After a faith-shaking performance against the South Carolina Gamecocks two weeks ago, the Tennessee Volunteers did even more than expected against FCS foe Tennessee Tech. It's not quite enough to get all of the warm fuzzies back, but it goes a long way in settling our collective stomachs and expectations the rest of the way.
Explanations are below, but first here's the updated chart for this week:
|5-30 SCALE||Week 1||Week 2||Week 3||Week 4||Week 5||Week 6||Week 7||Week 9||Week 10||Week 11|
|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|
|17||Florida||Georgia (W; 34-31)||Vanderbilt|
|21||Virginia Tech||Virginia Tech (W; 45-24)||South Carolina||Kentucky|
|24||Kentucky||Vanderbilt||South Carolina||South Carolina||Kentucky||Kentucky|
|25||Appalachian State (W; 20-13 (OT))||Missouri||Vanderbilt||Vanderbilt||South Carolina||Vanderbilt||South Carolina (L; 24-21)||Missouri|
|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|
Recalibrating the Vols after Tennessee Tech
Yeah, it was Tennessee Tech, but the Vols took care of business and looked good doing so. It felt last week like the team was at a crossroads, one hauntingly inviting direction heading off into the forest of despair. But the guys shrugged it off and chose the freeway to Atlanta instead. There are still perils along that path, of course, but the only unusually large rodents you generally see are split open on the highway and not jumping you from behind.
So once again, it feels like the Vols are somewhat comfortable favorites the rest of the way and that the Gators in the fast car up ahead are destined for an extended stay in a Baton Rouge body shop. All that's not to say that it's definitely going to happen, but that it feels much more likely to happen this week than it did last.
Recalibrating the Vols based on new results from past opponents
Yes, the Vols still own the nation's toughest schedule, thanks to its opponents generally making them look good. Apart from the inevitable eat-your-own losses between SEC East teams (and another we needed from Florida), only A&M slipped up this week.
Appalachian State (7-2, 5-0 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.
Virginia Tech (7-2, 5-1 ACC, #18)
- W1: Beat Liberty, 36-13.
- W2: Lost to Tennessee, 45-24.
- W3: Beat Boston College, 49-0.
- W4: Destroyed East Carolina, 54-17.
- W5: Bye.
- W6: Beat North Carolina, 34-3.
- W7: Lost to Syracuse, 31-17
- W8: Beat Miami, 37-16.
- W9: Beat Pitt, 39-36.
- W10: Beat Duke, 24-21.
Ohio (7-3, 5-1 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.
Florida (6-2, 4-2 SEC, #22)
- 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.
10/1/16: Georgia (5-4, 3-4 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.
10/8/16: Texas A&M (7-2, 4-2 SEC, #10)
- 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.
10/15/16: Alabama (9-0, 6-0 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.
10/29/16: South Carolina (5-4, 3-4 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.
11/5/16: Tennessee Tech (3-6, 3-3 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.
Recalibrating the Vols' future opponents
11/12/16: Kentucky (5-4, 4-3 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.
Expectations for a Vols win (on a scale from 5-30): Watch that video, folks. Kentucky looks legit this year, and the Vols will have to come out swinging. I'm bumping this game back down from last week, but it's still up from two weeks ago. 21.
|PREDICTIONS - KENTUCKY|
11/19/16: Missouri (2-7, 0-5 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.
Expectations for a Vols win (on a scale from 5-30): File this as an important life lesson to learn vicariously through the mistakes of others: When you promote your defensive coordinator to head coach, you've not just gained a head coach, you've lost your defensive coordinator. 25.
|PREDICTIONS - MISSOURI|
11/26/16: Vanderbilt (4-5, 1-4 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.
Expectations for a Vols win (on a scale from 5-30): This is a loss for Vanderbilt, but it's enough against a team that could win the SEC West to give you pause. If all goes well through November 19, expect some pressure for the Vols to close the deal against the Commodores. 22.
|PREDICTIONS - VANDERBILT|