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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. 6: Taking a Closer Look

Our entire Selection Committee was on hand Monday night for our first full meeting. The first order of business was to hear the game reports from the 12 teams we scouted Saturday. 

A lot of the conversation centered around general observations on the teams and their seasons to this point. We spent time evaluating quality wins against ranked opponents – both in conference and outside their conference – current streaks and momentum, and talking about critical games yet to be played and how those might affect our selection process. 

We also looked at conference records and where we project each team will end up. Of course, you must try and project which teams will be pulled up to the BCS as that will dramatically affect the teams available to us, especially in the ACC where we select first after the BCS. 

There is a lot to consider and still some key games to be played, so I would say we are mostly in an information gathering phase right now. 

That said, we will take a closer look at 18 teams this week as we scout nine games in what will be a very busy Saturday for our scouts. I’ll release those games in my blog on Friday, so make sure you check back to see where we will be headed. 

Also, make sure you follow us on Twitter (@chickfilabowl). Our scouts will be Tweeting from three games on Saturday with lots of behind-the-scenes access.Here is an updated look at the teams on our short lists right now. 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 
#7 Clemson       8-1  Georgia   #12 South Carolina Big road win keeps them in top 10.
Duke   6-2  VT   #11 Miami   Still flying high after big win at VT. 
#2 FSU   8-0  Clemson    Florida  3 decisive wins vs. top 25 teams. 
Georgia Tech   6-3  Duke   #7 Clemson   Outscored opp. 112-35 last 3 weeks.
#11 Miami   7-1  Florida   Virginia Tech  Must replace RB and finish strong.
Virginia Tech   6-3  GT   #11 Miami                           Must win vs. Miami this week. 

No changes in our ACC list this week, but there is now a sense of urgency for some of the teams. We were really impressed with FSU in a convincing win against the ‘Canes to boost them back to #2. The Yellow Jackets got a much-needed win and the Hokies have a must-win right in front of them. Miami can finish strong, but will have to replace Duke Johnson at running back after his injury against the ‘Noles.

Our current SEC short list:

Team   W-L   Best Win   Toughest Game Left  Trending 
#9 Auburn        8-1  Texas A&M   #1 Alabama Can't look past Vols or UGA.
Georgia  5-3  USC #9 Auburn Win vs. Fla. puts them in reach.
#13 LSU    7-2 Auburn    #1 Alabama 3 tough tests left for the Tigers.
Ole Miss   5-3  LSU #8 Missouri Up after big wins vs. LSU & Idaho.
#12 South Carolina 7-2  Missouri #7 Clemson Can still win East if Mizzou falls.
#15 Texas A&M  7-2  Ole Miss #8 Missouri Up after winning 5 of last 6.

A couple of changes here: Florida falls out this week after dropping a tight one to Georgia and Ole Miss earns their way on after consecutive wins against LSU and Idaho. 

Still a lot of key games between ranked opponents on both sides of the SEC that will determine division winners. Tough to forecast as an upset or two could dramatically change our picture. Expect more shake-ups in the next few weeks. 

What other teams do you think should be on our list and why? Let us know by posting here.

Enjoy this week’s games!

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Created by Rob in 11/7/2013 11:13:47 AM
If Duke can win 8 or 9, which is possible and South Carolina is available, that would be a neat matchup with Spurrier and Cutcliffe. Ole Miss vs Duke also with the Cutcliffe connection. A Clemson vs Mizzou matchup would be a good one too. This bowl is always one of my must watch bowls of the year.
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Created by Gary H. SikesAnonymous in 11/6/2013 3:18:06 PM
I like both lists, and of these teams my only consideration would be which team would sell the most tickets. I cover the Kick off Classic each year plus the Chic Fil A Bowl and hae never been disappointed by the teams playing in them. If Clemson or Mizzu or (in the unlikely case) the Tide should stump their toe, they would move to the top of my list from the SEC. In the ACCf, I think you are right on target I am not sure that any of the other teams would generate the revenue we need to keep the even running like the well oiled machine it is.New Comment
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Created by Matt in 11/6/2013 2:14:33 PM
Would you take Clemson two years in a row?

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