clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Weighing expectations for bowl eligibility: Now with more Dobbs

New, comments

Weighing the Vols' chances against their remaining schedule: Week 9.

Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

The defense we've been seeing all season plus an offense capable of putting up nearly 400 yards of balanced offense against Alabama's defense? I'll take it. But let's take a look at what our remaining opponents did this week before we adjust our expectations and rank the Vols' chances of beating them on our proprietary and infallible 5-30 point ranking system..

11/01/14: @South Carolina (4-4, 2-4 SEC, NR)

  • Week 1: Got pinned against Texas A&M at home, 52-28.
  • Week 2: Beat East Carolina, 33-23.
  • Week 3: Beat Georgia, 38-35.
  • Week 4: Beat Vanderbilt, 48-34.
  • Week 5: Lost to Missouri, 21-20.
  • Week 6: Lost to Kentucky, 45-38.
  • Week 7: Bye.
  • Week 8: Beat Furman, 41-10.
  • Week 9: Lost at #5 Auburn, 42-35.
  • Week 10: VOLS.
  • Chances of a Vols win (on a scale from 5-30): Last week I moved this down to 18, citing Tennessee's offensive ineptitude. This week, I'm keeping it there because the Gamecocks hung with Auburn at Auburn.
EARLIER PREDICTIONS - SOUTH CAROLINA
W4 W5 W6 W7 W8 W9
15 21 21 21 18 18

11/8/14: Bye

11/15/14: Kentucky (5-3, 2-3 SEC, NR)

  • Week 1: Beat UT Martin, 59-14.
  • Week 2: Beat Ohio, 20-3.
  • Week 3: Barely lost to Florida in the Swamp, 36-30 in triple overtime.
  • Week 4: Bye.
  • Week 5: Beat Vanderbilt, 17-7.
  • Week 6: Beat South Carolina, 45-38.
  • Week 7: Beat UL Monroe, 48-14.
  • Week 8: Lost to LSU, 41-3.
  • Week 9: Lost to Mississippi State at home, 45-31.
  • Week 10: At Missouri
  • Week 11: Georgia.
  • Week 12: VOLS.
  • Week 13: Bye.
  • Week 14: Louisville.
  • Chances of a Vols win (on a scale from 5-30): Again, I'm leaving this where it is at 19 because these guys were game against a top-ranked team. That trap I've been talking about each week right here in this paragraph is really beginning to entice, but fortunately, those 31 points against a #1 team shout WARNING just loud enough.
EARLIER PREDICTIONS - KENTUCKY
W4 W5 W6 W7 W8 W9
20 20 20 20 19 19

11/22/14: Missouri (6-2, 3-1 SEC, NR)

  • Week 1: Beat South Dakota State, 38-18.
  • Week 2: Beat Toledo, 49-24.
  • Week 3: Beat UCF, 38-10.
  • Week 4: Lost to Indiana, 31-27.
  • Week 5: Beat South Carolina, 21-20.
  • Week 6: Bye.
  • Week 7: Got shut out and gave up 34 to a Todd Gurley-less Georgia, losing 34-0.
  • Week 8: Beat Florida, 42-13. Two pick sixes and two special teams touchdowns helps explain 42 points on barely over 100 yards on offense. Good news and bad news for Tennessee.
  • Week 9: Beat Vanderbilt, 24-14.
  • Week 10: Kentucky.
  • Week 11: Bye.
  • Week 12: At Texas A&M.
  • Week 13: VOLS.
  • Week 14: Arkansas.
  • Chances of a Vols win (on a scale from 5-30): I'm moving this one up to 22 from 20 this week. A ten-point win over Vandy means to me at this point that you're more Vandy than Vandy had a good game. I expect Missouri to get beat by Kentucky this week, so we'll see whether I have them pegged or not.
EARLIER PREDICTIONS - MISSOURI
W4 W5 W6 W7 W8 W9
18 18 18 23 20 22

11/29/14: Vanderbilt (2-6, 0-5 SEC, NR)

  • Week 1: Lost to Temple, 37-7.
  • Week 2: Lost to Ole Miss, 41-3.
  • Week 3: Beat UMass, 34-31.
  • Week 4: Lost to South Carolina, 48-34.
  • Week 5: Lost to Kentucky, 17-7.
  • Week 6: Lost to Georgia, 44-17.
  • Week 7: Beat Charlie Southern. By a point. 21-20.
  • Week 8: Bye.
  • Week 9: Lost to Missouri, 24-14.
  • Week 10: Old Dominion.
  • Week 11: Florida.
  • Week 12: Bye.
  • Week 13: At Mississippi State.
  • Week 14: VOLS.
  • Chances of a Vols win (on a scale from 5-30): Wait, we get these guys a week after they're at Mississippi State? Moving this back to 27.
EARLIER PREDICTIONS - VANDERBILT
W4 W5 W6 W7 W7 W8
27 27 24 25 24 27

A mettle-tested Vols team emerges from the meat of the schedule with hope for bowl eligibility intact and pinned to the health and consistency of Josh Dobbs. The season really begins in earnest now, as Tennessee needs three wins in its next four games to get eligible for the postseason. The most difficult of those is likely the first, away and against a team who just gave #5 a real fight. Lose that one and the margin for error disappears and opens the door for the kind of nerves that lead to foot-shooting. So let's get the first one, and then lets get the rest of them. I'd love to see a bunch of Vols fans in Nashville knowing a bowl game is already secured.

The Vols' chances of winning each of the rest of their games, on a scale from 5-30.

PREDICTIONS
5-30 SCALE W4 W5 W6 W7 W8
5
6
7
8 Ole Miss (L; 34-3)
9 Ole Miss Alabama (L; 34-20)
10 Alabama Alabama
11
12
13 Alabama
14
15
16
17
18 Missouri Missouri South Carolina South Carolina
19 Ole Miss Kentucky Kentucky
20 Kentucky Kentucky Kentucky Missouri
21 South Carolina South Carolina South Carolina
22 Missouri
23 Florida (L; 10-9) Missouri
24 Vanderbilt Vanderbilt
25 UTC (W; 45-10) Vanderbilt
26
27 Vanderbilt Vanderbilt
28 UTC
29
30