There are very few things more disheartening among SEC than the prospects of spending the bowl season at the Independence Bowl in Shreveport, Louisiana . But a mediocre season and somewhere around an 11th place finish in the toughest conferences in the land will get you some nice parting gifts and an all expenses paid trip to the Port City. Teams and fans alike are sure to enjoy the oppressive heat, street violence, and…hey look, casinos! But this year, it means even more as the Indy Bowl is getting the band back together, bringing it’s SEC brethren back into that warm, possibly venereal disease-infested embrace that is the Red River twin cities. And to commemorate this second chance at love, every week FOTP will be taking a look at which SEC teams have the best chance of going bowling in
East Texas the third most glamorous city in the Bayou State.
1. Ole Miss (3-2). I really can’t even believe I just typed that, but here we are. The Rebels are 3-2 with the onslaught of a full SEC schedule ahead of them. They need to find three winnable games somewhere, with the most likely of candidates being Auburn and Vandy at home, and Arkansas in Little Rock. Should they cough up one of those, the only chance for an all expenses paid trip to the Bridge of Activities (credit: SnyGuy) may lie in an upset over Mississippi State in the Egg Bowl in Oxford. I do promise, however, that should this improbably go down, that there will be an epic FOTP tailgate that will likely lead to several arrests/pregnancies, or both.
2. Auburn (1-3). Bemoan the possibilities if you must, Barners, but there is nowhere else, other than maybe the Plains, where a populace will truly appreciate and respect your head coach’s affinity for leather goods. Auburn has Ole Miss, Vandy, Arkansas, New Mexico State, and Alabama A&M left on the schedule as winnable games. Run the table and all the spoils of the Wilsons on the Bossier City Boardwalk can be yours, Gene.
3. Mizzou (3-2). Nothing hazes a the new guy better than an undesired trip to Northwest Louisiana. Wins over Vandy, Kentucky, and Syracuse get the Tigers to the magic number. One positive to this, at least for Gary Pinkel, is the abundance of drive thru daiquiri stores.
4. Tennessee (3-2). The next three weekends are rather suicidal for the Vols (@ Miss State, Bama, @ South Carolina), but after that, the road to Shreveport is paved with gold (which will come in handy at those cash for gold places on the West side of town) with Troy, Mizzou, Vandy, and Kentucky to finish the season. Derek Dooley’s time at Tennessee began in Shreveport (where his Louisiana Tech team won the Independence Bowl and he was subsequently hired in Knoxville), so it might as well end there too.
5. Texas A&M. They were involved in possibly the most memorable Independence Bowl in history, so the Port City isn’t exactly an unfamiliar land for the Ags. To avoid this as a destination, the Aggies are going to have to make some hay on the road against Ole Miss, Mississippi State, and Auburn and at least get a split at home with LSU, Bama, Sam Houston State, and Mizzou coming to town. This seems quite doable, but remember Ags, the mystical powers of the Port city are strong, and if it wants you bad enough, there’s nothing you can do prevent the inevitable.