KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — Tennessee’s football season is over, and there is no chance that the Vols could sneak into a bowl with a 5-7 overall record.
There were optimistic but inaccurate reports over the weekend that perhaps the Vols could find a way to score a postseason invitation.
Only in the rarest of circumstances would a 5-7 team get invited to a bowl. Even if it reached that point this year, the Vols would be among the last 5-7 teams on the list because of their struggles in the academic progress rate.
But that’s all a moot point. There are more than enough bowl-eligible teams to fill all 35 bowl games. Some 6-6 teams or perhaps even 7-5 teams will be left without a bowl. No 5-7 team from any conference will get in.
I believe the confusion about Tennessee’s status arose because the SEC might be unable to fill its bowl allotment. That happens occasionally, but it doesn’t allow the bowls to reach down and grab a 5-7 SEC team to fill the void (although the bowls would probably love that). Instead it means that the Independence Bowl will probably be scrounging around for a bowl-eligible MAC or Sun Belt team to fill the slot that would have otherwise gone to a 6-6 SEC team.