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Other than Alabama, What is the toughest game on Tennessee’s 2017 schedule?

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NCAA Football: Tennessee at Florida Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Of course Alabama is the toughest game on Tennessee’s schedule. Nobody is going to fight you on that — if they do, they’re delusional. But Tennessee has a host of games outside of that one that are going to be tough ones. The goal is to win the SEC East, but I see four roadblocks for that goal.

There are three clear cut candidates here: at Florida, Georgia at home and LSU at home. The Volunteers would likely need two of these three at least to have a chance at Atlanta. While it’s certainly possible for Tennessee to win these, I wouldn’t say it’s likely — but you never know.

The toughest and perhaps most important game to me is going to come against Florida in the swamp. The Gators got a boost with the addition of Malik Zaire at quarterback last week. Zaire is the likely starter, but Tennessee is fortunate to catch him so early in the season. Will he have a full grasp of the offense by then? I doubt it.

The Gators are replace a ton on defense too. Caleb Brantley, Jalen Tabor, Quincy Wilson and Marcus Maye have all moved on to the NFL. That defense might not be as stout as it usually is.

But we know Tennessee is replacing a ton of talent as well. This is a really tough one to call, but the winner is likely sitting in the driver’s seat in the SEC East, as they usually are.

Georgia and LSU are close on this list, but at least both games will happen in Knoxville. Georgia seems to be getting a bunch of love this offseason, but I’ve still got plenty of question marks on the Bulldogs.

As for LSU, I think Tennessee is catching them at a nice point in the schedule. LSU has fallen apart the past few years late after hot starts. They’ll be ushering in a new offense, but they won’t lack talent. It all comes back to Danny Etling though. Derrius Guice can only get you so far. Tennessee better hope they have their rushing defense issues worked out by the time Guice comes to town, however.

So I’ll take Florida in the swamp as the toughest game on the 2017 schedule outside of ‘Bama. What do y’all think?

Poll

What is Tennessee’s toughest game other than Alabama?

This poll is closed

  • 61%
    at Florida
    (284 votes)
  • 8%
    Georgia
    (41 votes)
  • 26%
    LSU
    (120 votes)
  • 3%
    Other
    (15 votes)
460 votes total Vote Now