In late September, the idea of the Tennessee Vols reaching a bowl game this season was laughable.
But, as we all know, college football is wild.
A lot has transpired since the Vols’ slow start to the season.
Redshirt junior Jarrett Guarantano has been benched in favor of true freshman Brian Maurer and redshirt freshman JT Shrout. Guarantano, however, has still played an important role for the Volunteers this season. He came off the bench to help Tennessee secure wins against Mississippi State, South Carolina and UAB.
Thanks to those three wins, the Vols need to win only two of their final three games (against Kentucky, Missouri and Vanderbilt) to reach six wins and become eligible.
What seemed impossible a little over a month ago, suddenly seems likely. If Tennessee continues to play the way they’ve played the last few weeks, they’ll certainly be playing past November.
And it’s not just me that believes that UT will reach a bowl game.
The Athletic’s Stewart Mandel released his latest bowl projections this week and he has the Vols matching up with Pittsburgh in the Music City Bowl in Nashville on December 30.
Tennessee previously played in the Music City Bowl in 2016, when Josh Dobbs led the Vols to a 38-24 win against #24 Nebraska.
Pittsburgh is 6-3 so far this season, which includes a 17-10 loss to Penn State and a 35-34 win against UCF.
Featured image via Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports