Last weekend was a pivotal moment for Tennessee’s 2023 season, and the Volunteers came out on the wrong side of the outcome. Tennessee jumped out to a 20-7 lead over Alabama, but the Crimson Tide took over in the second half, roaring back for a 34-20 win.
Josh Heupel’s team takes their second loss of the year, still with key road games at Kentucky and at Missouri left, along with a home game against Georgia in late November. Analysts are assuming Tennessee drops at least one of those, maybe two.
We saw movement in the bowl projection world this week following the loss. Tennessee has seemingly gone from that potential Citrus Bowl tier, to dropping down to the pool of six category.
Here’s where things stand now, with a familiar destination now becoming the favorite.
Latest College Football Bowl Projections
ESPN (Bonagura): Maryland vs. Tennessee
ESPN (Schlabach): Maryland vs. Tennessee
CBS Sports: ReliaQuest vs. North Carolina
USA Today: Music City vs. Maryland
Action Network: Gator vs. Duke
Tennessee opened the year in Nashville, and the Music City Bowl leads the projections with five games left to play. The Volunteers last appeared in this game back in 2021, dropping a controversial game to Purdue. They also appeared in the game back in 2010 and 2016.
The Volunteers last appeared in the Reliaquest (Outback) Bowl back in 2015 against Northwestern. They’ve faced Indiana (2019) and Iowa (2014) in Jacksonville in the Gator Bowl.
ESPN’s FPI gives Tennessee an 8.6-3.5 record to close the year. It gives the Vols a 9.4 percent chance of winning out and still reaching ten wins. More than likely, Tennessee will end up with eight or nine wins, considering what’s left on the schedule. That’s going to put them near the top of that ‘pool of six’ discussion, where it will then be up to the conference, schools and bowls to then decide the matchups.
The college football bowl selection show is set for December 3rd.