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.