Did UT get what it deserved?

Tennessee football fans are disappointed that the Vols had to settle for a Peach Bowl bid. They believe the Big Orange deserved better, and they're right ... but not MUCH better.

Despite a 10-2 record and No. 6 national ranking, does anyone really believe Tennessee was the sixth-best team in college football this season? I think UT was a top-15 team but not a top-10 team. The Vols lost to an Auburn team which didn't make the top 25 and lost big to a Georgia team that barely made the top 10. They needed overtime to beat a South Carolina team that finished 5-7 and needed five OTs to beat an Alabama team that finished 4-9. The Big Orange defeated one top-10 team (Miami) but played impressively just twice all year -- stomping a Mississippi State team that had quit on Jackie Sherrill 59-21 and battering an injury-depleted Vanderbilt team 48-0.

Don't get me wrong; I think the Vols deserve a lot of credit for being resourceful enough to win 10 games. I just don't think they have much room to complain about not getting a BCS bid. I doubt they would beat Miami in a rematch, and I doubt they could beat any of the other teams that got BCS bowl bids -- Oklahoma, LSU, Michigan, Southern Cal, Ohio State, Kansas State or Florida State. Well ... maybe Florida State.

Moreover, I don't blame the Capital One Bowl for picking Georgia over UT because the Dawgs beat Tennessee by 27 points on the Vols' home field. It's true that Georgia lost three times but two of those setbacks were at the hands of LSU, which is probably the best team in college football.

Furthermore, I don't blame the Cotton Bowl for choosing Ole Miss, which was the SEC's second-hottest team in November (behind LSU) and has a marquee player in Eli Manning.

If the Outback Bowl had picked Tennessee, I think the Vols would've gotten exactly what they deserved. Instead, the Outback picked an 8-4 Florida team that UT beat by 14 in the Swamp, enabling UT to drop to the Peach Bowl. That really stinks.

So, I agree that the Big Orange deserved better this bowl season ... but not MUCH better.

Inside Tennessee Top Stories