Can Josh Heupel get Tennessee bowling in his first year in Knoxville?

The Volunteers were invited to 2 bowls during the Jeremy Pruitt era. In 2019, following a 7-5 season, they landed in the Gator Bowl, beating Indiana. Despite a 3-7 mark in 2020, they were invited to the Liberty Bowl as the 6-win mark was put on hold due to the pandemic. However, because of a number of COVID-19 cases within the program, they were forced to withdraw.

During Monday’s episode of “The Paul Finebaum Show”, Paul Finebaum expressed some concern with the Vols’ chances of making a bowl in 2021, pointing to the loss to Pittsburgh as a game the Volunteers needed in order to improve their prognosis.

Instead, Finebaum feels that the team may need to spring an upset to get to that 6-win mark.

“I think it’s going to be very difficult. Not impossible, but difficult,” he said. “Tennessee’s going to have to beat somebody they’re not supposed to, whether that’s a Kentucky, whether that’s Missouri, Ole Miss, somebody like that. (The loss against Pitt was) the game that they had to win to breathe easily, and they let it get away.”

Tennessee takes on Tennessee Tech at Neyland Stadium on Saturday.

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Sports betting in Tennessee officially launched on November 1, 2020, and many of the largest sportsbooks are live and operating in the volunteer state. Tennessee is only one of a handful of SEC football states with legalized sports betting.