Tennessee Football: Vols projected to go to the Texas Bowl

Jeremy Pruitt is trying to turn the Tennessee football program around, and the Vols are currently projected to go to the Texas Bowl.

After going 5-7 in his first season, Jeremy Pruitt is set up to get the Vols back to a bowl game in 2019. The Vols are currently projected to go to the Texas Bowl, according to Phil Steele.

The Academy Sports + Outdoor Texas Bowl takes place in Houston and is a Big XII vs. SEC matchup. Tennessee is projected to face off against Mike Gundy and the Oklahoma State Cowboys.

Tennessee beat a ranked Auburn team and Kentucky’s best football team since the 1980s last season showing Pruitt has what it takes to get it done against top opponents.

After a successful year of recruiting Pruitt should be able to build on that in 2019 and add to his total of SEC wins.

In recent years, the SEC teams that participated in the Texas Bowl had a 6-6 regular season record with the exclusion of Texas A&M in 2016 when they went 8-4.

So if you are looking for a record projection along with this, you could consider 6-6 the projected record if the Vols do go to the Texas Bowl.

Seven wins could also send them to the Texas Bowl, but they might want to play in Nashville or Memphis for their bowl game if that is an option.

Tennessee has a chance to have another eight-win season with how their season sets up.

Some places have the Vols projected to win up to nine games this season which might not be a surprise to some, but I wouldn’t bet on that the way Tennessee football has been the past few years.

Tennessee starts off the season against Georgia State, BYU and Chattanooga. Those should be three easy wins going into Gainesville in Week 4.

The middle of the schedule is where the Vols have struggled in recent years. The five games where they face off against Florida, Georgia, Mississippi State, Alabama, and South Carolina is a tricky part of the season.

If a few things would’ve broken their way the Vols might’ve had a chance to beat Georgia late last season and with this year’s game at home and the Vols much better in 2019 we could see the Bulldogs get put on upset alert this year.

Mississippi State isn’t as good as the rest of the SEC West and Tennessee should be able to win that game at home.

Tennessee hasn’t beaten South Carolina since Will Muschamp took over as head coach and that should change this year. Butch Jones couldn’t beat Muschamp whether he was at Florida or S.C.

Now with Pruitt at the helm, I wouldn’t expect that trend to continue with the Gamecocks.

If the Vols can also get over the hump in November and win at least two of the three games against Kentucky, Missouri, and Vanderbilt, then they will be set up for a decent bowl game.

This fall could be a lot of fun for the Vols and Pruitt can prove he’s the real deal if he can get the Vols back to a winning regular season record.