There is lots and lots of speculation on UK's bowl possibilities, so we might as well speculate a bit as well.
The way I see it, the three bowls that are most likely to chose UK are, in no particular order:
- The Music City Bowl (Nashville, TN)
- The Liberty Bowl (Memphis, TN)
- The Independence Bowl (Shreveport, LA)
The Music City Bowl would pit us against an ACC team, probably Wake Forest since they are the 5th best team in that league. The Liberty Bowl would place us against the Conference USA winner, Tulsa. The independence Bowl would match us up with either Colorado or Oklahoma State from the Big 12.
Now for a little analysis. Quick-glance wisdom would suggest that Nashville is the Cats' most likely destination. We played there last year and swamped the place with a sea of blue (pun intended). The SEC and the ACC are always a great match up, and given the success of last year's MCB, you would think that would be a no brainer.
But bowls don't like to have the same teams back time after time, and that may be a factor here. Another factor is the order in which teams are picked -- my understanding is that the Liberty bowl picks first, followed by the MCB and then Independence. Geographically, it makes more sense for the Wildcats to wind up in either Memphis or Nashville -- Shreveport is far enough away that it will seriously attenuate the UK presence. Also, if Colorado is the other team, that will make it an attendance concern for the organizers.
Memphis would probably prefer either Mississippi State or Kentucky to Alabama or South Carolina. Alabama fans are almost equidistant from all three spots, so where they go matters little. USC is likely to put few fans in the stands anywhere except Nashville, and that is still pretty far away from Columbia. I think that is why they are likely to wind up the odd team out. An Independence Bowl chairman had some comments over the last day or so that have been published in several places, including the Mobile Press-Register, indicating their preference for Alabama. Of course, that isn't the only consideration, because other bowls which could choose Alabama pick before the IB.
So where does all this leave us? Well, my best guess is that we'll wind up where you would think -- in Nashville. MSU will probably get picked for the Liberty Bowl and Alabama for the Independence. MSU could also wind up in the Independence, because there is not a huge difference geographically to their fans. The other possibility is to swap the Liberty and MSB for UK, with MSU going to the other.
Bottom line -- I think the Wildcats will make an encore appearance in the Music City Bowl this year.
What do you think?
Another thing just occurred to me while reading the news -- Did Arkansas just screw itself by
firing forcing out Houston Nutt? Suddenly, all these recruits Nutt picked up are reconsidering, including Winston Guy, who just committed to the Kentucky Wildcats. Nutt is going to get a nice 3.5 M USD settlement from Arkansas and drive on over to Ole Miss to take over the Rebs from the fired Ed Orgeron.
I think Nutt is sitting pretty, and the Hogs are getting teabagged. It makes me wonder how many times one school can embarrass itself -- the whole Heath/Altman/Gillispie debacle and now this.
Maybe Frank Broyles' retirement is a good thing for all concerned.