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Monday, December 1, 2008

No Decision on Cap One Yet

Georgia looked to be a near lock for the Capital One Bowl last week, but the Bulldogs' upset loss at the hands of Georgia Tech combined with Mississippi's blowout win in the Egg Bowl has muddied the waters a bit.

While Georgia still could be headed to Orlando, Fla. for New Year's, Capital One Bowl representative Billy Crozier said the case for Ole Miss was made during a meeting Monday morning.

"The scout for the Ole Miss/Miss. State game made a strong argument for why Ole Miss should be considered, especially since they finished the season so strong," Crozier said in an email Monday. "She also said that she saw a lot of cotton coming down from the upper deck. So clearly a lot of fans think/thought that the Cotton Bowl is/was in their future. I'm guessing there will also be some consideration given that Ole Miss has never participated in our game."

Georgia head coach Mark Richt made his team's case to Capital One Bowl representatives and the media after the game Saturday, mentioning the high number of presold tickets Georgia fans have already purchased.

In addition, Georgia checks in at No. 16 in the latest BCS rankings, while Ole Miss was not ranked. The Capital One generally selects the top-ranked SEC team not represented in a BCS game.

"I'm not sure that we have ever had an unranked team represent the SEC in the Capital One Bowl," Crozier said. "Note that Ole Miss is ranked in most other polls but I haven't seen a poll where they are ranked above UGA. Certainly, there will be a lively discussion among our selection committee as to who we will pick.

The Capital One Bowl could announce its selection early, as it did two years ago with Wisconsin. The bowl also released Wisconsin from consideration early last season. Crozier, however, said there was no mention of an early selection during Monday's meeting.

Should the Capital One Bowl select Ole Miss over Georgia, the Bulldogs would likely fall to the Outback Bowl or Cotton Bowl. The Outback Bowl has the first selection of SEC East teams after the Capital One makes its selection, while the Cotton Bowl has first pick of SEC West teams.

While the bowl committee may not make an early decision, Richt is already focusing on the bowl game, and he's asking his team to do the same.

"We're going to get an opportunity to play on national television one more time, let the country see us play," Richt said. "We want to make a good showing, have a strong finish and help our seniors have their last ballgame be a victory."

ADDENDUM: Richt discussed the fact that the school had pre-sold "tons" of tickets. Regarding the specifics of "tons," Claude Felton of UGA's sports information dept. sent this along...

"We are allotted 12,000 tickets for the game and we have accounted for around 10,400 at this point. The priority deadline is in force through Dec. 5. After that date, remaining tickets will be open to the public for purchase."

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