6-6 and bowl-bound?

Tennessee's chances of getting a bowl bid in 2006 just got a lot better. Heck, a 6-6 record may be good enough to land a post-season invitation this fall.

The NCAA this week approved four new bowls, boosting the total to 31. The total will be 32 if the Houston Bowl is renewed. Its fate is in limbo after allegedly failing to pay last year's participants.

Moreover, the NCAA board of directors approved a proposal allowing .500 teams to be bowl eligible if their conference has a contract with the bowl. So, if the Vols can just go 6-6 this season they could find themselves in the Music City Bowl, the Independence Bowl or the Houston Bowl (if it's still in existence). Teams with .500 records also are eligible for bowl play if there are no bowl-eligible teams with winning records available.

One of the new bowls, as reported earlier this week, will be a fifth BCS bowl. It will be played Jan. 8 in Glendale, Ariz., between the top two teams in the BCS rankings. The other BCS bowls will be played a week earlier in Tempe (Fiesta), Miami (Orange), New Orleans (Sugar) and Pasadena (Rose).

The other new games are the International Bowl, the Birmingham Bowl and the New Mexico Bowl. The International Bowl will be played in Toronto.

A bowl game in Canada in December? Maybe they should've named it the Chilly Bowl.

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