Another set of bowl projections. Another call for Alabama to appear in the College Football Playoff for a fourth consecutive season.
On Thursday, CBS Sports’ Jerry Palm released his preseason bowl projections for the entire FBS. The process is inexact at this point in the process. After all, the first games have not kicked off yet.
Yet, all we have to tide us over until real games is the analysis of experts such as Palm, who has selected 10 SEC teams as bowl bound for the 2017 season.
SEC fans may scoff at that number after sending 12 teams to bowl games after the 2016 season, but keep in mind that only 13 are eligible to compete this year because of a bowl ban for the Ole Miss program.
In what is likely no surprise to anyone who has been paying attention to preseason projections, Alabama is Palm’s No. 1 team in the projections. Alabama draws a rematch of the season-opener in Atlanta on Sept. 2, at the Sugar Bowl in the College Football Playoff semifinals.
From there, Palm projects a New Year’s Six appearances for Florida (Peach Bowl) and LSU (Cotton Bowl). Georgia, which was the media’s overwhelming favorite to win the SEC East at SEC Media Days last month, is projected to play against Michigan in the Outback Bowl.
Here’s a complete look at his SEC bowl projections:
2017 Bowl Projections: CBS Sports’ Jerry Palm
- Sugar Bowl (College Football Playoff): Alabama vs. Florida State
- Peach Bowl (New Year’s Six): Florida vs. South Florida
- Cotton Bowl (New Year’s Six): LSU vs. Oklahoma State
- Outback Bowl: Georgia vs. Michigan
- Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl: Auburn vs. Miami
- TaxSlayer Bowl: Tennessee vs. Virginia Tech
- Liberty Bowl: Arkansas vs. Kansas State
- Belk Bowl: Mississippi State vs. Georgia Tech
- Music City Bowl: Kentucky vs. Northwestern
- Texas Bowl: Texas A&M vs. TCU
Staying home in CBS projections: Vanderbilt, Missouri, South Carolina and Ole Miss (not bowl eligible).
Palm projects the SEC will not send a team to the Independence Bowl, instead sending BYU to play ACC opponent Syracuse.
Would this draw be considered a successful season for the SEC? It likely would depend on the performance of the three teams Palm has slotted in the spotlight of the New Year’s Six.