Here it is, y'all. The last game of the regular season, and hopefully the last time in a long time we have to wonder at Thanksgiving whether it's too soon to put the qualifier "regular" in front of the word "season." Of the eight Lunatic Fan's List of Demands, only two have been crossed off the list, but we can cross off two more tomorrow with a win against Vanderbilt to get bowl eligible, which would position us well for nabbing three of the last four next season.
So how big of a threat to our mental health and well being is Vandy? Let's take a look.
Of all of the teams the Vols have played this season (excluding FCS UTC), the Commodores look like they're actually the worst. No team ranks lower in Rushing Offense, Passing Offense, Scoring Defense, or Scoring Offense. The teams that are next-best in those categories? Kentucky, Florida, South Carolina, and Utah St./Kentucky. Yeah, the Florida game didn't turn out how we wanted it to, but their Passing Offense wasn't the problem.
What about those areas in which Vandy isn't the worst team we've played this season? Well, their rushing yards allowed per game is only eight yards and sixteen yards better than Arkansas State and Kentucky. The next best team is Georgia, but they're so much further up the ladder that it probably doesn't matter. And in Passing Defense, they're only better than Utah State while the next best comp is South Carolina against whom the Vols got 301 yards passing.
So if you're not feeling worried about this game, welcome to the club. Things can happen in rivalry games, yes, but let's hope that the new Vols close this one out like they should and then get to sit and wait for their bowl pairing.
|Comps||Result against Comps||Guess|
|Closest Lower||Closest Higher||Closest Lower||Closest Higher|
|Tennessee rushing offense vs. Vanderbilt rushing defense||100||131.8||86||185||Ark. St./KY||Georgia||Ark. St./KY||Georgia||180|
|Tennessee passing offense vs. Vanderbilt passing defense||52||240.4||67||229.8||Utah St.||South Carolina||Utah St.||South Carolina||300|
|Tennessee rushing defense vs. Vanderbilt rushing offense||71||165.6||114||108.5||None||Kentucky||None||Kentucky||100|
|Tennessee passing defense vs. Vanderbilt passing offense||35||202.3||106||181.8||None||Florida/Georgia||None||Florida/Georgia||130|
|Tennessee scoring offense vs. Vanderbilt scoring defense||73||27.9||104||34.1||None||South Carolina||None||South Carolina||45|
|Tennessee scoring defense vs. Vanderbilt scoring offense||52||24.5||118||17.2||None||Utah St./Kentucky||None||Utah St./Kentucky||10|