As we did last week, below is the remainder of Tennessee's schedule, their opponents' respective records and results, and my best guess as to the Vols' chances of beating them. My rating is on a proprietary scale of 5-30, where 5 is Never Gonna Happen, 30 is Absolutely Certain to Happen, and everything in between bears a high degree of flexible precision.
10/4/14: Florida (2-1, 1-1 SEC, NR)
- Week 1: Canceled.
- Week 2: Beat Eastern Michigan, 65-0.
- Week 3: Barely escaped Kentucky, 36-30 in triple overtime.
- Week 4: Lost to Alabama, 42-21. Bama handed them at least 14 of those 21 points.
- Week 5: Bye.
- Chances of a Vols win (on a scale from 5-30): 24. Florida didn't play last week, so this has less to do with the Gators than it does with the Vols once again, for the fourth time this season, playing above expectations. The Oklahoma game was closer than the score suggested, and the Vols not only covered the spread against Georgia, they probably should have won. Tennessee's opponent this Saturday is not just a teetering Florida team, it's nine years of (also reeling) hoodoo. Let's finish off both.
|EARLIER PREDICTIONS - FLORIDA|
10/11/14: Chattanooga (2-2, 1-0 Southern, NR)
- Week 1: Lost to Central Michigan, 20-16.
- Week 2: Lost to Jacksonville State, 26-23 in overtime.
- Week 3: Beat Austin-Peay, 42-6.
- Week 4: Bye.
- Week 5: Beat Samford, 38-24.
- Chances of a Vols win (on a scale from 5-30): 28. Not moving this one for two reasons. First, I'm not a "30" kind of guy -- the "impossible" happens too often -- and second, I'm reserving 29s for when we're a national championship contender playing a team like this.
|EARLIER PREDICTIONS - UTC|
10/18/14: @Ole Miss (4-0, 1-0 SEC, #11)
- Week 1: Beat Boise State, 35-13.
- Week 2: Beat Vanderbilt, 41-3.
- Week 3: Beat LA-Lafayette, 56-15.
- Week 4: Bye.
- Week 5: Beat Memphis, 24-3.
- Week 6: Alabama.
- Week 7: At Texas A&M.
- Week 8: VOLS.
- Week 9: At LSU.
- Week 10: Auburn.
- Week 11: Presbyterian.
- Week 12: Bye.
- Week 13: At Arkansas.
- Week 14: Mississippi St.
- Chances of a Vols win (on a scale from 5-30): I'm bumping this from 10 to 19. Last week, it was the same as Georgia, and I said they were probably not as good as Georgia but also probably not as flaky. Georgia was not ALL CAPS FLAKY GEORGIA this part weekend, but they did have some flaky residue on them in the form of not just running Todd Gurley every time they needed something to happen (because that guy gets what you need.) Anyway, looking back on the Bulldogs game, it feels like more of a 50/50 kind of game, and Ole Miss didn't really look that good against Memphis. I'm also including the Rebels' entire schedule above because it matters. So taking all of that into account, I think this may well be a toss up, so I'm going with 19. Not that 19 is Toss Up Land; the 5-30 scale is much more nuanced than that.
|EARLIER PREDICTIONS - OLE MISS|
10/25/14: Alabama (4-0, 1-0 SEC, #3)
- Week 1: Beat West Virginia, 33-23.
- Week 2: Beat Florida Atlantic, 41-0.
- Week 3: Beat Beat Souther Miss, 52-12.
- Week 4: Beat Florida, 42-21.
- Week 5: Bye.
- Chances of a Vols win (on a scale from 5-30): Last week, this was an 8, and after the way the Vols played Georgia, I'm bumping it all the way to 10.
|EARLIER PREDICTIONS - ALABAMA|
11/01/14: @South Carolina (3-2, 2-2 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.
- Chances of a Vols win (on a scale from 5-30): This was 15 last week, but I'm moving the dial up to 21 this week. As I said last week, we got 'em last year when we were worse and they were better. They played only slighter better against Georgia than we did and just gave a game away to a Missouri team that was beaten the previous week by Indiana. And oh yeah, Texas A&M. So yeah, 21.
|EARLIER PREDICTIONS - SOUTH CAROLINA|
11/15/14: Kentucky (3-1, 1-1 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.
- Chances of a Vols win (on a scale from 5-30): I'm going to stick with 20 this week. I still don't really know what to think about these guys, but we'll find out more this week when they host South Carolina. I'm terrified that we'll go through the entire season thinking we're on or ahead of pace, assuming this win all the way, only to come up a game short of our goals because we lose to these guys.
|EARLIER PREDICTIONS - KENTUCKY|
11/22/14: Missouri (4-1, 1-0 SEC, #24)
- 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.
- Chances of a Vols win (on a scale from 5-30): Remember last week when I was wondering how Missouri could lose to Indiana and stay ranked 18th in the nation? This was not further evidence of my imminent senility. For the record, on Tuesday mornings, ESPN's schedule pages use updated rankings but their team pages use last week's rankings. At some point, it resolves. The more you know, right? Anyway, Missouri was getting beat by a South Carolina team that was circling the drain and needed a fourth quarter comeback to get it done. On the other hand, they manufactured a fourth quarter comeback to get it done. So I'm sticking with 18 for now because who knows? And yes, that is perfectly consistent with a significant increase in the confidence level of beating South Carolina. The 5-30 ranking system accounts for things like that, but frankly it's too complicated to explain right now.
|EARLIER PREDICTIONS - MISSOURI|
11/29/14: Vanderbilt (1-4, 0-3 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.
- Chances of a Vols win (on a scale from 5-30): Because I'm not moving UTC up to 28, I'm keeping Vandy at 27, too.
|EARLIER PREDICTIONS - VANDERBILT|
So there you have it. The Vols' chances of winning each of the rest of its games, on a scale from 5-30. How would you rank them?