Updated predictions after Vols’ big win: UT’s bowl chances now nearly 80 percent

Infographic for Vols' final record

KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — Tennessee took a huge step toward reaching bowl eligibility with an upset win of then-No. 11 South Carolina on Saturday at Neyland Stadium.

The Vols (4-3, 1-2 SEC) only have to win two more games to guarantee a .500 record and a trip to the postseason.

How likely are the Vols to reach that goal? We recalculated our Monte Carlo simulation to find out.

Here are the somewhat subjective odds we are using for the final five games:

Opponent — Chance of winning

at Alabama — 8 percent

at Missouri — 38 percent

Auburn — 42 percent

Vanderbilt — 63 percent

at Kentucky — 81 percent

To make these percentages less subjective, I’ve tried to base them on the anticipated point spread for the game. Given that Alabama is favored by 28 over Tennessee, eight percent is extremely generous. (In other words, teams who are 28-point underdogs win much less often than that). Missouri could be undefeated and ranked in the top-5 when the Vols travel to Columbia, so that spread could grow, too. Auburn is likely to be 8-1 and in the top-10 when the Tigers travel to Knoxville, but the spread will be mitigated by the Vols’ home-field advantage. Vanderbilt is a wild card, too, as the Commodores just beat Georgia.

In any case, when we plug those numbers into the simulation and run it 1,000 times, here’s what we get.

Record in last five games — likelihood — overall record, SEC record

5-0 — 0.91 percent — 9-3, 6-2

4-1 — 9.75 percent — 8-4, 5-3

3-2 — 32.69 percent — 7-5, 4-4

2-3 — 36.45 percent — 6-6, 3-5

1-4 — 17.56 percent — 5-7, 2-6

0-5 — 2.64 percent — 4-8, 1-7

Bowl eligible? 79.8 percent

Miss a bowl? 20.2 percent

Because a Monte Carlo simulation uses random numbers, this projection may change every time the spreadsheet is edited. In other words, every time a change is made, the random simulation is re-calculated another 1,000 times, providing new projections.

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