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Bowl Projections: Tennessee in the New Year’s Six?

It’s early, but let’s see where the Volunteers could land.

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NCAA Football: Florida at Tennessee Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

Just 12 months ago, Tennessee was just trying to get to six wins and a bowl game. Jeremy Pruitt left a mess behind him, and nobody was really sure what to make of Josh Heupel’s year one prospects. However, Heupel shocked everyone, winning seven games in the regular season.

Heupel got that year one bowl bid, now he’s got Tennessee 4-0 in year two. The Volunteers just beat the Florida Gators for the first time since 2016, and now head into a bye week before taking a trip down to LSU.

We’re a third of the way through Tennessee’s 2022 slate, so let’s look down the road a bit. Where could the Volunteers land during bowl season? Analysts are bullish as things currently stand.

Updated College Football Bowl Projections

Action Network: Orange Bowl vs. Clemson

CBS Sports: Sugar Bowl vs. Oklahoma

247Sports: Sugar Bowl vs. Oklahoma State

College Football News: Citrus Bowl vs. Minnesota

Yahoo Sports: Citrus vs. Minnesota

Tennessee hasn’t been to the Citrus Bowl since 2001. They haven’t seen the Orange Bowl since 1997, and their last visit to the Sugar Bowl came during the 1990 season.

Clearly, business is about to pick up for Tennessee. At LSU, home against Alabama and Kentucky, and finally a roadtrip to No. 1 Georgia all remain. They’ve passed their first two tests — two swing games against Pitt and Florida. The path is now lit up for nine, even ten wins.

Tennessee has some secondary issues, and they’ve got to get Cedric Tillman healthy. The Volunteers won with without their second-most important player on Saturday, which is an important note. Tennessee hopes to have him back in two weeks for the LSU matchup. That game down in Baton Rouge is another massive moment for this program. Brian Kelly’s year one team doesn’t appear to be anything special, but that environment will always be tough to win in, no matter what. Moving to 5-0 would set up an earth-shattering atmosphere with Alabama coming to town on October 15th.

So, now at 4-0, how many games can Tennessee win?