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ESPN projects Tennessee to earn bowl bid

Can the Vols make it happen?

NCAA Football: Tennessee at Auburn John Reed-USA TODAY Sports

And just like that, Tennessee is back in the hunt for a bowl bid. The Vols upset No. 21 Auburn on the Plains on Saturday, stealing a win and getting to 3-3 on the season. Most would tell you that Tennessee’s main goal for the season was to simply make it back to a bowl game. They’ve now got a decent chance to do just that.

In fact, ESPN is projecting it to happen — at least one analyst is. Mitch Sherman has the Vols making another appearance in the TaxSlayer Gator Bowl, a game that Tennessee dominated back in 2015 against the Iowa Hawkeyes.

Sherman projects their opponent to be Wisconsin.

Tennessee still has to get to six wins, however. A gimme-win in Charlotte is likely the only sure thing remaining on Tennessee’s schedule. They’ll have to find two wins against South Carolina, Kentucky, Missouri and Vanderbilt from there. That task seems much more realistic to accomplish after Saturday’s result.

Assuming they get to six wins, Tennessee could realistically land in almost any of the pool of six bowl games, which includes the Outback, Gator, Liberty, Texas, Belk and Music City Bowls. I’m sure Jeremy Pruitt would tell you that his program could use the extra game and the extra practices.