Vegas has set the Over/Under win total at 5.5 for the season (-210/+160). The real bookies in the crowd can straighten me out, but I think this means that Vegas believes the real number is 5.5+. Have to risk $210 to pick up $100 in winnings on the over and put down $100 to win $160 on the under. Feels tilted ever so slightly.
Some Vol fans are so enamored with Butch Jones that they believe 8 or 9 wins are gonna happen. I love your enthusiasm, but it doesn't threaten my fandom to tell you that you are suffering from Preseason Misperception Syndrome (PMS). This PMS is caused by undue optimism and excitement before the first kick-off. It's Charlie Brown running up to the ball just before Lucy pulls it away. It's the guy who heads to the altar for the fifth time saying "this one's gonna be different".
So take whatever pill the shrinks prescribe for PMS. Or, take it easier on the moonshine and the Big Orange Screwdrivers. I love what Jones and his staff are doing as well. But you can only "coach 'em up" so much. No one on the planet can take this team to 8 or 9 wins.
UT faces 5 teams in the top 10 -three of them on the road and two of them before we've turned the calendar on September. No time to grow into SEC players. No time to learn how to beat top 10 teams in hostile environments. You just can't take a 5-7 team that has a brand new QB, entirely new WRs, an average RB corps and go against top 10 defenses week after week with any success. We won't win one of those games. Not one.
That leaves running the table on the rest of the games to get to just 7 wins for the season. Ain't gonna happen, either. I want to believe it. I really do. Please prove me wrong, Vols. But reason tells me otherwise.
Not with a kicking game led by a kicker who has more mental problems than a fanbase struggling with PMS. Not with a thin DL, which is getting thinner because of injury as fall camp progress. Not with a scary porous secondary that has been abused at times by the freshman in Fall Camp. Newbies who were kissing their girls goodnight after attending senior prom three months ago. And, not with a LB group that has the heart of a lion but lacks SEC speed.
Six wins would be a very good result. Five wins are entirely possible.