Memphis, Birmingham, and Nashville. Those are the homes of the David Cutcliffe bowls.
The bowl games where 7-5 or 6-6 teams spend late December in less-than-ideal weather (except for the cold weather-loving lunatics, as these place are their paradises). Teams arrive at a David Cutcliffe bowl usually by one of three ways: Terrific underachieving, disasters in one or two games they could have won, or winning their way in after a season of despair, like Ole Miss last year when they climbed out of Houston Nutt's scorched plot of earth.
Currently in play for the David Cutcliffe bowls are, barring something weird happening, Vanderbilt, Ole Miss, and Mississippi State. The good news for all three is that they at least avoided getting here via the underachieving route, which is a great way to wreck excitement and attendance for one final game.
Instead, Vanderbilt and Ole Miss are in this position due to a few disasters in games they could have won. For Vandy, it was blown leads in the Ole Miss game, capped by a late touchdown run by Jeff Scott, while for Ole Miss it was incidents in the Auburn, Texas A&M, and Mississippi State games.
Mississippi State's charge into this group is a combination of a disaster (blown lead at Auburn) and winning their way in after needing to win their last two games to become bowl eligible. Across all fronts, these situations aren't what everyone wanted, but they're in the neighborhood of expectations coming into the season.
So, to which one of the Cutclfife bowls should you be hoping your team gets invited? To help give you all the facts surrounding the Liberty, Compass, and Music City Bowls, let's bring in the expert in the field, David Cutcliffe, who will rate several key factors surrounding each bowl.no comments