SEC Football: Five teams dragging down SEC Bowl opportunities

(Photo by Ken Levine/Allsport/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ken Levine/Allsport/Getty Images) /

Three SEC football teams and possibly as many as five are making the conference look bad. After week nine games, five SEC football teams; Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, LSU and Ole Miss have qualified for a 2022-23 bowl game.

Five more SEC teams are at risk of not qualifying. Last season, including the CFB Playoff games, 13 SEC teams participated in bowl games. Only the Vanderbilt Commodores, that have not ‘bowled’ since 2018, missed out on the post-season fun.

SEC Football and Bowl Eligibility

Apologies to the Commodores and the other teams failing to qualify each season – but only really bad teams fail to reach bowl eligibility. Technically, Vandy still has a chance this season, but the chances are slim and none.

In some seasons, a 5-7 record will make teams eligible in order to fill all the bowl slots. This season, 82 teams will be needed. Academic Progress Rate (APR) is used to determine the priority of qualification by 5-7 teams.

South Carolina, Kentucky, Mississippi State and Arkansas need just one win each to reach the six-win threshold. Two more SEC teams, Missouri and Florida, at 4-4 need two more wins.

Two other SEC football teams are like Vanderbilt, sitting with 3-5 records. Lagging well behind the rest of the SEC is a familiar position for Vanderbilt. Joining the Dores in near ‘bottom-of-the barrel’ status this season are Auburn and Texas A&M.

The Tigers need three wins in four games, beginning with Mississippi State in Starkville, followed by Texas  A&M, Western Kentucky and the Alabama Crimson Tide in Tuscaloosa. The Aggies also need three wins and have Florida, at Auburn, U Mass and LSU.

It is joyous for Alabama football fans to contemplate the payoff for the winner of the Nov. 12 game, between the Aubies and the Aggies, might be at best,  a cold December night in Birmingham.

Why in the Playoff era is it still important to play in a post-season bowl? The extra practice sessions allowed bowl teams are valuable to team improvement. Making a trip to Montgomery, Shreveport and Detriot may not afford much excitement for players or fans, but to a coaching staff, more practices are a valued benefit.

Bowl teams, to lesser and greater degrees, get some boost in attracting new players. For coaches, bowl game bonuses and bowl win bonuses are compensation enhancements.

Plus, even in the Playoff era, there are some top locations and top bowls that provide a fun trip and a chance to boost a team’s resume with a win.

A complete 2022-23 Bowl schedule is available here.

Next. Alabama Defense Mid-season MVPs. dark

Current bowl predictions by Jerry Palm have Texas A&M playing in the Birmingham Bowl and Auburn missing this bowl season.