The UK football team appears to be headed to Nashville, Tenn., for the postseason for the third time in four years. Multiple media outlets reported on Wednesday the Cats have been selected to play in the Gaylord Hotels Music City Bowl on Dec. 27.
Neither the Music City Bowl nor UK (7-5, 3-5 Southeastern Conference) will likely be able to confirm the reports until Sunday, after the SEC Championship Game between Florida and Alabama.
The (Nashville) Tennessean first reported UK would be headed to the Music City Bowl late Tuesday night. UK will face an opponent from the Atlantic Coast Conference that has yet to be determined.
The Cats won the Music City Bowl in 2006 and 2007. UK defeated Clemson 28-20 in 2006 despite being 10-point underdogs and beat Florida State 35-28 in 2007 after several Seminoles were suspended for the game for academic infractions.
Media outlets reported Auburn (7-5, 3-5 SEC) will play in the Jan. 1 Outback Bowl in Tampa, Fla. The Tennessee Volunteers (7-5, 4-4 SEC) will likely play in the Chick-fil-A Bowl in Atlanta on New Yearâ€™s Eve, and Georgia (7-5, 4-4 SEC) is expected to play in the AdvoCare Independence Bowl in Shreveport, La., on Dec. 28.
South Carolina and Arkansas are also SEC teams with 7-5 records. The six SEC teams being in such close proximity to each other in the standings made this seasonâ€™s bowl picture murkier than most years for schools in the conference.
On Tuesday, Music City Bowl President Scott Ramsey told the Kernel having so many teams with similar resumes forced bowl games to pick games based on which matchups would be most likely to attract fans.
â€œEach game is going to have to pick the best matchup for their city,â€ Ramsey said.
Ramsey also said that as the Music City Bowl considered UK, the Catsâ€™ history with the bowl game would play a role in their decision. If UK is selected for the Music City Bowl, it would be their fourth time in the game, the most of any school. UK also played in Nashville in 1999.
â€œWeâ€™ve had great success with Kentucky in our game,â€ Ramsey said early Tuesday afternoon. â€œWe wouldnâ€™t hesitate a minute to make it three in four years.â€