The Official Website of the Southeastern Conference
The Official Website of the Southeastern Conference

Bowl Selection Process

26 days ago
SEC Staff

The Southeastern Conference has agreements with nine postseason bowls, not including College Football Playoff/New Year's Six games, and a process for the assignment of SEC member schools to bowl games that began with the 2014 season and extending for six years through the 2019 season. 

The current SEC bowl process coincided with the beginning of the College Football Playoff that followed the 2014 college football season . The SEC also participates in the Allstate Sugar Bowl and the Capital One Orange Bowl (in selected years) . Under the current SEC bowl system, the Citrus Bowl in Orlando (vs . Big Ten), a longtime SEC bowl, will have the first selection of available SEC teams after any conference schools have qualified for the College Football Playoff, New Year's Six, or the Allstate Sugar Bowl.

Following the Citrus Bowl, there will be a pool of six bowls comprised of the Outback Bowl in Tampa (vs . Big Ten), Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl in Nashville (vs . ACC/ Big Ten), TaxSlayer Gator Bowl in Jacksonville (vs . ACC/Big Ten), AutoZone Liberty Bowl in Memphis (vs . Big 12), Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl in Houston (vs . Big 12) and Belk Bowl in Charlotte (vs . ACC) . In consultation with SEC member institutions, as well as these six bowls, the conference will make the assignments for the bowl games in the pool system.

The SEC also has a relationship with both the Birmingham Bowl (vs . American) and the Walk-On's Independence Bowl in Shreveport (vs . ACC). The Birmingham Bowl will have the first selection of available teams following the pool of six bowls . The Independence Bowl will have the next selection of available teams following the Birmingham Bowl.

2019-20 SEC Bowl Selection Process

College Football Playoff Bowls:

  • Fiesta Bowl (Semifinal)
  • Peach Bowl (Semifinal)
  • Cotton Bowl
  • Orange Bowl
  • Sugar Bowl 
  • Rose Bowl 
  • CFP National Championship

Contract Bowls:

  • Sugar (SEC vs. Big 12 when Sugar is not a semifinal game)
  • Rose (Pac 12 vs. Big Ten when Rose is not a semifinal game)
  • Orange (ACC vs. highest ranked SEC/Big Ten non-champion or Notre Dame when Orange is not a semifinal game)

Access Bowls:

  • Cotton 
  • Fiesta (Semifinal in 2019)
  • Peach (Semifinal in 2019)
Bowl Contract Teams Date Time (ET)
Peach Bowl Semifinal Game Dec. 28, 2019 4 or 8 p.m.
Fiesta Bowl Semifinal Game Dec. 28, 2019 4 or 8 p.m.
Orange Bowl ACC vs SEC/Big Ten/ND Dec. 30, 2019 8 p.m. 
Cotton Bowl Filled by CFP Selection Committee Dec. 28, 2019 Noon
Rose Bowl Big Ten vs Pac-12 Jan. 1, 2020 5 p.m.
Sugar Bowl SEC vs Big 12  Jan. 1, 2020 8:45 p.m.
CFP National Championship Winners of Semifinal Games Jan. 13, 2020 8 p.m.

SEC BOWLS: After the CFP selection process the Citrus Bowl gets the first selection of available SEC Teams.

Bowl Date, Time (ET) Network
Citrus Bowl (Orlando, FL) vs. Big Ten (or ACC) Jan. 1, 2020, 1 p.m. ABC

POOL OF SIX BOWLS: After the Citrus Bowl selects a team, there will be a pool of six bowls and the Conference, in consultation with the institutions and the bowls, will make the assignments for these six bowl games from all eligible SEC teams.

Bowl Date, Time (ET) Network
Outback Bowl (Tampa, FL) vs. Big Ten Jan. 1, 1 p.m. ESPN
TaxSlayer Bowl (Jacksonville, FL) vs. Big Ten/ACC Jan. 2, 7 p.m. ESPN
Music City Bowl (Nashville, TN) vs. ACC/Big Ten Dec. 30, 4 p.m. ESPN
Texas Bowl (Houston, TX) vs. Big 12 Dec. 27, 6:45 p.m. ESPN
Belk Bowl (Charlotte, NC) vs. ACC Dec. 31, Noon ESPN
Liberty Bowl (Memphis, TN) vs. Big 12 Dec. 31, 3:45 p.m. ESPN

BOWLS AFTER THE POOL OF SIX:

Bowl Date, Time (ET) Network
Birmingham Bowl* (Birmingham, AL) vs. American January 2, 3 p.m. ESPN
Walk-On's Independence Bowl** (Shreveport, LA) vs. ACC December 26, 4 p.m. ESPN

*The Birmingham Bowl selects after the CFP, Citrus Bowl and the Pool of Six Bowls (Outback Bowl, TaxSlayer Bowl, Music City Bowl, Texas Bowl, Belk Bowl and Liberty Bowl).

**The Independence Bowl selects after the CFP, Citrus Bowl, the Pool of Six (Outback Bowl, TaxSlayer Bowl, Music City Bowl, Texas Bowl, Belk Bowl and Liberty Bowl) and the Birmingham Bowl.

FAQs:
1) Which SEC Team qualifies for the College Football Playoff?
The winner of the SEC Championship Game automatically qualifies for a spot in the Sugar Bowl if that team is not selected to participate in the fourteam playoff . If the SEC Champion is selected to participate in the four-team playoff it will play in the Peach Bowl or Fiesta Bowl.

2) How can additional SEC teams be selected for the CFP?
Additional SEC teams may be selected for the CFP Semifinals (Peach or Fiesta) or one of the CFP access bowls (Cotton) based on its ranking in the final CFP Selection Committee rankings . There is no limit on the number of teams from any one conference that can be selected to participate in the CFP bowls.

3) How can a SEC Team be selected to participate in the Orange Bowl?
When the Orange Bowl is not a semifinal game and a SEC team is the highest ranked team by the CFP Selection Committee among the non-champions of the SEC and Big Ten and ranked higher than Notre Dame after the CFP semifinal games have been filled, then that team will participate in the Orange Bowl . There are eight years in which the Orange Bowl is not a semifinal game and the SEC is guaranteed three of the eight years, the Big Ten is guaranteed three of the eight years and the remaining two years can be filled by Notre Dame, the SEC or the Big Ten based on CFP Selection Committee rankings . The SEC Champion can never participate in the Orange Bowl unless it is a semifinal game.

4) How does the CFP selection process work in 2018-19?
The CFP Selection Committee ranks the top 25 teams and selects the four teams to participate in the semifinal games (Peach and Fiesta) . Then, after the contract bowls (Sugar, Orange and Rose) are filled based on conference agreements, the Committee will assign teams to fill the remaining access bowls (Cotton) . Each conference champion from the contract bowls (ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, SEC & Pac 12) has a guaranteed spot in its contracted bowl or in an access bowl (Cotton) if the contracted bowl is a semifinal game and the conference champion is not selected to participate in a semifinal game . The highest ranked champion from the Mountain West, American, Conference USA, Sun Belt or MAC is guaranteed a spot in a CFP bowl and the remaining spots are filled based on the rankings of teams after the contract bowls have been filled.

5) Where is the CFP National Championship Game played? The CFP National Championship Game will be played in locations selected by the CFP. The 2020 CFP National Championship Game will be played in New Orleans, LA on January 13.