Anything less than a bowl game appearance will be a letdown for the Tennessee Vols in 2019.
Tennessee went 5-7 in Jeremy Pruitt’s first season as a head coach. Despite the losing record, the Vols showed plenty of promise. A win against Auburn on the road and a victory against one of the best Kentucky teams ever were the highlights of the 2018 season.
But expectations will be higher in 2019. Reaching a bowl game is the absolute least the Vols can accomplish and still consider the season a success.
Fortunately for Tennessee, some smart folks think UT will return to a bowl game in 2019.
Phil Steele, one of the most well regarded college football analysts around, recently made his bowl predictions for this upcoming season. Steele is predicting UT will play in the Texas Bowl.
Vanderbilt lost to Baylor in the Texas Bowl last season. In 2017, Missouri lost to Texas. The SEC hasn’t won the Texas Bowl since 2015 when LSU beat Texas Tech 56-27.
The Texas Bowl, which is played at NRG Stadium in Houston, obviously isn’t a very glamorous bowl game, but it would still represent progress for the Vols.
And right now, progress is all Vol fans need to see. As long as Pruitt’s team doesn’t stall in 2019, then the season will be a success.
Pruitt is an incredibly determined human being, which is why I think Steele’s prediction that Tennessee will reach a bowl in 2019 will ultimately come true.
Featured image via Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports