Kentucky Football bowl game likely in Florida but is it Tampa or Orlando

Kentucky's Will Levis
Kentucky's Will Levis /

The Kentucky football team has done all it can to plead its case for an upper-tier bowl game by thoroughly trouncing rival Louisville in every facet 52-21 to close out the regular season 9-3 and 6-3 in the SEC. However, but the wait continues for its bowl destination and opponent.

After starting the season 6-0 there and talk of a New Year’s Day 6 game and even SEC Championship slot quickly diminished when the Wildcats dropped three straight games to Georgia, Mississippi State, and heartbreaking 45-42 loss to Tennessee.

Had the offense and defense been on the same page against State and the Vols then we wouldn’t be having this discussion. They would by far finish as the third-best in the Southeastern Conference behind Georgia and Alabama who square off Saturday in the SEC Championship game.

The outcome of that game, coupled with the rest of the conference championship games can quickly change the pecking order. We are also thanking LSU for upsetting Texas A&M and knocking the Aggies a bowl or two lower.

Will it be Citrus or Outback for the Kentucky football team?  The wait continues

Ole Miss (10-2, 6-2) will get the nod more than likely as the third-best SEC team. The hang-up is where does Alabama finish? Do they make the College Football Playoffs? If not they fall into the SEC tie-ins and push everyone down in theory.

The Sugar Bowl has the top selection and more than likely would select the Rebels. But if Tide doesn’t make the playoffs they would more than likely head here.

Next in the hierarchy line is the VRBO Citrus Bowl so we are going to assume Alabama makes the playoffs and Ole Miss gets the nod to the Sugar meaning Kentucky will play in the Citrus Bowl.

However, should it be Bama in the Sugar and Ole Miss in the Citrus then UK would play in the Outback Bowl.

Neither is a disappointment and both take place on New Year’s Day just one hour or 88 miles apart in sunny Florida. Both would feature a Big Ten opponent more than likely.

Unless something is leaked prior bowls normally are announced on December 5, but this scenario is pretty locked in.

Let’s take our weekly look at where everyone is projecting things will finally shake out.

Vrbo Citrus Bowl

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

The Athletic has switched from the Outback to the Citrus taking on Iowa. The 16th ranked Hawkeyes are 10-2 and will play No. 5 Michigan for the Big10 Championship this Saturday.

Over at 247 Sports, they have had the Cats here but it was against Michigan State, but they now predicting Iowa.

College Football News moved Kentucky from the Dukes Mayo Bowl over to the Citrus squaring off with Iowa as well, which is a lot sweeter.

The biggest eye opening projection comes from Sports Illustrated who has Kentucky and Ohio State teeing it up. What a game that would be. The two schools have only played three times dating way back to 1895, 1919 and in 1935.

Outback Bowl

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

CBS Sports Jerry Palm continues week-after-week to have the Cats slotted here and against Wisconsin. The Badgers lost 3 of their first four games, won 7 straight before dropping a 23-13 decision to Minnesota last Saturday to finish 8-4, 6-3 in the Big 10.

Athlon Sports also has the Cats and Badgers scratching it out in Tampa.

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

When we started discussing bowls I was all in on Kentucky playing in the Citrus Bowl until the three losses and had to shift the hopes over to the Outback.

I have also been predicting it would be against Iowa and I have no reason to change my thoughts and still think it will be the Citrus.

But I will say the idea of Kentucky and Ohio State squaring off……. WOW!

Sit back and watch Saturday to see when the dust settles to make plans to spend your New Year’s in either Orlando or Tampa. Alabama and Georgia at 4 pm EST and then Iowa and Michigan at 8 pm EST.

Next. UK routs Cardinals once again. dark