Five Possible Kentucky Wildcats Bowl Destinations

Possible Kentucky Wildcats Bowl Destinations
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Mark Stoopsclub is going bowling for the first time since 2010.  After their huge win over Louisville, the bowl fortunes for the Cats has really improved. Let’s take a look at the five possible Kentucky Wildcats bowl destinations.

The Southeastern Conference has tie-ins to 12 different bowl games but only has 11 bowl eligible teams. Mississippi State won’t be a part of the SEC games but could make a bowl because of the APR score even with a 5-7 record. Here is a quick reference to how this process works.

The thought has been with a 7-5 record Mark Stoops’ club will fall somewhere towards the tail end of the SEC pool of six games. However in the last couple of days one game is looking more and more likely.

The Leader In The Clubhouse

TaxSlayer Bowl- (Dec. 31 11:00 am ESPN)- The game formally known as the Gator Bowl would pit the Wildcats against an ACC squad. Georgia Tech or Miami are the most likely opponents for this one.

The Yellow Jackets and their triple option running game would present a tough test of the Kentucky defense.

On the other hand a chance to play of college football’s storied programs would certainly be intriguing for Cats fans.

A big thing helping Kentucky is a rule of the TaxSlayer Bowl not wanting to take the same team within three years.

Georgia and Tennessee are also being looked at for this game but each team has played there in the last two years.

There was no talk of Kentucky playing in Jacksonville until a couple of days ago when hints started dropping on social media.

If Alabama beats Florida on Saturday as expected, the head of the TaxSlayer Bowl all but confirmed Kentucky would be the team.

When Austin MacGinnins’ kick sent the Cats to a 41-38 win over Louisville on Saturday it did two things for the program.

It gave Mark Stoops a $250,000 bonus for winning seven games.

It sent the Cats from the Birmingham or Independence Bowls to the best game since the 1998 Outback Bowl.

Plan B

Suppose Florida shocks the world and beats Alabama where does that leave the Wildcats. It would most likely knock the Cats down a few spots in the bowl picks. Under this scenario Kentucky would probably play in one of two games.

Belk Bowl- (December 29th- 5:30 ESPN)– The game in Charlotte would match the Cats up against a team from the ACC, most likely North Carolina.

Bluebloods of college basketball the Cats and Tar Heels have met ten times in football, the last time in 1990. The schools have each won five times including a 21-0 Kentucky win in the 1976 Peach Bowl.

The schools meet on the basketball court on December 17th in Las Vegas. A chance to beat Carolina twice in a couple of weeks would be too good for Cat fans to resist.

There is definitely interest in having the Cats in Charlotte and would be the clear number two choice for Kentucky.

Music City Bowl- (December 30th- 3:30 ESPN)- For True Blue Fans fans this is the most ideal location. Nashville is only a three hour drive from Lexington and Kentucky fans would head drive down I-65 in droves.

The Wildcats played in Nashville in 2006, 2007 and 2009 winning two of the three games. They would be pitted against a team from the Big Ten most likely Indiana.

Representatives of the Music City Bowl want to invite Iowa but it is doubtful the Hawkeyes will be available.

Originally the bowl didn’t seem that interested in the Cats but possible game against the Hoosiers would be great from a fan standpoint.

Kentucky and Indiana played every year in football between 1987 and 2005. The Hoosiers lead the overall series 18-17 with one tie.

Since they can’t agree on a basketball series why not have the two schools play in football.

Two Other Choices

It is doubtful Kentucky will fall past the Music City Bowl but two other games could be in play.

The Liberty Bowl in Memphis and the Independence Bowl in Shreveport could be possibilities.

Kentucky beat East Carolina in the 2009 Liberty Bowl and Memphis is about a seven hour drive from Lexington.

Oxford, Mississippi is only an hour away from Memphis so Cat fans could get a two for one deal out of the trip.

Shreveport is about an 11 hour drive from Lexington and is definitely the least desirable of the possible locations.

The Big Blue Nation won’t know for sure where the Cats will play until Sunday evening but after six years it will be worth the wait.

 

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