We’re keeping regular tabs on the updated bowl projections for the Vols and we’ll throw in our own thoughts as the rest of the season unfolds:
ESPN (McMurphy): Music City Bowl vs. Illinois
ESPN (Schlabach): Belk Bowl vs. Duke
CBS: (Palm): Liberty Bowl vs. Kansas State
SBNation (Kirk): Outback Bowl vs. Northwestern
RTI’s take: Welcome to bowl eligibility, Tennessee. This has been somewhat of a hypothetical exercise, but now we can at least guarantee that the Vols will be in the postseason since they’ve hit the six-win plateau since our last bowl projection update. The Music City, Belk and Outback Bowls all seem to make the most sense at this point as logical fits for the Vols if they finish relatively well. Each come with some advantages – obviously the Outback carries the most perceived prestige while Nashville and Charlotte would be good markets to play in for fan support and recruiting. If UT ends up at 8-4, any of those could be in play. It might be more Music City or Belk if the Vols drop one of these last two and the Liberty Bowl, a bowl that has coveted the Vols for years, is certainly still in play as well. We don’t think there will be another trip to the TaxSlayer Bowl on tap and the Texas Bowl just doesn’t make a ton of sense at this point with several capable teams in the West that would be more of a geographic fit there.