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

Bowl Selection Process

33 days ago
SEC Staff
Photo: SEC

The Southeastern Conference has six-year agreements with nine football post-season bowls, which includes the addition of the SRS Distribution Las Vegas Bowl and the Union Home Mortgage Gasparilla Bowl in Tampa, that began with the 2020 postseason.

The nine bowls are in addition to bowl games in the College Football Playoff system for which SEC teams are eligible to qualify. Also, the SEC participates in the Allstate Sugar Bowl in years it is not a CFP semifinal game and the Capital One Orange Bowl in selected years.

The SEC has extended its current agreements through 2025 with the Citrus Bowl in Orlando, the ReliaQuest Bowl in Tampa, the TaxSlayer Gator Bowl in Jacksonville, the Transperfect Music City Bowl in Nashville, the TaxAct Texas Bowl in Houston, the AutoZone Liberty Bowl in Memphis and the TicketSmarter Birmingham Bowl.

In addition, the SEC will continue its relationship with the Duke's Mayo Bowl in Charlotte, participating in that bowl game in 2021, 2023 and 2025. For the remaining three years of the sixyear cycle, SEC teams will participate in the SRS Distribution Las Vegas Bowl against a Pac-12 opponent in 2022 and 2024. The SEC has also added a new bowl partnership with the Union Home Mortgage Gasparilla Bowl in Tampa through 2025.

The SEC will maintain its current bowl selection process in which the Citrus Bowl has the first selection of available SEC teams after any conference schools have qualified for the College Football Playoff, the Allstate Sugar Bowl or the Capital One Orange Bowl, after which the SEC assigns teams to a Pool of Six bowls.

The SEC Pool of Six consists of the ReliaQuest Bowl, TaxSlayer Gator Bowl, Transperfect Music City Bowl, TaxAct Texas Bowl and Autozone Liberty Bowl, as well as the SRS Distribution Las Vegas Bowl in 2022 and 2024, and the Duke's Mayo Bowl in 2021, 2023 and 2025. In consultation with SEC member institutions, as well as these six bowls, the conference will make assignments for the bowl games in the pool system. ESPN Events selects teams to participate in the TicketSmarter Birmingham and Union Home Mortgage Gasparilla Bowls after the Pool of Six have been assigned.

2022 SEC Bowl Selection Process

College Football Playoff Bowls:

  • Fiesta Bowl (Semifinal)
  • Peach Bowl (Semifinal)
  • Sugar Bowl
  • Rose Bowl
  • Orange Bowl 
  • Cotton 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:

  • Fiesta (Semifinal in 2022)
  • Peach (Semifinal in 2022)
  • Cotton
Bowl Contract Teams Date Time (ET) Network
Fiesta Bowl Semifinal Game Dec. 31, 2022 4 or 8 p.m. ESPN
Peach Bowl Semifinal Game Dec. 31, 2022 4 or 8 p.m. ESPN
Cotton Bowl Filled by CFP Selection Committee Jan. 2, 2023 1 p.m.  ESPN
Orange Bowl ACC vs. SEC/B10/ND Dec. 30, 2022 7:30 p.m. or 8 p.m. ESPN
Rose Bowl Big Ten vs Pac-12 Jan. 2, 2023 5 p.m. ESPN
Sugar Bowl SEC vs Big 12  Dec. 31, 2022 Noon ET ESPN
CFP National Championship  (Inglewood, Calif.) Winners of Semifinal Games Jan. 9, 2023 7:30 p.m. ET ESPN

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  Jan. 2, 2023, 1 p.m. ABC

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

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.

The pool of six bowls for 2022-23 are as follows:

Bowl Date, Time (ET) Network
Tax Act Texas Bowl (Houston, TX) vs. Big 12 Dec. 28, 9 p.m. ESPN
SRS Distributors Las Vegas Bowl (Las Vegas, NV) vs. Pac-12  Dec. 17, 7:30 p.m. ABC
Transperfect Music City Bowl (Nashville, TN) vs. Big Ten Dec. 31, Noon ABC
TaxSlayer Gator Bowl (Jacksonville, FL) vs. ACC Dec. 30, 3:30 p.m. ESPN
AutoZone Liberty Bowl (Memphis, TN) vs. Big 12  Dec. 28, 5:30 p.m. ESPN
ReliaQuest Bowl (Tampa,FL) vs. Big 10/ACC Jan. 2, Noon ESPN2

BOWLS AFTER THE POOL OF SIX:

Bowl Date, Time (ET) Network
TicketSmarter Birmingham Bowl (Birmingham, AL) vs. American  December 27, TBD ESPN
Union Home Mortgage Gasparilla Bowl (Tampa, FL) vs. American  December 23, 6:30 p.m. ESPN

ESPN Events selects teams to participate in the Birmingham and Gasparilla Bowls after the Citrus Bowl and Pool of Six.

FAQs:

1) Which SEC Team qualifies for the CFP?

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 four-team playoff. If the SEC Champion is selected to participate in the four-team playoff it will play in the Peach Bowl or Fiesta Bowl. The next highest-ranked SEC team not in the four-team playoff goes to the Sugar 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 in 2022) 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 2022-23?

The CFP Selection Committee ranks the top 25 teams and selects the four teams to participate in the semifinal games (Fiesta and Peach). Then, after the contract bowls (Sugar, Rose and Orange) 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.