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An SEC school complained to the SEC office about its bowl assignment and got it changed

Bet you can’t guess which school it was!

NCAA Football: Mississippi State at Tennessee Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

On Sunday afternoon, the bowl selections started trickling out after the Playoff and New Year’s Six bowls were announced, like so:

This would have been an interesting matchup, if only because Kentucky and Indiana, the resident basketball schools in the SEC and Big Ten, respectively, have been cromulent on the football field lately. Except somebody had a problem with getting sent to the Music City Bowl, and that somebody complained to the SEC office and got that changed, and I bet you know which school would be entitled enough to complain about a bowl assignment after a 7-5 season in which it lost to Georgia State.

Oh, did I just give it away?

Huh. Yeah, I guess when you say that they have the same record and one beat the other head-to-head (and also had a better conference record, although again, they had the same overall record because one of these schools lost to Georgia State and BYU out of conference), then it makes sense... but, really, we all know why this happened.

Right. Entitlement is a hell of a drug.

In the best-case scenario, Tennessee simply changed its mind, perhaps because it realized that its fans would prefer a trip to Jacksonville rather than spending the holiday season in Nashville, and the SEC — because Tennessee actually placed ahead of both Kentucky and Mississippi State in the standings — honored that preference. (Mississippi State got switched from the Belk Bowl to the Music City Bowl; presumably, with Louisville being on the other side of the Music City Bowl, that bowl didn’t want a rematch of the regular-season finale.)

On the other hand, it’s only been six years since an 8-4 Vanderbilt team got sent to the BBVA Compass Bowl.

At first glance, it seemed like a very good thing when the SEC office decided to start getting involved in bowl selections, ostensibly to prevent injustices like the one that happened in 2001, when 6-5 Alabama went to the Independence Bowl while 7-4 Ole Miss stayed home. But this being the SEC, we just knew it was only a matter of time before the SEC would use this power to help one of the league’s traditional powers get its way in a bowl selection.

You can view it as just a coincidence that the league office shifted Kentucky and Mississippi State around to accommodate Tennessee, but if you know anything about how the league office works, of course this is what happens; the records and head-to-head results are just the excuse they needed.