Through all of the struggles and NCAA uncertainty, talking bowl projections for Tennessee has been non-existent this year. However, with a seemingly unending investigation and a key win over Missouri, that has changed this week.
Tennessee appeared in Jerry Palm’s bowl projections this week at CBSSports, projected to play in the Duke’s Mayo Bowl in Charlotte. Their projected opponent was North Carolina, which would set up a rematch of that wacky 2010 Music City Bowl.
The Volunteers currently sit at 3-2 overall and are 12 point favorites against South Carolina this week. Should Tennessee take care of business against the Gamecocks, they would need just two more victories to find six on the year. With Vanderbilt and South Alabama remaining, that would seem likely. Tennessee also has Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky and Ole Miss left.
North Carolina is also 3-2 on the year, so far disappointing after some lofty preseason rankings. Former Tennessee running back Ty Chandler currently leads the Tar Heels in rushing with 423 yards.
Tennessee last played in a bowl game after the 2019 season, beating Indiana in a wild Gator Bowl. The Vols accepted a bid to the Liberty Bowl last season, but backed out due to COVID. West Virginia went on to beat Army in that game.
Can Tennessee find a bowl bid in year one under Heupel? We’ll see, but six wins does seem likely at this point.