Non-bowl teams that will rebound in 2014 

January, 9, 2014
Jan 9
12:48
PM ET
Butch JonesAP Photo/Wade PayneArmed with a top recruiting class, Butch Jones and the Vols are poised to rise next season.
So many people out there love to complain about there being too many bowl games and too many teams playing in the postseason. Of course, that's easy to say if your team was one of the 70 teams playing and not one of the 54 teams sitting at home.

As legendary Tennessee head coach and tweeter from the great beyond @GeneralRNeyland posted last week: "To schools whose fans don't show up to their 'too small/too far away' bowl. Try sitting out a couple yrs. That'll fix it."

So who among 2013's non-bowl programs are most likely to rebound for a postseason berth one year from now? In order to find out, I talked to a variety of coaches and administrators for their leading candidates.

Here are the results, the five non-bowl teams most likely to rebound in 2014.


Tennessee Volunteers

2013 record: 5-7
Last bowl game: 2010 Music City Bowl (30-27 double-overtime loss to North Carolina)

This is where you say, “What? Over Florida?” But it only takes a few phone calls to football experts through the Southeast to convince you that the Vols, who haven't bowled in three years and just posted a fourth consecutive losing season for the first time in history, are on the more comfortable side of the SEC East growth curve than the Gators.

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