Gator Bowl and Chick-fil-A still in play for Georgia

semerson@macon.comDecember 6, 2013 

After game celebration of Georgia's 2nd overtime win, Georgia 41 Georgia Tech 34.

J. DAVID DICRISTINA — FOR THE TELEGRAPH

ATHENS - The Gator Bowl is still a very real possibility for Georgia, but the Chick-fil-A is also very much in play.

That's how things stand for Georgia as the weekend arrives, with its bowl outcome hinging on Saturday's championship games.

Rick Catlett, president of the Gator Bowl, said late Friday his personal opinion right now was a Georgia-Michigan matchup in Jacksonville. But he added that after the SEC championship a lot of movement could occur.

"We're excited about an opportunity to have Georgia. We're excited about an opportunity to have Texas A&M or LSU," Catlett said. "Everybody likes to speculate, but we have to wait till it's all over before we know."

Earlier this week, Georgia head coach Mark Richt said his team's bowl destination "looks like it will be the Chick-fil-A or Gator." And athletics director Greg McGarity also mentioned Atlanta and Jacksonville as the two most likely destinations.

For Georgia's purposes, the key seems to be whether LSU is available when the Chick-fil-A is picking. LSU was in the Chick-fil-A last year, so there isn't much clamor on either side to make it two years in a row. In that case, the Chick-fil-A seems more likely to pick Georgia, unless it pulls a fast one and goes for Vanderbilt. (If that happens, the SEC office would seem to have pushed for it.)

Alabama and the winner of the SEC championship are ticketed for the BCS. The Capital One and then the Cotton are the next two bowls to pick SEC teams, followed by the Outback. The loser of the SEC championship and South Carolina seem ticketed for two of those bowls, and then the question is whether Texas A&M or LSU is the team that slips to the Chick-fil-A Bowl.

The only scenario where Georgia falls past the Gator, all the way to the Music City, is if the Chick-fil-A picks Vanderbilt, and the Gator picks LSU over Georgia.

But SEC spokesman Herb Vincent said in a statement to The Tennessean that the conference office would not be intervening this year.

"It would be speculative to comment on bowl probabilities at this point because a lot can transpire between now and Sunday. For one, the number of teams from the SEC that will play in the BCS has an effect on the remaining bowl selections as does, of course, the outcome of the SEC Championship Game. The SEC's role is to facilitate the process between the bowls and the schools because ultimately the bowl makes its selection. As you know, the process changes next year."

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