Tennessee football is looking to finish Jeremy Pruitt’s second season with a winning record. Here are must-win games on the Volunteers’ schedule to to that.
When Tennessee football is at its peak, the most important games of the year are obvious. Fans used to circle the Florida Gators, Georgia Bulldogs and Alabama Crimson Tide as the games to define their season.
However, since they have fallen off again after a two years in the top 25 in 2015 and 2016, the goals and circumstances have changed again. Now, it’s important for Rocky Top to just try to get back to having a winning record.
And when that is the focus, the important games change a bit. So where should Tennessee football put its focus heading into this year, Jeremy Pruitt’s second season? Which games should the be circling?
In this post, we’re going to break down those must-win games. We are ranking each game by importance. The criteria is simply this: Which games are most important to receive the full focus of the Vols?
Ideally, every game is important. But we’re looking at which ones they need to put the most effort into in order to reach their goals of a winning season this year. In that regard, the need for focus changes a good bit.
Of course, there is always greater emphasis on conference games and rivalries. Those don’t change, but they do take a step back when you’re simply focusing returning to .500 ball or better. Heck, even if the Vols have the lofty goals of a top 25 finish, they have to reset their important games this year.
After all, we know that UT is almost certainly not winning the SEC Championship. Pruitt still has a good bit of work to do before they get there. But a good enough season could do wonders for the program’s future.
What is their path to get there? Which teams do they need to get the most up for? Take a look at that here in our rankings of all 12 games on the 2019 Tennessee football schedule based on their importance to the season.