Reviewing RTT's 2012 Statsy Previews

Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

Want to see a defense so historically bad that it continually defied increasingly dire predictions all season long? You've come to the right place!

This space and time will usually feature a post that monitors Tennessee's improvement (or the opposite of that, but hopefully not) by looking at the team's national ranking in the major statistical categories. This being Labor Day weekend, though, the source for stats that I'll use all season hasn't yet updated for the first games, so this will be postponed.

On Wednesdays, we'll usually have a statistical preview and prediction of the upcoming game. Because it's based on prior stats, though, we don't usually do it until about the third game of the season, which is honestly still too early, but hey, this is a blog and not a mathematics or statistics journal. Last year, I used one of the first two weeks to instead review the prior season's results. They were sort of a mixed bag, but they were also good enough to support continuing to do them in 2012.

So today, we'll do the same thing and look at how the system did in 2012. Just like last year, I'm going into this with no preconceived notions (except what I learned last year about 2011), so the results could be embarrassing.

Here we go:

Florida

Prediction: "Tennessee 27, Florida 24."

Result: Florida 37, Tennessee 20.

Comments:You may recall that the score at halftime was 14-10, Vols, before the Gators realized that the Sal Sunseri School of Defense believed that defending outside the tackles wasn't important and that it was best just to let the offense score if they insisted on running past the hash marks. Still, even with that, this wasn't a horrible prediction that early in the season.

Akron

Prediction: "Tennessee 42, Akron 28."

Result: Tennessee 47, Akron 26.

Comments: That's not bad.

Georgia

Prediction: "Georgia 38, Tennessee 31."

Result: Georgia 51, Tennessee 44.

Comments: Well, I had the spread right. Was still in disbelief about how historically good our offense was and in denial about historically bad our defense was.

Mississippi State

Prediction: "Tennessee 28, Mississippi State 24."

Result: Tennessee 31, Mississippi State 41.

Comments: Getting a bead on the offense, but still hopelessly devoted to denial about the defense? Really, though, the numbers should have started predicting this sort of thing by this time, so I'm calling this an utter failure, at least as it pertains to the defense.

Alabama

There was a monster at the end of this preview: "Alabama 45, Tennessee 13"

Result: Alabama 44, Tennessee 13.

Comments: I'm calling that a win.

South Carolina

Prediction: "South Carolina 33, Tennessee 27."

Result: South Carolina 38, Tennessee 35.

Comments: Eh. Not bad, but not great.

Troy (Uh-Oh)

Prediction: "Tennessee 49, Troy 24."

Result: Tennessee 55, Troy 48.

Comments: This just goes to show that Sal Sunseri defied all statistics. I apologize on behalf of numbers everywhere.

Missouri

Prediction: "Tennessee 42, Missouri 43."

Result: Tennessee 48, Missouri 51.

Comments: It was 28-28 at the end of regulation, so this was a whiff. On the upside, I got to use the phrase, "So passes Denethor."

Vanderbilt

Prediction: "Tennessee 40, Vanderbilt 39."

Result: Tennessee 18, Vanderbilt 41.

Comments: Statistics mean little when the front falls off.

Kentucky

Prediction: Also, when the front falls off, the authors start obsessing about new coaches and neglect to do Kentucky previews.

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So 2012 was a bit of a mixed bag again, but still worthwhile, I think. Whew.

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