Kentucky Football: Wildcats bowl projections remain in flux in crowded SEC

Kentucky wide receiver Wan'Dale Robinson (credit: Matt Bush-USA TODAY Sports)
Kentucky wide receiver Wan'Dale Robinson (credit: Matt Bush-USA TODAY Sports) /

Just when we thought the Kentucky football team’s vision for a New Year’s Six bowl game had become clearer, the Wildcats threw a clunker of epic proportions and a jumbled SEC pack resembles more of a 52 card pick-up game.

Kentucky and Ole Miss were each sitting pretty in the Southeastern Conference East and West respectively last week hoping the other would lose. Instead, both of them not only lost the game but took themselves out of any College Football Playoff talk.

All we did after Week No. 9 of the season was solidity that Georgia and Alabama remain the teams at the top, along with surprise Auburn sitting right alongside. Georgia has a clear path to the SEC Championship game but Bama and Auburn both have one conference loss and play each other in the regular-season finale.

That only means things will remain in flux.

Kentucky football goal of New Year’s Six Bowl hinges on winning out

All we know for sure is that for Kentucky to have a shot at a New Year’s Six bowl game they MUST beat Tennessee on Saturday and win games they should against Vanderbilt, New Mexico State, and Louisville.

Run the table and you are in, but a 3-loss SEC team playing on New Year’s Day seems far-fetched.

Sitting with two losses currently are Kentucky, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, and Texas A&M.

The Aggies are the only team to hand Alabama their only loss and have been playing very well, but their remaining four games include Auburn this weekend, Ole Miss, Prarie View A&M, and LSU in the final game.

Auburn brought Ole Miss down to earth with a win on Saturday and has Texas A&M, Mississippi State, South Carolina, and Alabama left.

Ole Miss has Liberty, Texas A&M, Vandy, and in-state rival Mississippi State remaining.

MSU looked average early but has caught some fire and staring at Arkansas, Auburn, Tennessee State, and Ole Miss left on the slate.

Each of these teams knows the stakes and beating up on each other will only cloud the pictures for bowls to select from. So who is going to separate themselves?

Here is a look at our weekly Kentucky football bowl destination prediction list. For now, the favored Peach Bowl is no longer in play and tastes more Citrus possibly.

Playstation Fiesta Bowl
Saturday, January 1
ESPN, 1:00 pm
State Farm Stadium, Glendale, AZ
Bowl Tie-Ins: At-Large vs. At-Large
Projected Teams:

Jerry Palm over at CBS has Kentucky has stuck with Kentucky playing in this bowl for the first time Kentucky but has changed the Wildcats opponent to Notre Dame.

Outback Bowl
Saturday, January 1
ESPN2, 12:00 pm
Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, FL
Bowl Tie-Ins: Big Ten vs. SEC
Projected Teams:

Athlon Sports predicts it will be a Kentucky vs Wisconsin showdown.

Vrbo Citrus Bowl
Saturday, January 1
ESPN2, 1:00 pm
Camping World Stadium, Orlando, FL
Bowl Tie-Ins: Big Ten vs. SEC

Brett McMurphy likes Kentucky to land in Orlando taking on a Michigan team in turmoil with coach Jim Harbaugh on the hot seat.

ESPN’s duo of Mark Schlabach and Kyle Bonagura agreed last week Kentucky on Kentucky but both had them in the Peach Bowl. They have shifted the destination further south here but have different opponents. Bonagura predicts Iowa, while Schlabach projects it to be Minnesota.

Saturday Down South also thinks that it will be Kentucky and Missesota teeing it up.

Sugar Bowl

Saturday, January 1
ESPN, 8:45 pm
Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans, LA
Bowl Tie-Ins: Big 12 vs. SEC

247Sports predicts a sweet New Year’s Day with Kentucky taking on the Cowboys from Oklahoma State.

TaxSlayer Gator Bowl

Friday, December 31
ESPN, 11:00 am
TIAA Bank Field, Jacksonville, FL
Bowl Tie-Ins: ACC vs. SEC
Bowl Projection: Clemson vs Kentucky

College Football News has Big Blue returning to last year’s bowl game again and squaring off with Clemson.

Last year Kentucky beat NC State 23-21.

So what do I think and want Kentucky football to end up?

When we started discussing bowls I was had Kentucky picked to the Citrus Bowl, but as they continued to win and a New Year’s Six Bowl and chance to win the SEC East increased I switched to the Peach.

Consecutive losses to Georgia and Mississippi State have me reverting back to my Citrus Bowl mentality.

However, lose to Tennessee and finish 9-3 they could slide to either the Outback, Gator, Liberty, MI Music City, Texas, or Duke’s Mayo game.

Of the above-suggested matchups, the Minnesota one is the least appealing I would think for Kentucky. No offense to the Gophers but when the choices are Clemson, Iowa, Notre Dame, or Oklahoma State those are games to elevate the program.

I’ve liked Kentucky vs Iowa matchup and that would be some great storylines with Stoops and his Iowa connection and an old-school coaching battle battle between Stoops and Kirk Ferentz.

Stay tuned this topsy turvy SEC will be a wild ride to the finish. Which teams can hang on is up for lively debate.

Next. UK football night of horror. dark