Randy Smith: Vols Go Bowling Again

Monday, December 9, 2019 - by Randy Smith
Randy Smith
Randy Smith
After two long agonizing seasons the Tennessee Volunteers are back in the college football bowl business. Tennessee will face Indiana from the Big Ten at the Taxslayer.com Gator Bowl Jan. 2 in Jacksonville, Florida. For a brief time on Sunday Vol fans had begun making plans to attend the Music City Bowl in Nashville and a match up with Louisville. That changed quickly in the afternoon as several media outlets incorrectly announced Nashville was the destination, then had to retract their stories.   

The sudden change in bowl venues brought mixed emotions from fans across the state.
Some were happy to be headed to a Florida bowl game after Christmas while others were disappointed the Volunteers were not going to be playing closer to home. I'm sure that Tennessee players and coaches were happy to just be in the post season no matter where the destination was.

Thinking back to the beginning of the season when most experts predicted Tennessee would be 7-5 or even 8-4, the Vols were 0-2 with back to back home losses to Georgia State and Brigham Young causing a widespread panic in Big Orange country. There was wringing of hands and gnashing of teeth  as some even predicted an 0-12 season could be at hand. While that gloom, despair and agony was going on in the background, Coach Jeremy Pruitt's team stayed the course and eventually put things together, ending the 2019 campaign with five straight wins. As the season came to a close, no team in the country wanted to face Tennessee.

I'm sure that some Alabama fans are disappointed the Crimson Tide will be playing Michigan in the Citrus Bowl rather than being in the College Football Playoffs for a sixth straight season, but that's how the ball bounces. While things didn't go Alabama's way in 2019, I'm sure that as soon as the bowls are over and we crown a new national champion, the quest will begin to bring Alabama football back in the conversation concerning national championships for 2020.

But for now, Tennessee fans are happy to just be back in the college bowl arena. It doesn't matter if it's the Gator Bowl or the "Punch Bowl" the Volunteers are back as they look to extend their bowl game winning streak to four in a row.     

* * * 

Randy Smith can be reached at rsmithsports@epbfi.com

SEC Basketball Standings, Results, Upcoming Schedule

SOCON Basketball Standings, Results, Upcoming Schedule

Dalton State Ends Road Trip With Thumping Of Loyola

Southeastern Conference Basketball Standings as of games of: January 20, 2020 SCHOOL CONFERENCE OVERALL MEN: ... (click for more)

Southern Conference Basketball Standings a s of games of: January 18, 2020 SCHOOL CONFERENCE OVERALL MEN: ETSU ... (click for more)

Dalton State played a near perfect game with five players scoring in double-figures in route to a 102-87 win over Loyola (La.) at The Den in New Orleans on Monday afternoon. THE FIRST HALF ... (click for more)


SEC Basketball Standings, Results, Upcoming Schedule

Southeastern Conference Basketball Standings as of games of: January 20, 2020 SCHOOL CONFERENCE OVERALL MEN: LSU 5-0 13-4 Kentucky 4-1 13-4 Florida 4-1 12-5 Auburn 3-2 15-2 ... (click for more)

SOCON Basketball Standings, Results, Upcoming Schedule

Southern Conference Basketball Standings a s of games of: January 18, 2020 SCHOOL CONFERENCE OVERALL MEN: ETSU 6-1 17-3 Furman 6-2 15-5 UNCG 5-2 15-5 Western Carolina 4-2 12-5 ... (click for more)

Breaking News

Gang-Related Party At Short-Term Rental Property On Signal Grew Out Of Members’ Desire To “Get Out Of Chattanooga Where The Heat Was On”

When three Signal Mountain police responded to reports of a fight in Old Towne Friday night, they found that the house at 404 South Street was dark. Investigators soon learned from neighbors, however, that the lights in the house had been on prior to the arrival of law enforcement officers, and could see for themselves that the driveway and back yard were filled with vehicles. ... (click for more)

Inspired Reverend Paul McDaniel Leads Reminiscences At Celebratory M.L. King Event

What started as a remembrance by five local civil rights leaders praising the 50-year-old Unity Group and other local civil rights work turned into an enthusiastic sermon by the Reverend Paul McDaniel Monday night of what still needs to be done. Mr. McDaniel, the last of the five speakers at the special Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day town hall program at Orchard Knob Missionary ... (click for more)


A Lack Of Civility At The Women's Rally

The behavior of our local radical left women was abusive and uncalled for. The next Woman’s Rally and March should be lessons in common decency and civility towards other women. Interrupting an invited female speaker with displays of yelling and holding up disparaging signs is wrong. The women before me that broke the barriers in male-dominated professions would be embarrassed ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Angels Walk Among Us

I know little about Scott Shaunfield, other than that he is a Captain with the Houston, Texas Fire Department, and the fact he once wrote a story about “the angels among us” that he knows is true. For the record, I am a huge believer in angels on this earth. No, you can’t see them, but I can easily recall the times that I have been highly suspect of angel-like people during my life. ... (click for more)