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Recalibrating expectations for the Vols’ last remaining game

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With nearly a season’s worth of results, here’s how we’re feeling about Tennessee’s last regular season game.

NCAA Football: Missouri at Tennessee Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

It's another good-news-bad-news game for the Vols with confidence blooming on offense and death-rattling on defense, plus a surprising result from their last remaining regular season opponent. Here's how it all affects our outlook.

Explanations are below, but first here's the updated chart for this week:

PREDICTIONS
5-30 SCALE Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4 Week 5 Week 6 Week 7 Week 9 Week 10 Week 11 Week 12 Week 13
5
6 Alabama Alabama Alabama
7
8 Alabama
9 Alabama
10 Georgia
11 Alabama
12 Georgia
13 Texas A&M Texas A&M
14 Georgia Florida (W; 38-28) Texas A&M
15 Texas A&M Texas A&M Georgia Texas A&M (L; 45-38 2OT) Alabama (L; 49-10) Kentucky
16
17 Florida Georgia (W; 34-31) Vanderbilt
18 Florida
19 Missouri Missouri Missouri Missouri
20 South Carolina Florida
21 Virginia Tech Virginia Tech (W; 45-24) South Carolina Kentucky (W; 49-36)
22 Kentucky Missouri Kentucky Vanderbilt Vanderbilt
23 South Carolina Missouri Vanderbilt Kentucky Vanderbilt Missouri Vanderbilt Missouri (W; 63-37)
24 Kentucky Vanderbilt South Carolina South Carolina Kentucky Kentucky Vanderbilt
25 Appalachian State (W; 20-13 (OT)) Missouri Vanderbilt Vanderbilt South Carolina Vanderbilt South Carolina (L; 24-21) Missouri
26 Vanderbilt Kentucky Kentucky South Carolina
27 Missouri Tennessee Tech (W; 55-0)
28 Ohio Ohio Ohio (W; 28-19)
29 Tennessee Tech Tennessee Tech Tennessee Tech Tennessee Tech Tennessee Tech Tennessee Tech Tennessee Tech Tennessee Tech
30

Recalibrating the Vols after Missouri

It's deja vu this week, feeling perhaps even better about the Vols' ability to score points and perhaps even worse about their ability to stop other teams from running all over them. Let's call it a wash. If you can be both frightened and exhilarated by your laundry.

Recalibrating the Vols based on new results from past opponents

For weeks, I've been expecting to bring up the NCAA's listing of toughest schedules to find that the Vols have finally slipped from the top spot, and this week I would have bet good money on it. But no, the Vols STILL own the nation's toughest schedule, even after adding the three-win Missouri Tigers to the list of former opponents. So woo for having a hard time.

Appalachian State (8-3, 6-1 Sun Belt, NR)

  • W1: Lost to Tennessee in OT, 20-13.
  • W2: Beat Old Dominion, 31-7.
  • W3: Lost to #25 Miami, 45-10.
  • W4: Beat Akron, 45-38.
  • W5: Beat Georgia State, 17-3.
  • W6: Bye.
  • W7: Beat LA-Lafayette 24-0.
  • W8: Beat Idaho, 37-19.
  • W9: Beat Georgia Southern, 34-10.
  • W10: Beat Texas State, 35-10.
  • W11: Lost to Troy, 28-24.
  • W12: Beat UL Monroe, 42-17.

Virginia Tech (8-3, 5-2 ACC, NR)

Ohio (7-4, 5-2 MAC, NR)

  • W1: Lost in 3OT to Texas State, 56-54.
  • W2: Beat Kansas, 37-21.
  • W3: Lost to Tennessee, 28-19.
  • W4: Beat Gardner-Webb, 37-21.
  • W5: Ohio (not Miami) beat Miami (Ohio), 17-7. :-)
  • W6: Beat Bowling Green, 30-24.
  • W7: Lost to E Michigan, 27-20.
  • W8: Beat Kent State, 14-10.
  • W9: Beat Toledo, 31-26.
  • W10: Beat Buffalo, 34-10.
  • W11: Bye.
  • W12: Lost to Central Michigan, 27-20.

Florida (8-2, 6-2 SEC, #13)

  • W1: Beat UMass, 24-7.
  • W2: Trounced Kentucky, 45-7.
  • W3: Beat North Texas, 32-0.
  • W4: Lost to Tennessee, 38-28.
  • W5: Beat Vanderbilt, 13-6.
  • W6: Postponed their game with LSU.
  • W7: Beat Missouri, 40-14.
  • W8: Bye.
  • W9: Beat Georgia, 24-10.
  • W10: Lost to Arkansas, 31-10.
  • W11: Beat South Carolina, 20-7.
  • W12: Beat #16 LSU, 16-10.

10/1/16: Georgia (7-4, 4-4 SEC)

  • W1: Beat North Carolina, 33-24.
  • W2: Barely beat Nicholls, 26-24.
  • W3: Came back late to squeak out a win against Missouri, 28-27.
  • W4: Lost to Ole Miss 45-14.
  • W5: Lost to Tennessee, 34-31.
  • W6: Beat South Carolina, 28-14.
  • W7: Lost to Vanderbilt, 17-16.
  • W8: Bye.
  • W9: Lost to Florida, 24-10.
  • W10: Beat Kentucky, 27-24.
  • W11: Beat #9 Auburn, 13-7.
  • W12: Beat LA-Lafayette, 35-21.

10/8/16: Texas A&M (8-3, 4-3 SEC, #22)

  • W1: Beat #16 UCLA in OT, 31-24.
  • W2: Beat Prairie View A&M, 67-0.
  • W3: Beat Auburn, 29-16.
  • W4: Beat Arkansas, 45-24.
  • W5: Beat South Carolina, 24-13.
  • W6: Beat Tennessee, 45-38 in double overtime.
  • W7: Bye.
  • W8: Lost to Alabama, 33-14.
  • W9: Beat New Mexico State, 52-10.
  • W10: Lost to Mississippi State, 35-28.
  • W11: Lost to Ole Miss, 29-28.
  • W12: Beat UTSA, 23-10.

10/15/16: Alabama (11-0, 7-0 SEC, #1)

  • W1: Clobbered #20 USC, 52-6.
  • W2: Beat Western Kentucky, 38-10.
  • W3: Beat #19 Ole Miss, 48-43.
  • W4: Beat Kent State, 48-0.
  • W5: Beat Kentucky, 34-6.
  • W6: Beat #16 Arkansas, 49-30.
  • W7: Clobbered #9 Tennessee, 49-10.
  • W8: Beat #6 Texas A&M, 33-14.
  • W9: Bye
  • W10: Beat LSU, 10-0.
  • W11: Beat Mississippi State, 51-3.
  • W12: Beat Chattanooga, 31-3.

10/29/16: South Carolina (6-5, 3-5 SEC, NR)

  • W1: Beat Vanderbilt, 13-10.
  • W2: Lost to Mississippi State, 27-14.
  • W3: Survived East Carolina, 20-15.
  • W4: Lost to Kentucky, 17-10.
  • W5: Lost to Texas A&M, 24-13.
  • W6: Lost to Georgia, 28-14.
  • W7: Bye.
  • W8: Beat UMass, 34-28.
  • W9: Beat Tennessee, 24-21.
  • W10: Beat Missouri, 31-21.
  • W11: Lost to Florida, 20-7.
  • W12: Beat Western Carolina, 44-31.

11/5/16: Tennessee Tech (5-6, 5-3 OVC, NR)

  • W1: Lost to Wofford, 21-7.
  • W2: Beat Austin Peay, 41-7.
  • W3: Lost to Mercer, 34-27.
  • W4: Lost to UT Martin, 44-23.
  • W5: Beat Eastern Kentucky, 33-30 in OT.
  • W6: Lost to Jacksonville State, 40-21.
  • W7: Lost to E Illinois, 30-24.
  • W8: Beat SE Missouri St., 21-20.
  • W9: Bye.
  • W10: Lost to Tennessee, 55-0.
  • W11: Beat Tennessee State, 44-16.
  • W12: Beat Murray State, 55-19.

11/12/16: Kentucky (6-5, 4-4 SEC, NR)

  • W1: Collapsed and lost to Southern Miss, 44-35.
  • W2: Lost to Florida, 45-7.
  • W3: Beat New Mexico State, 62-42.
  • W4: Beat South Carolina, 17-10.
  • W5: Lost to Alabama, 34-6.
  • W6: Beat Vanderbilt, 20-13.
  • W7: Bye.
  • W8: Beat Mississippi State, 40-38.
  • W9: Beat Missouri, 35-21.
  • W10: Lost to Georgia, 27-24.
  • W11: Lost to Tennessee, 49-36.
  • W12: Beat Austin Peay, 49-13.

11/19/16: Missouri (3-8, 1-6 SEC, NR)

  • W1: Lost to West Virginia, 26-11.
  • W2: Beat Eastern Michigan, 61-21.
  • W3: Lost to Georgia, 28-27.
  • W4: Beat Delaware State, 79-0.
  • W5: Lost to LSU, 42-7.
  • W6: Bye.
  • W7: Lost to #18 Florida, 40-14.
  • W8: Lost to MTSU, 51-45.
  • W9: Lost to Kentucky, 35-21.
  • W10: Lost to South Carolina, 31-21.
  • W11: Beat Vanderbilt, 26-17.
  • W12: Lost to Tennessee, 63-37.

Recalibrating the Vols' future opponents

11/26/16: Vanderbilt (5-6, 2-5 SEC, NR)

  • W1: Lost to South Carolina, 13-10.
  • W2: Beat MTSU, 47-24.
  • W3: Lost to Georgia Tech, 38-7.
  • W4: Beat Western Kentucky, 31-30 in overtime.
  • W5: Lost to Florida, 13-6.
  • W6: Lost to Kentucky, 20-13.
  • W7: Beat Georgia, 17-16.
  • W8: Beat Tennessee State, 35-17.
  • W9: Bye.
  • W10: Lost to #9 Auburn, 23-16.
  • W11: Lost to Missouri, 26-17.
  • W12: Beat Ole Miss, 38-17.

Expectations for a Vols win (on a scale from 5-30): Ole Miss is not the same team it was earlier in the season, but this is still a pretty good result for Vanderbilt. I'm going to actually move them up two spots because I think the Vols are going to give them a bunch of points and will have to outscore them. 22.

PREDICTIONS - VANDERBILT
W1 W2 W3 W4 W5 W6 W7 W9 W10 W11 W12 W13
26 24 25 23 25 23 25 23 17 22 24 22