Vols likely headed to Chick-fil-A

Tennessee is still sorting through its postseason plans.

But it appears they won't include a trip to Florida.

In a surprising development, the Outback Bowl (Jan. 1, 11 a.m.) looks like it will pass on the Vols, break from tradition and select Auburn out of the SEC West, which would likely send UT to the Chick-fil-A Bowl.

Sources indicated on Monday that the Vols wouldn't slide past the Atlanta-based bowl if the Outback didn't take them, though no decision has been reached yet according to UT athletic director Mike Hamilton.

The Vols thought they had their ticket punched to the Outback by virtue of a second-place finish in the SEC East after beating Kentucky on Saturday, but there's a possibility the Tigers were able to sneak into the picture by promising to sell more tickets -- a practice frowned upon by the league.

If UT also slips past the Chick-fil-A (Dec. 31, 7:30 p.m.), its likely destination would be Nashville for the Music City Bowl (Dec. 27, 7:30 p.m.).

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Comments » 144

Regulator writes:

While, in principle, I don't have a problem with Auburn getting the nod over UT due to head to head results, I think it speaks poorly of the SEC Commissioner's office to allow the Outback Bowl to go against the established selection protocol and select them. If UT falls below the Chick-Fil-A Bowl, that will be total BS!!

scott_m99 writes:

Since the Outback committee likes to use shady selection processes, then screw 'em...we'll gladly take the peach and play a better opponent

CrankE writes:

Fine with me. A better bowl, better opponent, another passover, another ho-hum by the SEC office, a chance to egg the Outback for their actions (twice), Mike Slive for his inaction (twice), and to again demonstrate that the league only cares about UF and UA. (It might not be true, but if the SEC sits still on this, then it confirms it for me.)

Bring on VT, Eat more turkey.

CHITOWNVOL writes:

Peach? Not very satisfied with that. I thought it was a possibility though that a team from the West would jump us. Definitely not making the trip to Atlanta. The only time the Vols should end up in ATL is for the SEC Championship from here on out. We'll probably get VT as an opponent. Should be a good matchup, but I would have liked to see us play in Florida. Also, there goes New Year's eve plans......

asleep#212036 writes:

Well, I hate that and I guarantee that Auburn promised to sell more tickets and unfortunately, they are probably right. I live in Alabama and either of those teams fill any and every stadium they play. And with the same record, Auburn did beat us in Knoxville if you look at it from that standpoint. I would only be incensed if they selected Kentucky over us - they would be a travesty. I would personally rather go to Atlanta than Tampa but was really hoping for Dallas. Go Vols!!!

VolJunkie writes:

NY Eve, national audience, VA Tech, recruiting hotbed ... not a bad place to land. Of course the politics of all this sucks, but ...

Go Vols!

memphis_vol_fan writes:

This is bogus. We went 4-4 in conference play and finished 2nd in the East while Auburn went 3-5 and finished 5TH in the West. The Outback Bowl has screwed us again!!!

jclowers writes:

Maybe Coach Kiffin can get us a win in the Georgia Dome for once so there will be less pressure next year when we end up there for a different game.

utfpmd writes:

Well, I was going to Tampa but I think I'll pass on Atlanta.

nocleats writes:

in response to Regulator:

While, in principle, I don't have a problem with Auburn getting the nod over UT due to head to head results, I think it speaks poorly of the SEC Commissioner's office to allow the Outback Bowl to go against the established selection protocol and select them. If UT falls below the Chick-Fil-A Bowl, that will be total BS!!

You would be under the assumption that the SEC Commish would be willing to stand up for the University of Tennessee, and more directly coach Kiffen. They are on his &%!7 list !!

yank9 writes:

I guess this in another reason to Eat Mor Chickin and less steak in the new year. Let's see if Mr. Slive knows how to speak Australian or if he forgets how! In any case, this should certainly be addressed when it comes time to renew bowl contracts.

Mr_Brownstone writes:

if slive and the sec had any kuhanas, they would tell the outback to stick it and not renew the contract for repeatidly making their selection on promised ticket sales; a practice frowned upon by the league.

you're right if it's not alabama and florida, the sec provides no support.

RichmondVol42 writes:

in response to VolJunkie:

NY Eve, national audience, VA Tech, recruiting hotbed ... not a bad place to land. Of course the politics of all this sucks, but ...

Go Vols!

This.

Also, who wants to get up at 11am New Years Day for a game against the Big (lame) 10?

volgrog#210164 writes:

Outback should be removed from the SEC bowl process. Replace them with the Gator Bowl. They pull this stuff all the time. If they aren't going to play by the rules, they should be excluded from having SEC teams.

jimmyrayvol writes:

A little disappointed, but ATL is not bad, beats no bowl... Remember last year?

Govolsps writes:

in response to jclowers:

Maybe Coach Kiffin can get us a win in the Georgia Dome for once so there will be less pressure next year when we end up there for a different game.

I like the sound of this.

3volfan writes:

to solve this, STOP EATING AT OUTBACK. when their sales in TN. drop due to this and the only people going are the people travelling thru the areas where an outback is at. it will make a difference. ask general motors or dodge how that works. VT is a much better opponent anyway, would probably be a sellout, but due to new years eve plans would be able to watch very little, unless they started the game earlier. i understand the head to head with Auburn, but worse conf. record, worse division standing, just isn't right, but it still is better than last year.

yank9 writes:

Just wondering---Can Kiffin, Hamilton, or UT be fined or suspended for criticizing the bowl selection process and the lack of SEC enforcement of their own policies?

CrankE writes:

Repost from other article:

- Kiffin could publicly note (and do it in a calm, professional way with no extra emotion) that the Outback passed UT over without so much as a peep of protest from the league office (i.e. Slive) in 2003 (and 2009?).
- Slive's blood pressure would skyrocket for a few reasons. 1) Kiffin/UT is speaking a known, unpleasant truth. 2) Slive gets attention for 2003. 3) The perception of 2009, that the SEC (Slive) only cares about Alabama and Florida is reopened with Slive's inaction on the 2003 (and probably 2009) Outback invitations offered as proof. 4) Finally, Slive can't fine/reprimand/draw/quarter/hang for Kiffin's comments as they're not critical, personal, or directed at a referee.

Review; egg the Outback, egg Slive-then freeze him, energize UT's players, students, fans, and alumni; draw all media eyes to the Atlanta where UT breaks the Georgia Dome hex by beating a tough, high quality opponent (and recruiting competitor) Virginia Tech, and do it in a state we've committed to raid in recruiting.

asleep#212036 writes:

Not hating on anybody but the attitude that some would have gone to Tampa but will not make the trip to Atlanta is the very reason why Auburn likely got(and Kentucky was being considered for) the Outback and we didn't. Any bowl committee member would tell you that for a major SEC school, Tenessee fans don't travel especially well. We didn't sell all our tickets from the last two Outback Bowls we went to. I went the first year and the Penn State crowd dwarfed our fans - anybody else who was there back me up on that one. I think we are still somewhat spoiled from the heady days of the 90's when BCS and NYD bowls were commonplace and Peach Bowls and the like were beneath us. We should go in force to Atlanta so that an Auburn or Kentucky won't even be in the picture next time. Go Vols!!!

vol88 writes:

This is not the first time the Outhouse Bowl has passed on UT. They did it several years ago. I say enjoy the ATL and eat at Texas Roadhouse in protest.

asleep#212036 writes:

in response to compact2:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Amen. I knew the day we lost that game it would come back to bite us in the tail. Go Vols!!!

murrayvol writes:

in response to 3volfan:

to solve this, STOP EATING AT OUTBACK. when their sales in TN. drop due to this and the only people going are the people travelling thru the areas where an outback is at. it will make a difference. ask general motors or dodge how that works. VT is a much better opponent anyway, would probably be a sellout, but due to new years eve plans would be able to watch very little, unless they started the game earlier. i understand the head to head with Auburn, but worse conf. record, worse division standing, just isn't right, but it still is better than last year.

I stopped eating at Outback years ago.....and it had nothing to do with the bowl selection process.

asleep#212036 writes:

in response to volgrog#210164:

Outback should be removed from the SEC bowl process. Replace them with the Gator Bowl. They pull this stuff all the time. If they aren't going to play by the rules, they should be excluded from having SEC teams.

Gator already coming on board in 2011.

beef4davols writes:

in response to compact2:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Chic-fil-a would probably pass on UGA since that would eliminate half the revenue from Hotels and anything else related to overnight stays by fans...and we beat the cr@p out of Georgia.

memphis_vol_fan writes:

As someone posted earlier, do you think the Chick-fil-a Bowl is gonna pass up Georgia. We're going to the Music City Bowl. It's a shame b/c our guys have EARNED a better bowl slot than that.

asleep#212036 writes:

And of course, I can spell "Tennessee" most of the time.

arkyvol writes:

i don't have a good memory of the peach bowl. the vols have laid an egg the last couple of times. but, with this staff, who knows?

CrankE writes:

in response to compact2:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Amen on UCLA, I've been saying the same thing since September. And ditto for the Auburn/Alabama losses since October.

vols96 writes:

Brent Hubbs reported that the Outback Bowl committee has 40 members on it – 30 of which are Florida alums. They did not want UT or Monte Kiffin anywhere near all of those local recruits for a bowl game.

Mr_Brownstone writes:

not so fast - peach bowl is now deciding between us and uga. significant pressure to keep the dawgs in state if available.

--espn

asleep#212036 writes:

in response to memphis_vol_fan:

As someone posted earlier, do you think the Chick-fil-a Bowl is gonna pass up Georgia. We're going to the Music City Bowl. It's a shame b/c our guys have EARNED a better bowl slot than that.

I would. No hotel money, no restaurants, no spending all that money in Atlanta on a long weekend. Most of the Georgia fans at that game will drive there then drive home or to a party they would have gone to anyway. No extra money in it for the city if they choose the Dog's. The Bowl get TV money but the city, well they only get what the visitors spend. No visitors, no spending. Bad. We'll see but I would always use Georgia as a last resort if I were on that committee. Go Vols!!!

wally writes:

I'll be there where ever they play. I love this team!

GahLee writes:

So we wen from the Cotton/Outback to the Peach?

Really thought that the Cotton was out of reach but the Outback was almost a lock.

We go to lower level bowl and get a tougher opponent too...Awesome!!!

Northwestern will more than likely be in the Outback and Virginia Tech will more than likely be in the Peach.

Oh well...Go Vols, beat whoever they put in front of you.

bowlinggreenvol writes:

in response to asleep#212036:

Not hating on anybody but the attitude that some would have gone to Tampa but will not make the trip to Atlanta is the very reason why Auburn likely got(and Kentucky was being considered for) the Outback and we didn't. Any bowl committee member would tell you that for a major SEC school, Tenessee fans don't travel especially well. We didn't sell all our tickets from the last two Outback Bowls we went to. I went the first year and the Penn State crowd dwarfed our fans - anybody else who was there back me up on that one. I think we are still somewhat spoiled from the heady days of the 90's when BCS and NYD bowls were commonplace and Peach Bowls and the like were beneath us. We should go in force to Atlanta so that an Auburn or Kentucky won't even be in the picture next time. Go Vols!!!

I agree 100% and was in a similar argument over on Volnation. I was at the PSU Outback game and was blown away how many fans they had there, granted I'm from FL and know how many yankees live there so it probably wasn't hard to find so many PSU fans. Our fans have gotten very fickle about traveling especially when its to the same bowl, as the Outback would be the 3rd time in a row.

asleep#212036 writes:

in response to Plasticman:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

We know that but the bowl committees probably just go by history and it's not on our side. Plus Hamilton claims he plays by the rules when it comes to lobbying the bowls, promising ticket sales,etc... Can we get someone to talk to the bowls who will fight for us please? All the other schools do. What's this "pressure" to keep Georgia in state? From whom? How about the Outback talking about ticket sales? How did that come up regarding Auburn? Hmmm. I don't like it either but if it's a mudfight you can't be afraid to get dirty. Go Vols!!!

Regulator writes:

Auburn, historically, has travelled pretty well. I was in front of a particularly obnoxious Auburn fan at the SEC championship game a few years ago. Would they sell more tickets than UT? Who knows. I don't think it would matter very much as that is a large venue, and other than Florida vs. Georgia, it rarely sells out. It could be just as much as not wanting a rematch of UT vs Wisconsin. I've said all along, I'd rather play ACC #2, either Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech, or possibly Clemson, than some over-rated also ran from the Big 10. Financial payout is smaller, but recruiting dividends gained in Georgia could offset the monetary difference with gains in future seasons. On a not totally unrelated note, it wouldn't suprise me if the Chick-Fil-A Bowl didn't eventually climb the pecking order in the SEC to #2 or #3/#4. Excellent location, with solid corporate support. That's part of why Jacksonville has such a hard time selling out it's venue, poor location. Lots of bad reviews after the Super Bowl a couple years back. Plus, as several others have mentioned, Outback kickoff is a 11am, Chick-Fil-A is at 7:30pm (I do believe) and wouldn't have much competition on national television. Regardless, we need a strong fan contingent wherever UT winds up. Logistically, Atlanta is the only place I'd be able to attend. So, selfishly, I'd love to see them there.

jmorri30 writes:

Long_Vol did you see what happened this past weekend?-The ACC got dominated by SEC schools (GT lost to UGA, Clemson got doubled by USC, and UF stomped FSU). The ACC and Big 10 are both pretty pathetic but I do feel that VT is much better than their record shows. I still wouldn't be too weary of playing someone from the ACC.

Volguy1971 writes:

I say we take up a fine collection bowl for Kiffin and let him blast eveyone...Even if he got suspended for the Bowl, the players would be even more fired up to make a point of having been disrespected. This is total BS with this happening to us again. I don't have a problem with the head to head. If records are the same, no problem. But we were 4-4 in the SEC vs 3-5 for AU. This is a load of BS. I'll throw $100 in for the bowl fine, who's with me?

TommyJack writes:

CLK on ESPNews at 1:30ish.

jcvol#215939 writes:

in response to asleep#212036:

Well, I hate that and I guarantee that Auburn promised to sell more tickets and unfortunately, they are probably right. I live in Alabama and either of those teams fill any and every stadium they play. And with the same record, Auburn did beat us in Knoxville if you look at it from that standpoint. I would only be incensed if they selected Kentucky over us - they would be a travesty. I would personally rather go to Atlanta than Tampa but was really hoping for Dallas. Go Vols!!!

Not so sure the "fill any and every stadium they play" comment is fact based. My daughter is a freshman in the Auburn band and to keep the streak alive of not missing any of her performances we bought Auburn season tickets this year - the ONLY game that every seat was used this year at Jordan Hare was the Alabama game.

In the "for what it's worth department" - I also donated about 15% of what I had been donating for my seats at Neyland and was able to get better seats.

All in all - Aubie might have promised to sell more, but my guess is they will end up having a lot purchased by the Athletic Department or Bobby Louder (if he has any money left after the Colonial Bank failure).

Go Vols!!

GoTennessee writes:

If Tennessee does not get an Outback Bowl invite, then you can bet they will not get a Chick-fil-A Bowl bid either. Why would they take Tennessee over Georgia? Both are 7-5. It's politics at this point. Cotton Bowl? No, Ole Miss beat us to get that bowl. I see Tennessee going to Nashville for the Music City Bowl. Hey look at it this way, if Tennessee had beaten UCLA, this would not be a problem! Go Vols, where ever we end up!!!

BigVolD writes:

in response to hiresanders:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Gettin that tail thumped for 25 years in a row will make one bitter. Sour grapes for the 1/4 Century losers.

thevoice writes:

At least we're not going to the papajohns bowl! By the way, where is that rascal? Guess we should have beaten UCLA or Alabama or Auburn. The eat mor chiken bowl is closer to me anyway. I'm happy. I'm remember the days when 6-4, 6-5, 7-4 would not have bowled. Too many bowls these days. But, whatever. The most important thing is that our team has 3-4 extra weeks of preparation and practice, enough to keep pace with panty-lovin' Myer and Satan.

jmorri30 writes:

RMFT, you're definitely right about special teams. It would be a match up of one of the better vs one of the worst but I think UT could stop their offense and pull it out.

LadyVolsEighTimes writes:

in response to compact2:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I'll add to that, If we had beaten Auburn this really wouldn't have been an issue at all.

Slive needs to man up and resolve this. If the Outback is breaking SEC rules concerning guaranteed ticket sales,, the SEC needs to not send any team to the Outback Bowl. As the SEC Commish it is part of his job tp protect all SEC teams from being treated unfairly. It appears Slive is a far better Dictator than he is a Diplomat/Leader. He needs to fine himself $100K for not following SEC Rules.

CrankE writes:

in response to Volguy1971:

I say we take up a fine collection bowl for Kiffin and let him blast eveyone...Even if he got suspended for the Bowl, the players would be even more fired up to make a point of having been disrespected. This is total BS with this happening to us again. I don't have a problem with the head to head. If records are the same, no problem. But we were 4-4 in the SEC vs 3-5 for AU. This is a load of BS. I'll throw $100 in for the bowl fine, who's with me?

I'll chip in.

In Kiffin's shoes I might say something like this, "Well, the official invitation hasn't been issued yet. Until that happens, we don't really have anything other than speculation to discuss."

Once the invitation is issued, Kiffin could open the bomb bay doors and begin carpet bombing. Or he could take a more subtle approach. "I have a number of thoughts on Tennessee being overlooked again by the Outback Bowl. But I think I'm going to keep my thoughts to myself until the SEC League office makes their thoughts and actions known. If I wait for them to tell me what to think before I speak, it'll be cheaper and smoother all the way around. In all seriousness, the SEC may take action on our behalf. Whatever. We're going to just let that play out and focus our team on whatever bowl DOES invite us."

atlvolsfan writes:

Suspicious selection process... but we have to be pleased with the Chic Fil A for a few reasons:
(1) Va Tech is ranked #11 AP and #13 BCS
(2) Atlanta is a hotbed for recruiting (Nick Saban pushes for the SEC/ACC opener at the dome as much as possible, because he understands what great recruiting exposure it is) just Google it if you don't believe me.
(3) The Outback will include an opponent of either Northwestern or Wisconsin. Neither of which are ranked.
(4) The Chic Fil A Bowl is New Year's Eve PRIMETIME. It will not compete with the slew of New Years Day bowls and thus provide greater viewership and ratings. (These things matter for future contracts and tv scheduling.)
(5) Vols win, then watch the peach drop.

stinky_pinky writes:

If you have been beaten by the same team for 25 years in a mf'n row, you should refrain from commenting. unreal

atlvolsfan writes:

in response to thevoice:

At least we're not going to the papajohns bowl! By the way, where is that rascal? Guess we should have beaten UCLA or Alabama or Auburn. The eat mor chiken bowl is closer to me anyway. I'm happy. I'm remember the days when 6-4, 6-5, 7-4 would not have bowled. Too many bowls these days. But, whatever. The most important thing is that our team has 3-4 extra weeks of preparation and practice, enough to keep pace with panty-lovin' Myer and Satan.

The Papa Johns Bowl is in Birmingham AL.

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