How the Vols' future opponents did this week: Post-Auburn, Bye

Frederick Breedon

Does getting thrashed by opponents better than you mean that you can't beat opponents you should beat? Nope.

I hope everyone enjoyed their mental health break from football last week, and I really hope Butch Jones gathered up all of the heads and screwed them back on after yet another grueling October that extended into November. It's really difficult to look at the results of the past three games and keep bouncing up and down on the sideline like you're going to win out, especially when your next opponent with the reputation of Vanderbilt beats a team with the reputation of Florida and makes you wonder what parallel dimension we've wandered into.

But I am going to keep hopping up and down, and I'm predicting that the Vols are going to win out against Vandy and Kentucky. No mistake, both games are much closer calls than we expected or wanted at the beginning of the season, but they are still both winnable. Tennessee hasn't been favored to win a game since it played South Alabama on September 28. They've been 8, 11, 28, 7.5, and 11 point underdogs in their past five games, but they open as 3 point favorites against Vandy and figure to be favorites against Kentucky as well. If they come to play with their heads on tight, they can and should win.

So here's what our two remaining future opponents did the past two weekends and a little more detail on how it impacts our outlook for the remainder of the season.

Vanderbilt Commodores (6-4, 3-4 SEC, NR)

  • Week 1: Lost to Ole Miss, 39-35.
  • Week 2: Beat Austin-Peay, 38-3.
  • Week 3: Lost to South Carolina, 35-25.
  • Week 4: Beat UMass, 24-7.
  • Week 5: Beat UAB, 52-24.
  • Week 6: Lost to Missouri, 51-28.
  • Week 7: Off.
  • Week 8: Beat Georgia, 31-27.
  • Week 9: Lost to Texas A&M, 56-24.
  • Week 10: Off.
  • Week 11: Beat Florida, 34-17.
  • Week 12: Beat Kentucky, 22-6.
  • Joel feels __________ about this game this week: I've been calling this game a win since before the season began. Vandy's win over Georgia in Week 8 didn't change my opinion because Georgia was reeling from multiple injuries. Things changed a bit in Week 11, though, only a little because the Commodores beat Florida, who, let's face it, is having a really hard time right now (hahahahahaha), and only a little more because Tennessee had been manhandled for three consecutive weeks at the hands of #1 Alabama, #9 Missouri, and #9 Missouri. But Florida -is- a hot mess, and those teams that have pummeled the Vols the last three weeks are the front runner for the SEC East and the two front runners for the SEC West, the latter of which is an awesome stroke of scheduling nirvana. So anyway, yeah, I'm feeling worse about this game, and I think it's going to be nerve-wracking and close. Plus, we have to listen to Andre Ware for 3.5 hours. (EDIT: This last part is, thankfully, incorrect, although if you, like me, hear Ware's voice scratching chalkboard in your head, I'm starting a support group.) But I do still think the Vols pull it out.

@Kentucky Wildcats (2-8, 0-6 SEC, NR)

  • Week 1: Lost to Western Kentucky, 35-26.
  • Week 2: Beat Miami of Ohio, 41-7.
  • Week 3: Lost to Louisville, 27-13.
  • Week 4: Off.
  • Week 5: Lost to Florida, 24-7.
  • Week 6: Lost to South Carolina, 35-28.
  • Week 7: Lost to Alabama, 48-7.
  • Week 8: Off.
  • Week 9: Lost to Mississippi State, 28-22.
  • Week 10: Beat Alabama State, 48-14.
  • Week 11: Lost to Missouri, 48-17.
  • Week 12: Lost to Vandy, 22-6.
  • Joel feels __________ about this game this week: SAME. WIN. Most people are saying that they're more worried about Vanderbilt than they are about Kentucky, and if you just look at records, you'd have to agree. But the Wildcats have one of those mobile quarterbacks we love so much. Bottom line, this one got harder to call, too, but I'm still going with the Vols.

Conclusion after Week Twelve

No change, except for degree of certainty. The prediction is still bowl eligible at 6-6 with the Vols winning out over Vandy and Kentucky.

Opponent Preseason Prediction Revised Prediction Result
Austin-Peay W W W
Western Ky. W W W
Oregon L L L
Florida L L L
South Alabama W W W
Georgia L L L
South Carolina L L (but W) W
Alabama L L L
Missouri W L L
Auburn W L L
Vanderbilt W W
Kentucky W W
Record 7-5 6-6 4-6 (1-5)
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