Peachy Forecast?

ATLANTA — It looks like Georgia needs to beat LSU next week in the SEC Championship Game to avoid a long fall in the bowl pecking order.

If the Bulldogs beat the Tigers on Saturday, they will play Big East champion West Virginia in the Sugar Bowl. If not, the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl expects to be able to choose Georgia for its game, not that it necessarily will.

"If they lose next week, yes I do think they would be available for us," said Scott Poole, a representative from the game who attended Saturday night's Georgia-Georgia Tech game in Atlanta.

The Peach Bowl will be played in the Georgia Dome at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 30. The game will be televised by ESPN.

The Bulldogs' performance against the Yellow Jackets may not have any impact on the bowl selection. Even a three-loss Georgia team (Saturday's game wasn't complete in time for this edition) could fall past both Florida bowls, the Capital One and Outback.

The Capital One probably would take Auburn (9-2) and the Cotton Bowl likely would take Alabama (9-2). That would leave the Outback Bowl to choose between the Bulldogs, South Carolina and Florida

Poole acknowledged the Gamecocks (7-4), with the Steve Spurrier factor and their traditionally loyal fan base, would be a very attractive pick for any Florida bowl.

Georgia could be matched against Florida State and Coach Mark Richt's former mentor Bobby Bowden in the Peach Bowl.

"A Richt-Bowden matchup certainly would have some attraction to it," said Poole, who added that the 2002 meeting between the two coaches in the Sugar Bowl wouldn't diminish a rematch in his mind.

Florida State, Boston College, Miami and Georgia Tech are the ACC teams still in consideration for the Peach Bowl, but the game almost certainly wouldn't match the Bulldogs and the Yellow Jackets.

Poole could offer Georgia fans no guarantee that his bowl will take the Bulldogs even if they are available. The Gators (8-3) became much more attractive with Saturday's 34-7 win over Florida State. The key to the bowl's decision will be the attractiveness of the matchup it can provide, Poole said.

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