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College Football: Tennessee-Vanderbilt RTT Staff Predictions

Which team will reach the cellar of the SEC East?

NCAA Football: Missouri at Vanderbilt Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Tennessee ends its season with a home game against Vanderbilt in which the loser will fall to 0-8 in the SEC and into the pit of the SEC East.

With a bowl game out of the question, Tennessee is playing for pride and a relatively good end to the season with a win against a rival. Tennessee has won 30 of the last 34 against Vanderbilt, but the Commodores defeated Tennessee last year to end the Vols’ regular season on an extremely sour note.

Terry Lambert: Tennessee 24, Vanderbilt 20

(Season record: 9-2)

I like the initial response of Tennessee in the opening stages against LSU. That effort couldn’t be sustained, due to another rash of injuries. Anytime you’re playing walk-ons on the offensive line, things aren’t going to go your way. There’s a chance Brett Kendrick could return, which would be a massive help.

As I noted after the game last weekend, Tennessee has plenty to play for here. A loss would mean that this group would literally go down in history as the worst Tennessee football team since joining the SEC. That would be all the inspiration that I needed. I think the Vols will be able to do enough on the ground to win this one, barring anymore catastrophic injuries.

Noah Taylor: Tennessee 27, Vanderbilt 14

(Season record: 10-1)

Saturday will mark a battle between two teams who are looking to avoid a winless season in conference play. Vanderbilt got out to a promising 3-0 start to the season, even beating a ranked Kansas State team during that stretch. Then they “wanted Bama” and since that 59-0 loss to the Tide, the Commodores have won one game (vs Middle Tennessee St.).

Tennessee’s season hasn’t gone much better, as it’s been marred by heartbreaking defeats, blowout losses, and off the field drama all of which resulted in the firing of Butch Jones three weeks ago. I think the Vols will have plenty to play for on senior day Saturday, having lost to Vanderbilt last season, a game that cost them a shot at the Sugar Bowl, will be plenty of motivation for Tennessee to come out and end the season in the win column and also, avoid an historically bad season.

Evan Winter: Tennessee 14, Vanderbilt 27

(Season record: 9-2)

Most of this is a contrarian pick just to fulfill my egotistical needs and tie for first place if I am correct, but there is definitely a more than legitimate chance for Vandy to beat the Vols.

The outcome of this game is in Jarrett Guarantano’s hands. He is the key to making this offense go and will be instrumental in helping the Vols offense avoid stacked boxes - a situation the Vols depleted offensive line does not want to be in.

I do think Derek Mason and Kyle Shurmur figured out Bob Shoop’s defense and that Vanderbilt will ride their offense to victory again, making Team 121 the worst ever in program history.

Conner Knapp: Tennessee 24, Vanderbilt 13

(Season record: 10-1)

I think Tennessee will end the season on some semblance of a high note. Both of these teams are obviously bad, but Tennessee came out swinging against LSU and might have actually had a chance to stay in that game were it not for the extreme weather conditions.

I believe Tennessee will be up for a game which it needs to win in order to get a conference and also to avoid the first ever Tennessee team to lose eight games in a season - something only Tennessee and Ohio State have never done.