Some very early bowl projections have Vols in Memphis, or sitting at home

Butch Jones after practice last month (photo by Evan Woodbery)

KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — Tennessee coach Butch Jones might have to deal with increased expectations on the home front in Year 2, but the optimism hasn’t gone national yet.

Two ESPN reporters, in an admittedly “way-too-early bowl projection,” don’t expect the Vols to do much in 2014.

Brett McMurphy has the Vols in the Liberty Bowl against Oklahoma State. That generally means a 6-6 or perhaps 7-5 record for an SEC team. Mark Schlabach predicts the Vols to miss out on a bowl game for the fourth season in a row.

For what it’s worth, my way-too-early season prediction is 6-6, which is about Liberty Bowl level. Of course, that was my prediction last year. The Vols went 5-7 and missed out on a postseason trip.