Vols likely to face a Bowden

One way or another, it looks like Tennessee's football team will be facing a Bowden in postseason action.

Most likely, the Vols will wind up facing Clemson (coached by Tommy Bowden) in the Peach Bowl. If things fall just right, though, the Big Orange could meet Florida State (coached by Bobby Bowden) in the Orange Bowl.

Here's the reasoning:

The Orange Bowl will pick either Miami or Florida State as its host team because these are in-state programs that will create a lot of interest and sell a lot of tickets. If the Orange picks Miami, Tennessee is out of luck because the last thing bowl brass want is a rematch of the Vol-Hurricane game played just last month at the same site.

If the Orange picks FSU, however, Tennessee would be a very attractive opponent for the Seminoles. For one thing, the game would be a rematch of the 1998 national title game. For another, UT and FSU appear to be roughly equal in terms of quality. Of course, Orange brass might elect to match FSU with Ohio State, since the Buckeyes are the defending national champs.

If Tennessee doesn't make the Orange Bowl, it likely will fall all the way to the Peach Bowl. That's because the Capital One seems likely to invite the LSU-Georgia loser and the Outback has already tied the knot with Florida.

Tennessee supposedly has an outside shot at a bid to the Fiesta Bowl, where it probably would face Texas, but that scenario seems a little remote.

For what it's worth, here are my bowl projections:

SUGAR: Oklahoma vs. Southern Cal
ROSE: Michigan vs. Miami
ORANGE: Florida State vs. Ohio State
FIESTA: LSU vs. Texas
CAPITAL ONE: Georgia vs. Iowa
COTTON: Ole Miss vs. Kansas State
OUTBACK: Florida vs. Purdue


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