How the Tennessee Volunteers' future opponents fared this weekend

Spruce Derden-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire

A quick look at the resumes of the Vols' remaining opponents and a more detailed look at how they did this past weekend, with revised predictions, animated drive charts, and video where available.

Before we look at Tennessee's future opponents, let's talk a bit about how we feel about the Vols after the Georgia game. I may feel differently after the Bulldogs take on the Gamecocks this Saturday, but right now I, like Derek Dooley, believe that Georgia is a legitimate top 5 team that will compete for the national championship. If there's a question about them, it's their defense, and if they turn out to be a bad defensive team, then forget everything. But if not, then the game we just saw this weekend makes me feel like the Vols can compete with anyone and have a chance to win. Progress is hard to measure when it's necessarily relative and the relatives are all moving targets, and just because we haven't won one of those big games yet doesn't mean that we can't or won't soon.

So yeah, I feel better about the Vols' chances after last week. But let's take a look at our remaining opponents.

@Mississippi State Bulldogs

  • Week 1: Clobbered Jackson State, 56-9.
  • Week 2: Beat Auburn, 28-10.
  • Week 3: Beat the Trojan Troys Trojans, 30-24.
  • Week 4: Beat South Alabama, 30-10.
  • Week 5: Bye
  • Joel feels __________ about this game this week: BETTER, based on Tennessee's performance against Georgia. Neither the team nor the fans should take these Bulldogs lightly, of course, but the only really impressive win on that resume is Auburn, and apart from Auburn confusing September for October and giving LSU a bit of a scare, they have not looked good.

Alabama Crimson Tide

FULL SCREEN VERSION

Animated Drive Chart brought to you by Gameday Depot.
  • Joel feels __________ about this game this week: A DIFFERENT KIND OF BAD, as in a NOT SO BAD BAD. I still don't think we win, but the slimmest chance we had before has grown into a different, slightly less slim chance. Kind of like going from an egg to a little chick. There's still a fox outside the door, but at least we can move a little now.

@South Carolina Gamecocks

  • Week 1: Squeaked (squoke? It is a chicken.) by Vandy, 17-13.
  • Week 2: Beat East Carolina, 48-10.
  • Week 3: Beat the UAB Blazers, 49-6.
  • Week 4: Beat Missouri, 31-10.
  • Week 5: Beat Kentucky, 38-17.
FULL SCREEN VERSION

Animated Drive Chart brought to you by Gameday Depot.
  • Joel feels __________ about this game this week: A LITTLE BETTER BUT STILL NOT GOOD ENOUGH DARNIT. Kentucky had a very real chance to go into halftime up 24-7, but blew a red zone opportunity gift-wrapped by the Gamecocks. South Carolina scored 31 unanswered in the second, so, you know, uh-oh.

Troy Trojans

  • Week 1: Beat UAB, 39-29.
  • Week 2: Lost to the Ragin' Cajuns, 37-24.
  • Week 3: Lost to Mississippi State, 30-24.
  • Week 4: Beat North Texas, 14-7.
  • Week 5: Beat South Alabama, 31-10.
FULL SCREEN VERSION

Animated Drive Chart brought to you by Gameday Depot.
  • Video.
  • Joel feels __________ about this game this week: STILL BETTER, after watching that video immediately above.

Missouri Tigers

  • Week 1: Beat SE Louisiana Lions, whoever they are, 62-10.
  • Week 2: Lost to Georgia, 41-20.
  • Week 3: Beat Arizona State, 24-20.
  • Week 4: Lost to South Carolina, 31-10.
  • Week 5: Beat UCF, 21-16.
FULL SCREEN VERSION

Animated Drive Chart brought to you by Gameday Depot.
  • Joel feels __________ about this game this week: STILL BETTER. 21-16 over Central Florida? Okay.

@Vanderbilt Commodores

  • Week1: Lost in the aforementioned squeaker to South Carolina, 17-13.
  • Week 2: Lost to Northwestern, 23-13.
  • Week 3: Beat the Presbyterian Blue Hose, 58-0.
  • Week 4: Lost to Georgia, 48-3.
  • Week 5: Bye.
  • Joel feels __________ about this game this week: THE SAME WAY HE FELT PRESEASON.

Kentucky Wildcats

  • Week 1: Lost to Louisville, 32-14.
  • Week 2: Beat Kent State, 47-14.
  • Week 3: Lost to Western Kentucky in OT, 32-31.
  • Week 4: Lost to Florida, 38-0.
  • Week 5: Lost to South Carolina, 38-17.
  • Joel feels __________ about this game this week: ONLY SLIGHTLY WORSE. Like somebody pinched me. I'm fairly certain I'll recover without extensive rehabilitative therapy.

Conclusion after Week Four

So there was some movement toward optimism this week, both due to Tennessee's performance against Georgia and the performance of the Vols' future opponents in their games. But regarding season projections for wins and losses, I'm not ready to change either of the projected losses to Alabama and South Carolina. Unfortunately, the move toward optimism is still borne of that frustrating kind of progress, that which cannot be measured in wins and losses but only closing some indeterminable distance between here the goal. The team is better, but the predicted record is still 8-4 for me.

Opponent Preseason Prediction Revised Prediction Result
NC State W W W
Georgia State W W W
Florida W W (L) L
Akron W W W
Georgia L L L
Mississippi St. W W
Alabama L L
South Carolina L L
Troy W W
Missouri W W
Vanderbilt W W
Kentucky W W
Record 9-3 8-4
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