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Tennessee News Links: Vols historically bad in SEC play, Bruce Pearl in hot water

Some links to pass the time.

NCAA Football: Southern Mississippi at Tennessee Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

We’ve got basketball on the slate tomorrow. The finish of football season is on the horizon. We have a likely coaching search incoming. With everything going on, you probably missed a couple of things.

Let’s catch up.

Bruce Pearl is in more hot water. The former Tennessee head basketball coach is “refusing to cooperate” in Auburn’s internal investigation into his program. The school has told him that his job is on the line if he doesn’t cooperate, according to a report from ESPN. One of Pearl’s assistants — Chuck Person — was arrested as a part of the FBI’s college basketball corruption scandal in September.

I was rooting for Pearl to come out of his past troubles at Auburn, but unfortunately it appears that he’s just created more issues. Stories like this make you appreciate Rick Barnes even more. Hopefully this is the year where Tennessee can get back into the NCAA tournament picture.

Tennessee is one loss to Missouri away from an incredible feat. If they lose on Saturday, they’ll have a losing “streak” to each team in the SEC. I use the term streak loosely here, but the fact remains. If they lose on Saturday night, Tennessee will have lost their last meeting with every SEC team. That’s amazing. And sad. Mostly sad.

Since Tennessee’s hail mary win at Georgia last year, the Vols are just 2-9 in SEC play. Those two wins were over Kentucky and Missouri last season. After that Georgia game, Tennessee was the 9th ranked team in the country. That feels like it was ages ago.

The Vols have never gone winless in SEC play. They’ve had one SEC win seasons five different times (1954, 1964, 1977, 2011, 2012). They currently sit at 0-5. At this point, I’ll just take a win over Vanderbilt and a new hire for the program.

CBS Sports still believes in the Vols. In their latest batch of bowl projections, Jerry Palm has Tennessee playing in the Belk Bowl against Dave Clawson and Wake Forest.

This of course means Palm thinks that Tennessee will beat Missouri and Vanderbilt to get to 6-6. I don’t see any way they get past LSU with a win. While two more wins isn’t impossible, I just have no faith in that happening. Tennessee is a big underdog (currently 11 points) to the Tigers on the road and Vanderbilt is a toss-up at this point.

Of course the other route is a 5-7 APR bowl bid, but I’m not sure anyone really wants that. Tennessee ranks 52nd in APR currently. According to Palm, that likely wouldn’t be good enough anyways.