If it is about big time college athletics, it's always about the $$$. The colleges don't get to "choose" for the second tier bowls (Belk, Gator, Liberty, Music City) - and conference wins really don't mean anything if you qualify for one of the four bowls . It's all about money. And it's more like they bid. Fulmer at Tennessee gave some sort of financial commitment to the Gator bowl that pushed KY aside. He was desperate to make his hire look successful and going to the Gator bowl (a more prestigious bowl in the eyes of TN fans) helps make his case.