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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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9/26/12 - THE DRAFT

Welcome back to another college football season and another chance to get an inside look at the inner workings of the Chick-fil-A Bowl’s Team Selection process. We pride ourselves on having an open process and on trying to give the fans regular updates on our progress.

I’m going to start blogging a little earlier this year to give you a peek at some of our early-season trips before our scouts really hit the road in force on November 3.Chick-fil-A Bowl

Our first Team Selection meeting of the year took place Tuesday night at STATS in downtown Atlanta where our 40-person Team Selection Committee met to hold our annual game draft. Our goal is to scout every team in the ACC and SEC at least once during the season – making sure that our scouts visit with the athletic directors, head coaches and media while on campus for their scouting trips.

So, with that in mind, we put the entire season schedule up on a board and let our committee “draft” the games they will scout.

Selection order is based on committee seniority and the competition to get some of the games is pretty fierce.

Here’s a look at the first 10 games selected during the draft:

1. Alabama at LSU
2. Florida State at Virginia Tech
3. Texas A&M at Alabama
4. Mississippi State at LSU
5. Auburn at Alabama
6. Mississippi State at Ole Miss
7. Missouri at Florida
8. NC State at Clemson
9. Florida State at Maryland
10. Virginia Tech at Miami

By the end of the night, all games were selected and the speculation started as to which teams would win each conference and which teams would be headed to the Chick-fil-A Bowl.

The complete team selection process starts a lot earlier than you might think with Bowl president Gary Stokan scouting key games from each conference early in the season – Florida at Texas A&M and Clemson at Florida State are examples. The great thing about hosting our first Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game doubleheader this year is that we have already gotten to see four teams that may be in our mix. Tennessee, NC State, Auburn and Clemson all looked good in week one as they opened the season in Atlanta. So by this point in the season, we’ve already had good looks at nine teams. And speaking of good looks, here’s a link to watch some of our Chick-fil-A Bowl Backstage videos from our opening weekend.

At this point, it is still way too early to guess who will be in our game, but we love to hear some of the projections. Below are some early-season media predictions. You can add a comment to this blog with the match-up you think we’ll have.

ESPN.com CBSSports.com College Football News
Clemson vs. Miss State Virginia Tech vs. Florida Clemson vs. Miss State

Keep an eye out for next week’s blog as we will follow Chick-fil-A Bowl President Gary Stokan on an early trip to the Tennessee at Georgia game in Athens. We’ll post his hour-by-hour schedule as he makes his way around campus and into Sanford Stadium for the Vols and the Dawgs.

We’re glad to have you back and hope you are ready for another incredible season.

Leeman Bennett

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  Comments

Draft
Created by Jimmy M. in 10/12/2012 12:18:16 PM
Man, that Alabama-LSU game will be a great game. Roll Tide!

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