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2016 SEC bowl game projections and where Missouri might end up

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Mizzou will need to navigate through a difficult conference schedule, plus an early test in Morgantown, to go bowling.

Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images

Another season of the College Football Playoff awaits, and the SEC has multiple contenders that can make a playoff bid. Below are my predictions for the CFP slots and where each SEC team will land.

College Football Playoff

National Championship Alabama Clemson January 9 Tampa, FL Fiesta Bowl Winner vs Peach Bowl Winner
Fiesta Bowl Clemson Michigan December 31 Glendale, AZ Playoff ranking in the top 4
Peach Bowl Alabama Oklahoma December 31 Atlanta, GA Playoff ranking in the top 4

I seem to be going against the grain as many are predicting LSU to be the in the top 4 by the end of the season. I just have a hard time betting against Saban, so I'm going with Bama taking the West and winning the SEC championship. With how top-heavy the Big Ten and Big 12 are, I can't see LSU bumping out those two conference winners. Also Clemson should run the table in the ACC giving them a spot in the playoffs.

SEC bowl predictions if Mizzou doesn't reach bowl eligibility

Sugar Bowl LSU Texas January 2 New Orleans, LA SEC vs Big 12
Orange Bowl Tennessee Florida State December 31 Miami, FL SEC vs ACC
Citrus Bowl Florida Notre Dame December 31 Orlando, FL SEC vs ND
Outback Bowl Ole Miss Wisconsin January 2 Tampa, FL SEC vs Big Ten
Belk Bowl Texas A&M North Carolina December 29 Charlotte, NC SEC vs ACC
Music City Arkansas Nebraska December 30 Nashville, TN SEC vs Big Ten
Liberty Bowl Auburn TCU December 30 Memphis, TN SEC vs Big 12
Tax Slayer Bowl Georgia Louisville December 31 Jacksonville, FL SEC vs ACC
Texas Bowl Miss. St Texas Tech December 28 Houston, TX SEC vs Big 12
Birmingham Bowl Kentucky Cincinnati December 29 Birmingham, AL SEC AAC

Last season, only 77 teams were eligible for 80 bowl slots. The remaining three slots were filled by 5-7 teams, and Mizzou waived its bid after the tumultuous 2015 season. Many are predicting Mizzou to be on the outside looking in for a bowl bid, but lets take a look at some hypothetical situations if Mizzou does have a record 5-7 or better.

5-7 or 6-6 record: Birmingham Bowl or Texas Bowl

7-5 or 8-4 record: Belk Bowl, Music City or Liberty Bowl

9-3 or 10-2 record: Outback Bowl or Citrus Bowl

11-1 or 12-0 record: Orange Bowl, Sugar Bowl (by losing the SEC championship) or Peach Bowl (by winning the SEC championship)

Between playing LSU, Arkansas and the rest of the East, Mizzou might need to win its non-conference games in order to reach a bowl game. Out of the four non-conference games, West Virginia will be by far the biggest test.