The 2018 college football season is still a few weeks away from starting, but it’s the perfect time for media outlets to put out their preseason bowl projections for the upcoming season. One outlet not only has Tennessee going bowling this year, but they have them playing in the state of Texas for their postseason play.
College Sports Madness has their 2018 bowl projections out, and according to their predictions, Tennessee will be playing in the Texas Bowl against TCU on December 27th in Houston, Texas. According to College Sports Madness’ predictions for the 2018 season, the Vols will go 6-6 and sneak into a bowl game this season.
“West Virginia will be the season opener for Tennessee down in Charlotte, and Coach Pruitt will find out right away where his defense stands after dealing with Will Grier and David Sills,” says Scott Whittum about the Vols. “East Tennessee and UTEP will come to Knoxville in what should be two wins for Tennessee. After that its going to be tough sledding until November as the Volunteers play Florida, Georgia, Auburn, Alabama, and South Carolina over the course of a six week stretch. The month of November is forgiving as they don’t have to leave the state while finishing with three of four games at home. Look for an up and down first season for Tennessee, but they will find a way to scratch out six wins.”
Their season projections don’t give a game-by-game prediction for the 2018 season, but Whittum does have Tennessee going 6-6 this year and ultimately ending up in the Texas Bowl.
If Tennessee can make it to a bowl game, the Texas Bowl would be an interesting destination. The Vols have played a bowl game three times in Houston but haven’t played there since the end of the 1979 season. Back then, the bowl game was known as the Bluebonnet Bowl. Tennessee is 2-1 in bowl games played in Houston, defeating Tulsa and LSU and losing to Purdue. The Vols haven’t faced off against TCU since the 70s either, last playing them in 1976. Tennessee is a perfect 2-0 against the Horned Frogs all-time.
The Vols haven’t played in a bowl game in the state of Texas since they took on Texas A&M in the Cotton Bowl after the 2004 season. Tennessee won that match-up 38-7.
Tennessee, of course, didn’t make a bowl game last season after earning a postseason berth for three consecutive years from 2014 through 2016. Last year marked the fifth time in the last 10 years that the Vols failed to make a bowl game. They missed out on a bowl game just one time between 1989 and 2007.