The Tennessee Volunteers have had a simple goal all season — become bowl eligible.
Of course that’s easier said than done when you face the extremely difficult schedule that Tennessee has this season.
Seven of the Vols’ last eight games have been against ranked opponents.
The Vols were able to win one of those games against a ranked opponent (South Carolina), but now with six losses they have their backs up against the wall.
Tennessee has been in this position before.
The Vols have entered their meeting against Vanderbilt with four wins in each of the past three seasons.
In 2010 the Vols were able to beat Vanderbilt and Kentucky and become bowl eligible. That’s the last time the Vols played in a bowl game.
In 2011 the Vols beat Vandy, only to lose to Kentucky and finish 5-7.
Last season the Vols were embarrassed by the Commodores, which led to Derek Dooley’s firing.
The Vols won the following week against Kentucky, under the leadership of interim coach Jim Chaney, but again the Vols finished 5-7.
Tennessee needs consecutive wins against Vanderbilt and Kentucky to become bowl eligible this season and send the embattled seniors out on a high note.
For that reason, it’s imperative that the Vols reach a bowl game.
Even though Tennessee has shown progress this season, it’d be a colossal disappointment if the Vols failed to make a bowl game for the third straight season.