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Bowl Projections: Tennessee’s options narrow after loss to Missouri

There’s a consensus.

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NCAA Football: Tennessee at Missouri Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Tennessee’s loss last weekend to Missouri made a few things clear. It officially ended any outside shot of the Volunteers getting into the hunt for the SEC East, and it more than likely took them out of the running for the Citrus Bowl. Tennessee is likely headed for the next tier, which offers the Reliaquest, Gator, Music City, Liberty and Duke’s Mayo as potential options.

This week it was the Gator Bowl getting most of the attention from bowl projectors. Here’s a look at the projections with just two games left to play in the regular season.

Latest Tennessee Bowl Projections

ESPN (Bonagura): Music City vs. Rutgers

Our take: In Nashville against Greg Schiano? That could be a whole lot of fun. ‘Schiano Sunday’ would be one of the larger storylines of bowl season, and it would be interesting to get some perspective several years later.

ESPN (Schlabach): Duke’s Mayo vs. Virginia Tech

Our take: Brent Pry has very quietly taken some baby-steps forward with his program, and now just needs one more win to get bowl eligible. A matchup against Tennessee would still be tough though. Tennessee would more than likely be a double-digit favorite here.

CBS Sports: Gator vs. North Carolina

Action Network: Gator vs. North Carolina

Our take: This is probably the most purely fun matchup on the board. Drake Maye’s Tar Heels have fallen apart after a white hot start, and it’s difficult to know what you’re getting with them. Absolutely puzzling losses to Georgia Tech and Virginia have them in this spot. Just a few weeks ago it wasn’t all that crazy to imagine them making a run at the CFP. This would be a fun one.

Athlon Sports: Gator vs. Clemson

Our take: Would they really give us Tennessee-Clemson in consecutive seasons? Dabo probably wouldn’t hate it, considering how poorly his team executed in the Orange Bowl a year ago. Personally, I’m for something different.

USA Today: Gator vs. Miami

Our take: Speaking of falling apart, hello Miami. A 4-0 start with a big win over Texas A&M has quickly turned into a 6-4 record with Louisville and Boston College left to play. Tennessee is 2-1 all time against the Hurricanes and hasn’t faced them since that 10-6 all the way back in 2003.

The full bowl slate will be revealed on Sunday, December 3rd.