BIRMINGHAM, Alabama — Twelve Southeastern Conference football teams learned their post-season bowl destinations on Sunday. No. 1-ranked Alabama will play No. 4 Ohio State in the Sugar Bowl on the night of January 1 in a semifinal game in the new College Football Playoff structure.
In addition to the debut of the College Football Playoff system, this marks the first year the conference assigned league schools to a “Pool of Six” bowls that include the Outback Bowl in Tampa, the TaxSlayer Bowl in Jacksonville, the Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl in Nashville, the AdvoCare V100 Texas Bowl in Houston, the Belk Bowl in Charlotte and the AutoZone Liberty Bowl in Memphis.
On Sunday, the College Football Playoff committee first selected teams for the national semifinal games (Allstate Sugar and Rose presented by Northwestern Mutual) and the Fiesta, Chick-fil-A Peach and Goodyear Cotton Bowls while the Capital One Orange Bowl announced its teams.
From the SEC, Mississippi State will play Georgia Tech in the Capital One Orange Bowl and Ole Miss will face TCU in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl.
Next, the Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl selected Missouri from the SEC before the conference assigned teams to the Pool of Six bowls. The selection process for the Pool of Six bowls was based on preferences expressed by the SEC’s bowl eligible schools, input from the SEC’s affiliated bowls, travel considerations, attention to previous matchups and other pertinent factors.
“The new Pool of Six bowl process gives us the best opportunity to address several issues that impact SEC fans, including the creation of intriguing matchups, the accommodation of travel for fans and a variety of assignments to help prevent repetitive postseason destinations,” said SEC Commissioner Mike Slive. “We took into account the preferences expressed to us by the participating teams and had conversations with our bowl partners to create a compelling lineup of bowl games featuring SEC teams.”
Auburn will play a Big 10 opponent in the Outback Bowl, Tennessee will meet a Big 10 or ACC opponent in the TaxSlayer Bowl, LSU will play an ACC or Big 10 opponent in the Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl, Arkansas will play a Big 12 opponent in the AdvoCare V100 Texas Bowl, Georgia will play an ACC opponent in the Belk Bowl and Texas A&M will play a Big 12 opponent in the AutoZone Liberty Bowl in Memphis.
Following the Pool of Six bowl, the Birmingham Bowl selected Florida and the Duck Commander Independence Bowl in Shreveport chose South Carolina from the SEC.
Seven SEC teams ranked in final polls of regular season
Seven SEC teams are ranked in the this week’s College Football Playoff Rankings, Amway Coaches Poll and AP Poll, the final of the regular season. Alabama is ranked No. 1 in all of them.
In the College Football Playoff Rankings, Alabama remained at No. 1, which puts them in a College Football Playoff Semifinal against No. 4 Ohio State. Mississippi State and Ole Miss are both in the Top 10, at No. 7 and No. 9, respectively. Georgia jumped to No. 13, while Missouri stayed at No. 16. Auburn remained at No. 19 and LSU moved up to No. 23.
College Football Playoff Rankings
In the AP Poll, Alabama remained at No. 1 after winning the SEC Championship. Mississippi State and Ole Miss are both in the Top 10, at No. 8 and No. 9, respectively. Georgia moved up two spots to No. 13, while Missouri fell two spots to No. 16. Auburn and LSU each moved up one to No. 19 and No. 22, respectively.
In the Amway Coaches Poll, Alabama stayed at No. 1, while Mississippi State moved up to No. 8. Ole Miss and Georgia moved up two spots, to No. 12 and No. 13, respectively. Missouri dropped to No. 14, Auburn moved up to No. 19 and LSU moved to No. 23.