Recalibrating the Vols after the Alabama Game
Here's what the Vols' former opponents did this weekend:
- Bowling Green moved to 6-2 (one bad loss to Tennessee and one close loss to now 7-0 Memphis) with a 48-0 win over Kent State. That's a pretty good team.
- Oklahoma dominated Texas Tech 63-27 and moved to 6-1.
- Florida and Georgia did not play.
- Arkansas beat Auburn 54-46 to 4OT.
So again, the Vols' former opponents continue to make Tennessee look good. I think that by now we have a pretty good bead on this team. Like Arkansas, they can play with anyone, ranked or not, and will likely beat unranked teams. Unfortunately, losing to ranked teams has a way of getting you NR'd.
I hate to be overconfident or anything, but I honestly think that's the last of the losses we'll see this year, at least until the bowl game. Barring total collapse, of course, which is a phrase I haven't used since the last couple of minutes of the Florida game so take it for what it's worth.
Recalibrating the Vols' remaining opponents
So what about Tennessee's future opponents? First, the chart. Details on each are below.
|9||Georgia (W; 38-31)||Alabama (L; 19-14)|
|14||Oklahoma (L; 31-24 2OT)|
|17||Missouri||Florida||Florida (L; 28-27)|
|19||South Carolina||South Carolina||Arkansas (L; 24-20)|
|24||Vanderbilt||Vanderbilt||Vanderbilit||South Carolina||South Carolina||Vanderbilt||Missouri|
|25||Bowling Green (W; 59-30)||South Carolina||Vanderbilt|
|28||North Texas||North Texas||North Texas||North Texas||North Texas|
|29||Western Carolina||Western Carolina||
|North Texas||North Texas||North Texas||North Texas|
10/31/15: at Kentucky (4-3, 2-3 SEC, NR)
- W1: Beat UL-Lafayette, 40-33.
- W2: Beat South Carolina, 26-22.
- W3: Lost to Florida, 14-9.
- W4: Beat Missouri, 21-13.
- W5: Beat Eastern Kentucky, 34-27 in overtime.
- W6: Off.
- W7: Lost to Auburn, 30-27.
- W8: Lost to Mississippi State, 42-16.
Chances of a Vols win (on a scale from 5-30): At times, these guys looked good against the Bulldogs. At the end of the game on the scoreboard, not so much. I've bumped them (and everyone else North Texas, which has hit the ceiling) a spot toward confident based on the Vols themselves.
|PREDICTIONS - KENTUCKY|
11/7/15: South Carolina (3-4, 1-4 SEC, NR)
- W1: Squawked by UNC, 17-13.
- W2: Lost to Kentucky, 26-22.
- W3: Lost to Georgia, 52-20.
- W4: Beat UCF, 31-14.
- W5: Lost to Missouri, 24-10.
- W6: Lost to LSU, 45-24.
- W7: Beat Vandy, 19-10.
- W8: Bye.
|Sat, Oct 31||@ Texas A&M|
|Sat, Nov 7||@ Tennessee|
|Sat, Nov 14||vs Florida|
|Sat, Nov 21||vs The Citadel|
|Sat, Nov 28||vs Clemson|
Chances of a Vols win (on a scale from 5-30): Didn't play; moved one because of Tennessee.
|PREDICTIONS - SOUTH CAROLINA|
11/14/15: North Texas (0-7, 0-4 C-USA, NR)
- W1: DNP.
- W2: Lost to SMU, 31-13.
- W3: Lost to Rice, 38-24.
- W4: Lost to Iowa, 62-16.
- W5: Lost to Southern Miss, 49-14.
- W6: Lost to Portland State, 66-7.
- W7: Lost to Western Kentucky, 55-28.
- W8: Lost to Marshall, 30-13.
|Sat, Oct 31||vs UTSA|
|Sat, Nov 7||@ LA Tech|
|Sat, Nov 14||@ #25 Tennessee|
|Sat, Nov 21||@ Mid Tennessee|
|Sat, Nov 28||vs UTEP|
Chances of a Vols win (on a scale from 5-30): Glass ceiling at 29.
|PREDICTIONS - NORTH TEXAS|
11/21/15: at Missouri (4-4, 1-4 SEC, NR)
- W1: Beat SE Missouri State, 34-3.
- W2: Beat Arkansas State, 27-20.
- W3: Beat UConn, 9-6.
- W4: Lost to Kentucky, 21-13.
- W5: Beat South Carolina, 24-10.
- W6: Lost to Florida, 21-3.
- W7: Lost to Georgia, 9-6.
- W8: Lost to Vanderbilt, 10-3.
|Thu, Nov 5||vs Miss St|
|Sat, Nov 14||vs BYU*|
|Sat, Nov 21||vs Tennessee|
|Fri, Nov 27||@ Arkansas|
Chances of a Vols win (on a scale from 5-30): These guys are solid on defense, but terrible on offense. We should finally get them this year.
|PREDICTIONS - MISSOURI|
11/28/15: Vanderbilt (3-4, 1-3 SEC, NR)
- W1: Lost to Western Kentucky, 14-12.
- W2: Lost to Georgia, 31-14.
- W3: Beat Austin Peay, 47-7.
- W4: Lost to #3 Ole Miss, 27-16.
- W5: Beat MTSU, 17-13.
- W6: Off
- W7: Lost to South Carolina, 19-10.
- W8: Beat Missouri, 10-3.
|Sat, Oct 31||@ Houston|
|Sat, Nov 7||@ Florida|
|Sat, Nov 14||vs Kentucky|
|Sat, Nov 21||vs Texas A&M|
|Sat, Nov 28||@ Tennessee|
Chances of a Vols win (on a scale from 5.
|PREDICTIONS - VANDERBILT|
So assuming the Vols don't go on vacation now that the hard work is done, I think the team is safely in the orange zone now, which would give them five more wins in the final five games. That gives them an 8-4 record headed into a decent bowl game and a chance at nine wins. That, plus four losses by a total of 10 points not counting the overtime loss, which I'd argue is more like a one point loss than a seven point loss. There has been heartbreak this year, but we are getting closer to the prize.
But we are also counting eggs as chickens right now and still have five games to play. Plus, the team does still need to learn to play a killer in the role as favorite. Let's hope that goes well. I think it will.