Tennessee football bowl projections
Music City Bowl vs. Duke Blue Devils
The Music City Bowl would appear to be a tier above where Tennessee football will finish in the SEC standings. But the Vols always get invited up because of their fans. Remember the TaxSlayer Bowl in 2014? Well, this bowl game is in Nashville, so that’s a huge advantage. And imagine if this happens. They can face David Cutcliffe and a resurgent Duke team, which I believe will happen this year. Tennessee is better, but Cutcliffe has the offensive genius to exploit the Vols’ 3-4. So Duke wins an upset here.
Winner: Duke (7-6, 3-5)
Independence Bowl vs. Wake Forest Demon Deacons
In this scenario, the Vols would face former offensive coordinator Dave Clawson, who was there in 2008 when Phillip Fulmer got fired. Tennessee football has the better talent, but Clawson’s offenses get rolling after he gets his guys. On top of that, Jeremy Pruitt is not the type of guy to care about bowl games unless it’s the national championship. So the Vols will fall to Wake.
Winner: Wake Forest (7-6, 3-5)
Birmingham Bowl vs. Houston Cougars
Could we see Jarrett Guarantano and Quinten Dormady face off in a bowl game? That could potentially happen here. Both teams are very similar talent wise, and this would be a very entertaining matchup to watch. I’ve got the Vols to finish out the year on a winning note and have a five-game winning streak going into 2019. This could really bring a lot of hype into the next season, especially with all the new recruits coming.
Winner: Tennessee (7-6, 3-5)
Two of us have the Vols losing their bowl game to a private ACC school that focuses on basketball and has a former Tennessee football offensive coordinator as head coach. The other has them facing a Group of Five team with a former UT quarterback but winning. As a result, all three of us agree on the agree on outcome of the season: 7-6. But there’s nothing wrong with that. Remember, Nick Saban went 7-6 his first year with the Alabama Crimson Tide. So doing that this season could set the stage for big years ahead with Pruitt at the helm.