Tennessee Vols head coach Jeremy Pruitt was asked on Wednesday if his team would accept a bowl invitation if they finished with a 5-7 record.
Pruitt’s left no doubt in his response — he’d absolutely accept a bowl invitation.
Jeremy Pruitt on if Tennessee would accept a bowl bid with a 5-7 record:
“We would like to play as many games as we can possibly get. We can use all the practice we can get.”
Is that a yes?
— SEC Mike (@MichaelWBratton) November 7, 2018
After Pruitt made this comment, I immediately saw some Tennessee fans on social media bemoaning the idea of the Vols going to a bowl game with a losing record.
On one hand, I get it.
It would be a bit embarrassing for the Vols to go to a bowl game with a losing record. It would be even worse if they lost the bowl game and finished with a 5-8 record (ouch).
But let’s be honest — 6-6 teams reaching a bowl game isn’t exactly something to cheer about. It’s not like it’s a huge accomplishment. Most major college football programs aren’t going to view winning the Birmingham Bowl as a cause for celebration.
Reaching a bowl game at 6-6, or 5-7 if there aren’t enough 6-6 teams to fill the bowl slots, is all about development. The extra practices, the extra game/experience. It’s not a reward for a .500 season, it’s a tool to get better.
And Pruitt knows he has to use every tool he has available to make sure Tennessee gets better. If that means accepting a bowl bid with a losing record, then that’s what he’ll do. Because ultimately, the outcome of the bowl game, or this season’s final record, doesn’t really matter.
Pruitt is building for the future at UT. He obviously has a lot of work to do.
Shouldn’t Vol fans want him working with his team in December, instead of doing nothing during the bowl game period (which is also a recruiting dead period).
Yeah, I thought you’d see it Pruitt’s way.
Featured image via John Reed-USA TODAY Sports