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Kentucky Wildcats Football: A Look at Potential Bowl Destinations

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A look at Kentucky’s bowl chances, from the New Year’s Six to the Independence Bowl.

NCAA Football: Tennessee at Kentucky Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

Kentucky football is bowl eligible. Now that they’ve gotten that far, it’s time to start looking at where they’ll go for a bowl game before they host the Ole Miss Rebels.

The SEC gets potential bids in a lot of different bowls: the Citrus Bowl, the Outback Bowl, the Orange Bowl, the Liberty Bowl, the TaxSlayer Bowl, the Music City Bowl, the Belk Bowl, the Texas Bowl, the Independence Bowl and the Birmingham Bowl.

They’ll also (probably) get a team or two to the College Football Playoff, but that’s not exactly in the picture for UK.

We’ll take a look at the likelihood of them making each of those other bowls as of right now.

The Fiesta Bowl, the Peach Bowl, the Orange Bowl and the Cotton Bowl are all New Year’s Six bowls, and it’d take a lot for Kentucky to get into any of them. Really the only way they could pull it off is winning out, beating Georgia and making the SEC Championship. If the Cats somehow won the SEC, they’d be guaranteed a spot in one of those bowls. It’s a long-shot, but it’s still possible for UK.

The Citrus Bowl is the next best thing. This is where the SEC sends the best team in the conference that’s not in a New Year’s Six. Making this bowl would probably be the best realistic case for Kentucky, as they’d only be afforded one more loss if they wanted to be considered to play in the Citrus Bowl. Georgia isn’t a likely win for the Cats, but the rest of their games are certainly winnable, making this a legitimate possibility.

The Liberty Bowl is about the same level of where Kentucky ended up last year (the TaxSlayer Bowl). If Kentucky got one or two more wins this year, they’d end up in a bowl of this level. They could also be considered for the Music City Bowl, the Belk Bowl, the Texas Bowl and the TaxSlayer Bowl. There were representatives of the TaxSlayer Bowl at Kentucky’s win over Tennessee, according to Ben Roberts of the Lexington Herald Leader.

Despite that, Kentucky returning to the TaxSlayer Bowl isn’t all that likely, as there’d likely be a switch-up to avoid putting them in the same bowl two years in a row.

And then there’s the worst case scenario bowls. The Independence Bowl and the Birmingham Bowls are generally for teams with six or seven wins, although the Independence Bowl usually gets the last of the SEC’s bowl eligible teams.

Eight games in, it’s looking like Kentucky will be in a better spot then last season when they played in the TaxSlayer Bowl. But shooting for the moon and a New Year’s Six is a stretch. I’d say Kentucky’s best landing spot would be the Citrus Bowl, followed by another seven-to-eight win bowl that isn’t the TaxSlayer Bowl.

But at the end of the day, anything but Shreveport, Louisiana and the Independence Bowl would be nice.