This is it. We are here. The last game of the regular season.
A wild 2019 regular season currently has the Tennessee Volunteers (6-6, 4-3) on track to play in a bowl game for the first time since 2016. On the other hand, the Commodores (3-8, 1-6) are simply looking to play spoiler.
Very few thought the Vols would be in this position as recently as a month and a half ago, but this is why you tough it out. You never know what can happen if you continue to work.
But enough of this. Let’s get to the staff picks.
Terry: Tennessee 31, Vanderbilt 13
Tennessee has one job left to do before they figure out where they’ll be going for a bowl game. They’ve got to snap Vandy’s win streak in this series, which has grown to three games. That’s flat unacceptable and everyone knows it.
Tennessee is rolling and Vanderbilt has struggled all season long. This feels like a spot to take some frustrations out for the Volunteers, who can get to seven wins with a victory on Saturday night.
Austin: Tennessee 38, Vanderbilt 0
There isn’t a whole lot to analyze here. Vanderbilt is having a miserable season. The only thing they really have to play for at this point is the satisfaction of beating their in-state rival. Unfortunately, that has become somewhat routine in recent years as Vanderbilt has won five out of the last seven matchups.
All of that is about to change on Saturday. The Vols are on a tear right now, led largely by the play of the senior class. Vanderbilt ranks 123rd in the country in terms of scoring offense, which doesn’t bode well against the Tennessee defense — particularly following halftime adjustments. Frankly, this one shouldn’t be close. Vols say goodbye to the senior class in style.
Evan: Tennessee 49, Vanderbilt 0
Usually this is a game where I just pick the opposite of whomever is in front of me, in hopes of coming home with the “picks title”
But nope. That’s not the case this year.
This is a game UT HAS TO WIN. Vanderbilt is in a realllly bad spot right now and Tennessee is clearly the better team. A loss to the Dores would essentially make the run over the last month moot.
Tennessee is going to pissed off and ready in front of a raucous home crown on Senior Night. What better time than to crush a rival?
Let’s get it done, boys.
Noah: Tennessee 41, Vanderbilt 13
Tennessee’s 2019 turnaround won’t be complete until they beat a Vanderbilt team that has been outscored 259-92 in SEC play this season.
The Vols have lost three-straight to the Commodores, and will most likely be looking to let out three seasons worth of pent of frustration on Senior Day at Neyland Stadium.
Normally, that scenario sets up for a possible let down, and while beating Vanderbilt will be a sigh of relief for the program, beating them comfortably would be even better as far as perception is concerned. This Commodore team is that bad. Anything close could raise some question marks.
Also, a win puts Tennessee at 7-5 and likely a Gator Bowl berth in Jacksonville.
Clint: Tennessee 35, Vanderbilt 7
Not much analysis this week as Thanksgiving dinner still has me loopy, and the final result of this one will likely be a multiscore victory. I think Tennessee’s defense is able to shut down a Vanderbilt offense with no threats to speak of. On the other side of the ball, I’m pretty sure Tennessee could have an awful game offensively and still score around 24 points. They can win at every single position on the field.
It looks like I will finish the season at 7-5 on my staff predictions posts. I was told that the winner was the writer whose picks most accurately mirrored the real life record. What? No on else was told that? I’ve been lied to!
Nick: Tennessee 21, Vanderbilt 9
I keep wanting to pick the Vols’ opponents because I keep thinking we’re overdue to stub our collective toe. When things are going well, I expect us somehow, someway, to blow it. The last 15 years have made me understandably hesitant to believe the Vols have turned the corner.
But Vanderbilt is bad, and we are most certainly less bad than they are. The conditions will be poor, but I’d say Tennessee does enough to win the game and secure its first seven-win season since 2016.