Surprise, surprise — Tennessee will have a tough schedule this fall. It’s a given playing in the SEC East against Georgia, while also having a protected west opponent in the form of Alabama. This year it’s Texas A&M and non-conference foes UTSA and Virginia further complicating things.
According to ESPN’s FPI, SEC programs make up five of the top eight hardest schedules in the country. Per their own strength of schedule rankings, Tennessee checks in at eighth overall. Ole Miss took the top spot with Florida, Arkansas and Auburn following.
Tennessee currently sits at 12th in the FPI rankings ahead of the 2023 season. The metric projects the Volunteers to finish with 8.2 wins and 3.9 losses — we’ll call it 8-4.
The 2023 campaign opens with a trip to Nashville to face Virginia before heading south to The Swamp in week three. A sneaky-interesting game against UTSA will lead into the South Carolina matchup in Knoxville. Tennessee gets a bye before hosting Texas A&M, then hits the road to Alabama. Kentucky-UConn-Missouri leads into the massive Tennessee-Georgia game on November 18th.
2023 Tennessee Football Schedule
Sep 2: Virginia (Nashville)
Sep 9: Austin Peay
Sep 16: at Florida
Sep: 23: UTSA
Sep 30: South Carolina
Oct 14: Texas A&M
Oct 21: at Alabama
Oct 28: at Kentucky
Nov 4: UConn
Nov 11: at Missouri
Nov 18: Georgia
Nov 25: Vanderbilt
Tennessee will have to navigate that at Florida-UTSA-South Carolina stretch to have a chance at a big season, which is something that they can obviously do. If they’re able to get through unscatched, it feels like the year will come down to a trip to Tuscaloosa, and of course the Georgia matchup in Knoxville.
Side note — interestingly enough — Georgia actually has the easiest schedule in the SEC. It ranks 31st nationally, which honestly seems low, considering they might not face a ranked team until November.
Tennessee’s win total sits at 9.5 for 2023, per DraftKings Sportsbook.