[title_box title=”Rocky Topics: Which bowl opponent would be most interesting for Vols?”]
Co-written by Nathan Odom
This week on Rocky Topics, sports editors Cody McClure and Nathan Odom debate which opponent would be most intriguing for Tennessee to face in a bowl game.
Odom: I would love to see Tennessee match up against Florida State in the Music City Bowl. Can you imagine all of the Publix, crab-stealing, and Dalvin Cook-related signs at the game? “Vol twitter” is infamous for its ruthlessness and humor and fans would take full advantage of that matchup. Back to serious topics, though. Florida State would give Tennessee a chance to beat a well-respected Power Five opponent and announce that Tennessee is “back” after blowing that chance earlier in the season against Oklahoma. Also, feels like ’98? The Vols could have a chance to repeat history and beat Florida State on a national stage yet again.
McClure: Let’s not forget that #FSUTwitter is interesting in its own right. Could we just have a Twitter battle between the fan bases? Why even play the game? It would be more fun to scroll through the news feed. Anyway, hear me out. My pick is Ohio State. It’s not happening in a million years, but it would be fantastic. The Buckeyes have Michigan State, Michigan and possibly Iowa or Wisconsin to finish out the season. It’s a tough stretch. Ohio State has roughly 80 percent of its roster back from last year’s national championship run, but the Buckeyes have been inconsistent. If, somehow, they lose two of their final three games, it isn’t outrageous to think they could play Tennessee in the Outback Bowl. Butch vs. Urban would be epic.
Odom: Although I believe Butch Jones would be out-coached by Urban Meyer, it would be quite a roller coaster ride. For Vol fans, it would be a dream come true. Tennessee could prove to the rest of the country that Ohio State plays an easy schedule by nabbing a win there. However, they could do exactly the same thing with Florida State. Along with that, the game would be in Nashville. Vol fans would flood the mid-state and make life a living hell for Florida State.
McClure: Your scenario is far more likely, especially since FSU will have three losses after being pounded by Florida. But think about the hype that would surround a matchup with Ohio State. The Vols would be the underdog, but I think most everyone believes Tennessee would be capable of winning the game. Ohio State and Tennessee are two of the oldest programs in college football (and also the only two to never lose more than seven games in a season). But the Vols and Buckeyes have only met on the field one time, in the 1996 Citrus Bowl. Tennessee won 20-14. You can’t spell Outback without UT.
Featured image by TNJN
Sports Editor, Cody McClure, has been with TNJN since January 2014. He is passionate about SEC football and basketball. To him, there's nothing better in life than game day in Neyland Stadium. Cody covers the SEC for Athlon Sports. Additionally, he co-hosts Rock Solid Sports for WUTK 90.3 FM on Fridays from 7-8 p.m. ET. Cody is also interning at Sports Radio WNML working under Jimmy Hyams. In his spare time, he plays golf, travels the country, and plays guitar, badly. Follow him on Twitter @CodyMcClureCFB.