Tag Archives: bowls

Could Tennessee get a bowl invitation at 5-7? (Short answer: No. Long answer: Also no.)

Rajion Neal and teammates celebrate with fans after Tennessee’s victory over Kentucky on Nov. 30, 2013.

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.

Vols’ bowl chances drop to 29 percent, but 2-0 finish still possible (with video)

KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — Tennessee Vols keep losing and its opponent keep looking tougher.

Those have been the two big reasons the Vols’ likelihood of being bowl eligible has continued to slip in each week of our projections.

After Tennessee’s third consecutive loss and Vanderbilt’s impressive win at Florida, I’m now projecting the Commodores as a 2-point favorite at Neyland Stadium on Nov. 23 based on the current Sagarin ratings. That drops the Vols’ estimated likelihood of winning to 47 percent (down from 53 percent the last time we ran the simulation.

If Tennessee loses to Vanderbilt, the final game at Kentucky on Nov. 30 won’t matter as much. I’m giving the Vols a 4-point edge based on the Sagarin ratings, although I predict the actual point spread (and the final score) will be larger. In any case, that gives UT a 62 percent chance of winning (down from 64 percent a week ago).

With only two games left, running a simulation really isn’t necessary. We can quickly calculate the odds of going 2-0 (29.1 percent), 0-2 (20.1 percent) and 1-1 (50.8 percent).

We ran the simulation about 1,000 times and it was, in fact, very close to those numbers. (The longer I run the simulation, the more it should approach the numbers above).

Simulated results of UT's season, updated Nov. 10, 2013

The Vols’ likelihood of making a bowl has continued to drop since we started these projections.

Infographic  UT's bowl chances over time

Later in the week, we’ll take a look at where Tennessee might end up if the Vols reach .500. I’ll update last week’s bowl projections to reflect recent games and change some bowl estimates that people complained about (like Mizzou to the Sugar).

Vols’ chances of postseason bowl sink below 50 percent, according to simulation

Simulated results of UT's 2013 seasonKNOXVILLE, Tennessee — The last two weeks have not been kind to Tennessee’s bowl aspirations.

The odds of a trip to the postseason have slipped from about 80 percent after Tennessee gained a big win against South Carolina to just under 50 percent today after blowout losses to Alabama and Missouri.

Here are the estimated odds of Tennessee winning each of its last three games:

Nov. 9: vs. Auburn: 28 percent (down from 41 percent)

Nov. 23: vs. Vanderbilt: 53 percent (down from 62 percent)

Nov. 30: at Kentucky: 64 percent (down from 75 percent)

The odds listed above are educated guesses, but I tried to use a consistent method. I calculated an expected margin of victory based on Sagarin predictor ratings, which are sometimes similar to the point spreads set by Vegas. Then I converted the spread to a rough money line and converted the money line to an implied percentage. In the case of the Auburn game, I used the actual Vegas spread.

Then I entered all the numbers in my make-shift simulator and ran the rest of the season about 1,000 times.

Here’s what it spat out:

8-4, 5-3 overall: Eliminated (from 4.46 percent last week)

7-5, 4-4 overall: 11.32 percent (down from 25.73 percent)

6-6, 3-5 overall: 35.83 percent (down from 41.13 percent)

5-7, 2-6 overall: 40.16 percent (up from 24.92 percent)

4-8, 1-7 overall: 12.70 percent (up from 3.76 percent)

The records in bold would qualify the Vols for bowl eligibility. The simulation gives that a 47 percent chance of happening.

Through about 1,000 simulations, the mean number of UT wins was 5.46.

So, as has been the case for most of the season, the best guess for the Vols’ final regular season record is 5-7 or 6-6.