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Re-weighing the expectations for bowl eligibility with an offense that can moooove

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Weighing the Vols' chances against their remaining schedule: Week 10.

Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports

So the Tennessee Volunteers offense the last two weeks has put up 383 total yards against one of the nation's best defenses and 645 against South Carolina? That has us feeling pretty good going into the last three games of the season, no? 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.

11/8/14: Bye

11/15/14: Kentucky (5-4, 2-4 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: Lost to Missouri, 20-10.
  • Week 11: Georgia.
  • Week 12: VOLS.
  • Week 13: Bye.
  • Week 14: Louisville.
  • Chances of a Vols win (on a scale from 5-30): 23, but I'm really wary of it. The trap has been set. The team starts 5-1, barely losing only to Florida. They beat South Carolina, 45-38. Everyone wonders whether it means anything. They they lose three straight to LSU, Mississippi State, and Missouri, and everyone concludes that no, the 5-1 start doesn't mean anything. That loss to Missouri is the little extra camouflage. Meanwhile, we're looking like we've found ourselves. Good thing we have a bye week, which should give us some extra time to get the party out of our system and our heads right for what could be a very tough game, the name of the opponent notwithstanding.
EARLIER PREDICTIONS - KENTUCKY
W4 W5 W6 W7 W8 W9 W10
20 20 20 20 19 19 23*


11/22/14: Missouri (7-2, 4-1 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: Beat Kentucky, 20-10.
  • 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): 19. Still very confused about this team. 3-1 against nobodies to start the season. Barely get by South Carolina, which makes them look almost just like the current version of us. Shut out by Georgia, who just lost to Florida and against whom we looked much better. And yet actually beat that Florida team that we couldn't get by. Looked like only a little better team against both Vandy and Kentucky. Currently and quietly 7-2 overall and 4-1 and first in the SEC East. Shrugs all around.
EARLIER PREDICTIONS - MISSOURI
W4 W5 W6 W7 W8 W9 W10
18 18 18 23 20 22 19

11/29/14: Vanderbilt (3-6, 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: Beat Old Dominion, 42-28.
  • 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): Two week in a row of looking great on offense, and I'm moving this one up another notch to 28.
EARLIER PREDICTIONS - VANDERBILT
W4 W5 W6 W7 W8 W9 W10
27 27 24 25 24 27 28

And so we go from needing three of the next four to needing only two of the next three, and we get the two toughest of those at home and the third at our home away from home. And yet although we have one W at the very bottom of our iffy category, we also have that one L up in the thought-we'd-win zone, so nothing's guaranteed, of course. Stll, I'm feeling like this is not only doable but should-be-doneable based mostlyl on what I've seen our own guys do the last two weeks.

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

PREDICTIONS
5-30 SCALE W5 W6 W7 W8 W9 W10
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 (W; 45-42)
19 Ole Miss Kentucky Kentucky Missouri
20 Kentucky Kentucky Kentucky Missouri
21 South Carolina South Carolina South Carolina
22 Missouri
23 Florida (L; 10-9) Missouri Kentucky
24 Vanderbilt Vanderbilt
25 UTC (W; 45-10) Vanderbilt
26
27 Vanderbilt Vanderbilt
28 UTC Vanderbilt
29
30