Vols' bowl destination

Pete Fiutak of collegefootballnews.com is probably as reliable as any of the so-called "experts" when it comes to projecting the future. Tennessee fans can only hope he's dead wrong about the 2007 Vols.

In a piece entitled "2007-08 Early Bowl Projections," Fiutak predicts that Tennessee will conclude its upcoming season by playing in the Chick fil-A Bowl against Maryland.

For one thing, that probably means the Vols would not have one of the top four or five records among Southeastern Conference teams. For another, Tennessee's recent experiences in Atlanta have been neither pleasant nor memorable.

Vol fans no doubt recall the last time the Vols and Terrapins met in the Chick fil-A Bowl. That was Dec. 31, 2002, when Maryland mauled a seemingly disinterested Vol squad 30-3. The performance may well have been UT's worst of the 21st century. Making matters worse, Tennessee returned to Atlanta to lay another Chick fil-A egg the following year. This time a sixth-ranked and heavily favored Vol team suffered a humbling 27-14 setback to Clemson.

Given these recent Chick fil-A debacles, the thought of another bowl trip to the Georgia Dome has to be less than enticing to Vol fans. Clearly, Fiutak isn't trying to curry favor with UT supporters based on this pick.

Counting his "Ridiculously Early BCS Picks," posted earlier in the week, Fiutak foresees eight SEC teams getting bowl bids in the season to come. Here's a complete recap:

Liberty: Tulsa vs. Alabama

Independence: Kansas State vs. Arkansas

Music City: FSU vs. South Carolina

Chick fil-A: Maryland vs. Tennessee

Outback: Ohio State vs. Florida

Cotton: Oklahoma vs. Auburn

Capital One: Penn State vs. Georgia

BCS Championship Game: Southern Cal vs. LSU

The only SEC teams Fiutak does not project to earn bowl bids are Kentucky and Vanderbilt from the East, Ole Miss and Mississippi State from the West.

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