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Tennessee Bowl Projections: Two destinations come into focus

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NCAA Football: South Alabama at Tennessee Bryan Lynn-USA TODAY Sports

What was assumed for weeks is now official — Tennessee is going to a bowl game in year one of the Josh Heupel era. A masterful job by Heupel will be rewarded with a few more weeks of practice and a postseason matchup.

We’ve looked at these projections for the last couple of weeks, but this time we’ve got a clear leader in the clubhouse.

Latest Bowl Projections (Post Week 12)

CBS Sports: Duke’s Mayo vs. N.C. State

Athlon: Duke’s Mayo vs. N.C. State

Sports Illustrated: Gator vs. North Carolina

Action Network: Music City vs. Minnesota

Sporting News: Music City vs. Minnesota

CFB News: Music City vs. Minnesota

Three different outlets — Action, Sporting News and College Football News — each project Tennessee to head to the mid-state to face the Minnesota Golden Gophers in the Music City Bowl. The Vols last appeared in the game back in 2016, beating Nebraska.

Minnesota is 7-4 on the season. For what it’s worth, Penn State has also been heavily connected to the Music City Bowl.

Both Athlon and CBS project Tennessee to land in Charlotte to take on N.C. State, while Sports Illustrated projects a return to Jacksonville to face North Carolina.

Tennessee will finish their regular season against Vanderbilt on Saturday. The Volunteers are favored by 30 points, and should improve to 7-5 on the year. The College Football Playoff will be announced on December 5th, and all other bowl announcements will follow.