This from Brad Locke who spoke with Music City Bowl president Scott Ramsey earlier today:
Q: What specifically are you looking at this week:
I’m specifically looking at who the Gator Bowl’s going to select to be honest with you. The mentality is like a draft, like the NFL Draft or the NBA Draft. It’s time (for) you to select, who’s in the pool to select from. Whether it’s players in the draft model or in this case a selection model, it’s kind of the same. Who’s potentially in our mix? Then you’ve got to kind of filter through who’s on the other side of the game and who also has played against whom, and what’s records and what’s the best fit for your city, and those kinds of things. The most important thing is who the Gator Bowl is going to select. By all accounts I’ve seen and heard, it’ll probably be one of the two 8-4 teams, with the other one and Ole Miss being in our mix. That’ll be our decision on Sunday afternoon.
Q: Unwritten rule about taking team with two fewer wins than another team, different this year because of Egg Bowl result:
Yeah, it is. It’s kind of in play for that particular reason. However, occasionally there are exceptions. It’s not a hard, fast contractual rule, but it’s certainly unwritten or a rule of thumb. It’ll be a very difficult decision, and it should be a difficult decision in any case regardless of the teams, to jump two wins. It’s happened occasionally – I can’t quote them to you, I’d have to go back historically and look – but it doesn’t happen very often. The conference and the ADs, when you cut your deals and you’ve got a four-year deal, it’s one of those things you look everybody in the eye and say, unless there’s a really special circumstance, we’re all going to agree to be partners and kind of try to adhere to some semblance of that process. In some years, a bowl or two ahead of you that picks, that jumps over a couple of people, really impacts possibly a team that could come to your place. You’re always respectful of when and how that could happen. It can happen to you, and you can do it to somebody else if certain things in certain years are lining up that way. It’s there, we’re very cognizant of it, we’re very respectful of it. But, there’s always a but. The but is, sometimes given matchups or given repeats and those kinds of things, it could happen.
Q: Ole Miss, what it’s done this year with Hugh Freeze:
Congratulations is the first word that jumps in my head, to both Ross Bjork and Hugh Freeze. What a great turnaround. Any time you can exceed expectations from the beginning of the year to the end of the year, it’s unbelievable, especially in a league that’s as difficult and competitive as the SEC. It’s a great story. Even here in Nashville you can feel that the Ole Miss fan base is pretty energized. It would be a great bowl trip for whoever is lucky enough to get them this year. It’s great to have them back on the eligible list, put it that way.
Q: 6-win team over 8-win, what are conversations like, SEC’s input:
I don’t know if there is one easy answer to that. It’s technically our decision as a bowl organization and as a city. Yeah, we communicate with the SEC, but not from the standpoint of them dictating to us a selection. We’ve got a smaller committee, some of them have bigger committees, but I’ve got a group that we’ve been doing this for 15 years together. We put it all down and we talk about it and we hash through it, we analyze it, and then we try to make the best decision we can for our community, and we go with it. It’s part data, it’s part business, it’s part gut feel, it’s part media-driven, it’s part matchup-driven, it’s part record-driven. You just put them all in a hat, and we try to do the best we can to make those selections.