With six games remaining in the schedule, the Tennessee Volunteers are only two wins away from securing bowl eligibility. At the midway point, Tennessee is 4-2, with two wins and a loss in SEC play. However, as a reminder, the conference record is not a factor in overall bowl eligibility. On average, the key number for a selection sits right around six regular-season wins.
Tennessee is projected to have a big second-half according to ESPN’s FPI, repeating its record from the first six games. Regardless, though, whether it is six, seven, or eight wins, it does look like Tennessee is on track for a bowl game.
According to the latest bowl projections from CBS Sports, Tennessee is currently slated in the Liberty Bowl. The Vols projected Big 12 opponent is Iowa State (3-2).
“The Vols have been sneaky impressive in Josh Heupel’s first season,” read the site analysis. “Hendon Hooker threw for three touchdowns and also rushed for 66 yards and another touchdown in a 45-20 win over South Carolina.”
Additionally, there is also a recap of Iowa State’s season to date.
“Iowa State expected to compete for a Big 12 championship this season,” the article stated. “The Cyclones have suffered two tough losses to Iowa and Baylor, but they exercised some demons in a 59-7 rout over Kansas.”
Yahoo Sports also has Tennessee in with a fairly intriguing bowl projection. Heading into Week 7, Yahoo Sports has Tennessee in the Music City Bowl in a game against Wisconsin.
As things stand currently, Wisconsin is fourth in the Big 10 western division with an overall record of 2-3. In addition, the Badgers are 1-2 in conference play, with losses to No. 7 Penn State and No. 8 Michigan.
Lastly, ESPN has two analysts that are projecting Tennessee to play in the Duke’s Mayo Bowl. Both Mark Schlabach and Kyle Bonagura have Tennessee playing in Charlotte, N.C., though, against different opponents. Schlabach is projecting Tennessee versus Boston College, while Bonagura has Tennessee versus Virginia.
Following the investigation into Tennessee Athletics towards the end of the 2020 football season, there has been no bowl ban announcement for Tennessee by either the NCAA or the University itself for the 2021 season. Therefore, as things stand now, if Tennessee is able to surpass the six-win mark and receive a bowl selection, there are no restraints that would prevent them from playing in the game.
Tennessee (4-2, 2-1 SEC) will host No. 13 Ole Miss (4-1, 1-1 SEC) in Neyland Stadium on Saturday night. The SEC Network will have the broadcast at 7:30 p.m. ET.