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Leeman Bennett is a former head coach of the Atlanta Falcons and Tampa Bay Buccaneers and is the current chairman of the Chick-fil-A Bowl’s Team Selection Committee. He writes a weekly team selection blog to give fans an inside look into the Chick-fil-A Bowl’s team scouting and selection process.
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Nov. 13: Wrapping Up our Busiest Weekend

Another full house on hand for our Monday night Team Selection Committee meeting and maybe the busiest meeting I can remember with volunteer scouts reporting on the 20 teams we scouted last Saturday.  

But we started the meeting off by showing the group our “spoof” video on how the process “actually” works. Check it out here

Of the 4 ACC games and 6 SEC games we saw, a few stood out as critical games for us and our selection process. 

Most notably in the ACC was Duke’s 38-20 win over NC State to get the Blue Devils to 7-2 (you might want to start paying attention to Duke, this is a quality football team) and the 42-24 win by Virginia Tech over Miami played in a monsoon in south Florida. Brutal conditions, but a fun game to watch and a strong performance by the Hokies. 

Of note in the SEC was Vanderbilt’s first win over Florida in Gainesville since 1945, Ole Miss taking care of Arkansas 34-24 at home and the Aggies’ exciting shootout win over Miss. State. There was a little follow-up discussion about Johnny Manziel’s incredible performance, his great season and whether or not this year’s bowl game will be his last college game. If the chips fall the right way for Texas A&M, that game might just be in Atlanta. 

We’ll have a lighter scouting schedule this week with only three games on our calendar starting with the Thursday night game between Georgia Tech and Clemson in Death Valley. I’ll release the other two games in my blog on Friday, so make sure you check back to see where we will be headed on Saturday. 

And remember to follow us on Twitter (@chickfilabowl). Our scouts will be Tweeting from all three games this week with some really unique Tweets. 

Now, on to the good stuff. Here’s an updated look at the teams on our short lists this week. Remember, this list will change each week based on what the teams do. We’ll keep updating it for you as we narrow the field for Selection Sunday on Dec. 8. 

NOTE: Teams are listed in alphabetical order, not order of preference.

Our current ACC short list:

Team   W-L   Best Win   Toughest Game Left  Trending 
#8 Clemson       8-1  Georgia   #10 South Carolina May still have a shot at BCS. 
Duke   7-2  VT   #23 Miami   Must win vs. Miami this week. 
#2 FSU   9-0  Clemson    Florida  Playing for ACC title. Maybe more. 
Georgia Tech    6-3 Duke  #8 Clemson  Outscored opp. 112-35 last 3 weeks.
#23 Miami  7-2  Georgia Tech Duke  Must win out to stay in contention. 
Virginia Tech   7-3 Miami   Maryland                       Really proved something vs. Miami. 

At this point, it is likely that the ACC may get two teams up into the BCS with Florida State and Clemson, but both remain on our list this week in case something changes. The rest of the group is still in play for us and we can see a scenario for any of them to get to Atlanta. We’ll have our eyes on the Georgia Tech-Clemson game and the Miami-Duke game this week. Both are critical for us as we close out the season. We were very impressed with the Hokies’ win on the road at Miami, but they will need to win out to stay in contention and maybe get some help as well.

Our current SEC short list:

Team   W-L   Best Win   Toughest Game Left  Trending 
#7 Auburn 9-1 Texas A&M #1 Alabama In position with 2 huge tests left.
#25 Georgia  6-3 South Carolina #7 Auburn  In play, but need to finish strong.
#21 LSU  7-3 Auburn  #11 Texas A&M  Need to rebound at home vs. A&M. 
Ole Miss 6-3 LSU  #9 Mizzou On 3-0 streak and improving. 
#10 South Carolina 7-2 Missouri #8 Clemson  Counting down to Clemson. 
#11 Texas A&M  8-2 Ole Miss #9 Missouri Needs to close vs. 2 ranked teams.

The SEC is once again showing its strength with 7 teams in the top 25 and 5 of those in the top 11 in the nation. However, a lot will still change as some of these teams still have games against each other to close out the season. The SEC will be well-represented in the bowls again this year and there is no doubt we’ll have a quality team to match against the ACC, but the picture is still coming together. Key games we’ll be watching this week include Georgia at Auburn and Florida at South Carolina. 

At this point, who do you think will make it to the Chick-fil-A Bowl from each conference? Give us your picks. 

Enjoy this week’s games!

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  Comments

New Comment
Created by Anonymous in 11/14/2013 4:08:25 PM
New Comment-
Ole Miss travels very well- ask the Cotton bowl and last years Compass Bowl where I think they brought more fans than any other bowl game except the national championship game-

Why not Mizzou?
Created by Anonymous in 11/14/2013 7:55:06 AM
Chick-Fil-A seems like a likely landing spot for the Tigers. Are you assuming they will go to Cap One or Outback?
New Comment
Created by Anonymous in 11/13/2013 7:57:59 PM
No Mizzou?
New Comment
Created by Steve Vassallo in 11/13/2013 4:26:42 PM
Ole Miss is the team most bowls will want to have! Why? They are exciting to watch. And they have a large bowl
following ala the 2012 Compass Bowl! There is a saying that "Getting Better is Better Than Being Good". Ole Miss is
definitely a team on the rise. SI's Top 20 Power Rankings (just released) have the Rebels at #20 with 5 Top 20
opponents counting 11/23 game with Missouri. And let's not forget, Ole Miss defeated Texas in Austin handily.
Come 2014, Ole Miss will be a Top Ten Team Preseason, Possibly Top Five if they finish 10-3!

New Comment
Created by HokieGirl99 in 11/13/2013 3:06:58 PM
HOKIES / GAMECOCKS!! Battle of the birds!!

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