The college football bowl puzzle is clicking into place this weekend, but University of Kentucky fans might have to be patient before locking in their travel plans.
The Southeastern Conference, the Atlantic Coast Conference and several other leagues were awaiting the outcomes of championship games Saturday before finalizing bowl assignments and announcing matchups Sunday.
Clarity will begin to emerge at noon Sunday when ESPN airs its four-hour College Football Playoff Selection Show. At around 12:30 p.m., ESPN says it will reveal the combatants in the Peach and Fiesta Bowls, the games designated this year as the national semifinals. Around 2:30 p.m., the other four matchups in the “New Year’s Six” bowls — the Orange, Sugar, Cotton and Rose — will be unveiled.
The remaining bowl matchups will come at some point after those pieces are put into place. ESPNU will air a Bowl Selection Show from 4-6 p.m. during which it will announce those matchups, but bowl officials could make some of the games public before that.
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The buzz throughout the week suggested Kentucky is headed to the TaxSlayer Bowl — formerly known as the Gator Bowl — which is scheduled to be played on Dec. 31 at 11 a.m. at EverBank Field in Jacksonville, Fla., the home of the NFL’s Jaguars.
Bowl officials announced that UK, Arkansas, Florida and Auburn of the SEC were under consideration along with Georgia Tech, Miami, North Carolina and Virginia Tech of the ACC. They’ve said the official selections will be announced Sunday at 6 p.m., but the matchup could become known earlier than that.
The UK Sports Network is planning to air a bowl selection special of its own soon after the official announcement. The 30-minute live stream from the recruiting room at Commonwealth Stadium will be broadcast on UKAthletics.com and hosted by Tom Leach and Jeff Piecoro. The show will feature reaction from members of UK’s team and Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart.
UK (7-5) is poised for its first bowl trip since 2010 after winning seven of its final 10 games in 2016, including a rousing upset of No. 11 Louisville in the regular-season finale.
Fans should visit UKFootballTix.com for information about how to obtain bowl tickets.
Noon: College Football Playoff Selection Show (ESPN)
4 p.m.: Bowl Selection Show (ESPNU)