It’s only May, but that’s not stopping some way-too-early bowl projections for college football from happening. 247Sports released their predictions for every bowl game for the upcoming 2017 bowl season, and their predictions have the Vols staying inside their own state for the second consecutive season.
According to 247Sports’ projections, the Vols will be heading to the Liberty Bowl in Memphis to take on Pittsburgh after the regular season this year. The article offers no other analysis other than the match-up, but judging by that prediction, 247Sports is falling in line with other college football analysts and media in predicting the Vols to finish with a similar record to last year.
The last time the Vols played in back-to-back bowls in the same state was actually quite recent. Tennessee played a bowl game in the state of Florida back-to-back years in 2013 and 2014 when they played in the Taxslayer Bowl and the Outback Bowl respectively. Tennessee has never played in back-to-back bowls in the state of Tennessee, however.
Tennessee hasn’t played in the Liberty Bowl since they defeated Minnesota 21-14 on December 29th, 1986. The Vols are an undefeated 3-0 in the Liberty Bowl, beating Minnesota, Maryland, and Arkansas in the contests. The Vols also haven’t played Pittsburgh in over three decades either. The last time those two teams met up was in 1983 when Tennessee was handed a 13-3 defeat.
The Liberty Bowl isn’t the kind of bowl Vol fans expect Tennessee to make on a consistent basis. But if the Vols hold true to what many are predicting for them this season, that could very well be their destination.