Tennessee is back in Florida for its second consecutive bowl game. What once seemed like routine is now celebrated. It should be.
Vols fans know not to take mid-level bowls for granted. Those fans should relish the trip. Tennessee’s players should be much more businesslike. Northwestern isn’t a pushover.
The Wildcats are higher rated and perhaps more physical. A win could propel the Vols into every final Top 25 list. An impressive Tennessee performance could boost Tennessee’s 2016 preseason ranking and, most importantly, help bolster the Vols’ sagging 2016 recruiting class.
If the improvement arc under Butch Jones continues, there could come a day when an Outback Bowl bid signifies a down year. That day is not here just yet.
Here’s how to tune in to all the action tomorrow:
Tennessee Volunteers (8-4, 5-3 SEC) vs. Northwestern Wildcats (10-2, 6-2)