UK Football

UK is bowl eligible for first time since 2010; Here’s where the Cats could play

The University of Kentucky’s 49-13 victory over Austin Peay on Saturday evening clinched bowl eligibility for the Wildcats (6-5, 4-4 SEC) for the first time since the 2010 season.

The SEC is affiliated with 11 bowl games. Here’s a rundown of those games and an explanation of how each team is chosen for each bowl (keep scrolling for the most recent UK-related bowl projections):

Sugar Bowl at New Orleans (Jan. 2, 8:30 p.m.) — The SEC will fill one of the spots in the Sugar Bowl either with the SEC champion (if it’s not in the College Football Playoff) or another team. (Big 12 opponent)

Orange Bowl at Miami (Dec. 30, 8 p.m.) — The SEC is eligible to send a team to the Orange Bowl after it fills its Sugar bowl spot.

Citrus Bowl at Orlando, Fla. (Dec. 31, 11 a.m.) — The Citrus Bowl has first choice of SEC teams after any College Football Playoff, Sugar Bowl and Orange Bowl teams are chosen. (Big Ten or ACC opponent)

After those bowls are filled, the SEC will next assign teams to the following six bowls with no defined order. Representatives for each bowl and each school can list a preference, and the league will assign placement after that. Those six bowls are:

Texas Bowl at Houston (Dec. 28, 9 p.m.) — SEC vs. Big 12

Liberty Bowl at Memphis (Dec. 30, Noon) — SEC vs. Big 12

Belk Bowl at Charlotte, N.C. (Dec. 29, 5:30 p.m.) — SEC vs. ACC

Music City Bowl at Nashville (Dec. 30, 3:30 p.m.) — SEC vs. ACC or Big Ten

Outback Bowl at Tampa, Fla. (Jan. 2, 1 p.m.) — SEC vs. Big Ten

TaxSlayer Bowl at Jacksonville, Fla. (Dec. 31, 11 a.m.) — SEC vs. ACC or Big Ten

If all of the previously mentioned bowls are filled and bowl-eligible SEC teams remain, the Birmingham Bowl gets first choice and the Independence Bowl gets second choice of remaining teams:

Birmingham Bowl at Birmingham, Ala. (Dec. 29, 2 p.m.) — SEC vs. American Athletic

Independence Bowl at Shreveport, La. (Dec. 26, 5 p.m.) — SEC vs. ACC

As of Saturday night, 10 of the league’s 14 schools had earned bowl eligibility. Mississippi can join that group with a victory over Vanderbilt in Saturday’s late game. Vandy, Mississippi State and Missouri are also not bowl eligible.

Here’s a rundown of bowl games that national media outlets were projecting UK to play in going into this weekend:

ESPN’s Mark Schlabach: vs. Army in the Birmingham Bowl

ESPN’s Brett McMurphy: vs. Texas in the Liberty Bowl

Sports Illustrated: vs. Georgia Tech in the Independence Bowl

USA Today: vs. Wake Forest in the Independence Bowl

CBS Sports: vs. N.C. State in the Independence Bowl

Fox Sports: vs. Houston in the Birmingham Bowl

Yahoo Sports: vs. Tulsa in the Birmingham Bowl

Sporting News: vs. Indiana in the Music City Bowl

SEC standings

East

SEC

Overall

Florida

6-2

8-2

Tennessee

4-3

8-3

Georgia

4-4

7-4

Kentucky

4-4

6-5

South Carolina

3-5

6-5

Vanderbilt-x

1-5

4-6

Missouri

1-6

3-8

West

SEC

Overall

Alabama-x

7-0

10-0

Auburn-x

5-2

7-3

LSU

4-3

6-4

Texas A&M

4-3

8-3

Arkansas-x

2-4

6-4

Mississippi-x

2-4

5-5

Mississippi State-x

2-4

4-6

x-Saturday’s game not included

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