play its way into the BCS equation by beating LSU, but one-loss schools from other conferences such as Ohio State and Stanford might get first dibs on the two at-large berths if they win out and don’t win their league championships.

Alabama’s another team that would have an outside shot at an-large BCS berth if the Crimson Tide (9-2, 5-2) were to upset Auburn (11-0, 7-0) this Friday.

Ole Miss was eliminated from bowl contention with its 43-36 loss at LSU last Saturday. Georgia (5-6, 3-5) and Tennessee (5-6, 2-5) can both gain bowl eligibility by winning this coming weekend. The Bulldogs face Georgia Tech at home, and the Vols face Kentucky at home. The Wildcats (6-5, 2-5) already have enough wins to qualify for a bowl.

Ultimately, the pecking order is going to hinge on whether the SEC gets two teams into the BCS for a fifth straight year. That's far from a given this year.

Here’s the way I see the bowl lineup shaking out with a week to play in the regular season:

  • Allstate Sugar Bowl (Jan. 4, 8:30 p.m. ET): Auburn 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): LSU vs. Big Ten team

  • Chick-fil-A Bowl (Dec. 31, 7:30 p.m. ET): South Carolina vs. ACC team

  • Gator Bowl (Jan. 1, 1:30 p.m. ET): Mississippi State vs. Big Ten team

  • Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl (Dec. 30, 6:40 p.m. ET): Tennessee vs. ACC team

  • AutoZone Liberty Bowl (Dec. 31, 3:30 p.m. ET): Florida vs. Conference USA team

  • BBVA Compass Bowl (Jan. 8, noon ET): Georgia vs. Big East team

  • Little Caesars Bowl: (Dec. 26, 8:30 p.m. ET): Kentucky vs. MAC team