There seems to be a lot of talk today about the Wildcats being picked by the Music City Bowl, which would be our third visit to Nashville in four years.
Driving this speculation is the rather strange choice of Auburn for the Outback Bowl. John Clay has more on that development:
Then Tuesday morning, the Outback pulled a fast one. Fearing the effects of the sagging economy, the New Year's Day bowl picked Auburn, if partially because it is a scant 483-mile drive from the Plains to Tampa, compared with 696 miles from Knoxville or 860 miles from Lexington. Or even 504 miles from Georgia.
Never mind that Georgia beat Auburn this season. Or that Kentucky beat Auburn this season. (At Auburn.) Or that the Tigers lost five of their final seven games and finished 3-5 in the SEC. Gene Chizik's team will still collect a $3 million payout check for playing Wisconsin come Jan. 1.
That surprise reshuffled the deck for the remaining bowls and presented the very real possibility Kentucky could be bounced all the way down to the Independence Bowl, Dec. 28 in Shreveport, La.
Sometimes the bowl selection process makes no sense -- often, in fact. Obviously, the economics are a big deal, and the logic that Auburn is energized over this season is, in a way, damnation by faint praise. 7-5 is not the kind of season Auburn fans are used to, but they do have a new head coach, which could drag more fans down to Tampa than the oh-so-well-traveled Kentucky fans. Maybe.
Anyway, it seems that the Chicken Bowl decided to bring the Vols, so now it's really between Georgia and us for the Music City, and the loser gets the Independence Bowl in Shreveport. According to Clay, it looks like it will be the MCB again for Kentucky, and according to others, the Pizza Bowl for South Carolina.
Strangely, this article from ESPN has the Wildcats-as-MCB contestant as a fait accompli:
1. Kentucky coach Rich Brooks spent Tuesday recruiting in Ohio, which is not the action of a guy who’s ready to turn the team over to coach-in-waiting hang up his whistle. But asked if that meant he had decided to come back in 2010, Brooks said, "No guarantees." He said he will sit down with the athletic administration in a couple of weeks to go over some things. But he doesn’t expect to make a decision until after the Music City Bowl.
So there we are. It looks like the Music City for UK, but we are awaiting confirmation.