published Sunday, December 4th, 2011

Bulldogs likely headed to Outback Bowl

ATLANTA -- Georgia will learn its postseason fate today, with its most likely destination being the Outback Bowl in Tampa on Jan. 2.

The Bulldogs, who lost Saturday's Southeastern Conference championship game to LSU 42-10, fell to 10-3 and are expected to be behind Arkansas (10-2) and South Carolina (10-2) in the league's postseason pecking order. Georgia has made four trips to the Outback Bowl but none since a 24-21 win over Wisconsin after the 2004 season, which was the final game for quarterback David Greene and defensive end David Pollack.

"This is a special story this year with Georgia," Outback Bowl president Jim McVay said Saturday. "They won 10 games in a row. They got to the championship game. Their quarterback [Aaron Murray] is from Tampa, and their tight end [Orson Charles] is from Tampa."

Georgia can wind up at the Outback Bowl one of two ways.

Should the Capital One Bowl, which has the first selection of SEC teams not in BCS bowls, choose No. 6 Arkansas, the Outback would pick between No. 12 Georgia and No. 14 South Carolina. The Gamecocks are bidding for their first 11-win season in program history and requested extra tickets twice in three previous trips.

"Our experience with South Carolina and the Gamecocks has been very positive," McVay said. "Those guys are on a roll. They beat Clemson, and they swept the SEC East."

The Bulldogs also could land at the Outback if Arkansas has a preference for the Cotton Bowl and the Capital One grants the Razorbacks their wish. In that case, the Capital One could invite South Carolina for the first time ever, which would then give the Cotton the right to choose Arkansas.

Cotton Bowl vice president for communications Charlie Fiss said the Jan. 6 matchup in Cowboys Stadium will be configured to seat around 80,000, and he said general public tickets sold out in July. The only tickets remaining are the 12,500 that will be allotted to each team.

Georgia has not played in the Cotton Bowl since upsetting undefeated Texas 10-9 after the 1983 season.

The Bulldogs may have hung around long enough Saturday to earn consideration for the Capital One Bowl, but that is a long shot. The only certainly with Arkansas, Georgia and South Carolina and the Capital One, Outback and Cotton bowls is that the Razorbacks will not be going to Tampa.

"How can you go wrong with Georgia or South Carolina?" McVay said. "Those are two teams that both won 10 games. Both are highly ranked. It's not going to be a fun decision."

about David Paschall...

David Paschall is a sports writer for the Times Free Press. He started at the Chattanooga Free Press in 1990 and was part of the Times Free Press when the paper started in 1999. David covers University of Georgia football, as well as SEC football recruiting, SEC basketball, Chattanooga Lookouts baseball and other sports stories. He is a Chattanooga native and graduate of the Baylor School and Auburn University. David has received numerous honors for ...

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