12. Chattanooga Mocs
Let’s be clear. Tennessee football absolutely has to beat the Chattanooga Mocs. Losing this game would be extremely devastating and indicate a much larger issue than not making a bowl game in Jeremy Pruitt’s second season.
However, we still have this game at the bottom because of how little the Vols should have to focus to pull out this victory. FCS teams should be automatic wins for Rocky Top, and they have been throughout the school’s history.
But even by FCS standards, Chattanooga is a mediocre team heading into Knoxville. After all, they went 6-5 in 2018. Then they lost their head coach, Tom Arth, to the Akron Zips. and have to replace him with Rusty Wright, who has never been a head coach before.
That makes this team a mediocre FCS program undergoing a transition in 2019. As a result, this noon showdown that will take place in the third week of the season, on Saturday, Sept. 14, should be an easy win for the Vols.
If Jeremy Pruitt runs his backups and doesn’t prepare at all for this game, he should still come away with a very easy victory. The lack of focus required to win this game combined with the fact that it’s a non-conference game makes this the least important outing of the year for the Vols.
Now, again, a loss here could have a much worse impact than losses elsewhere would. But the chances of that happening are so slim that we still can’t move this past the No. 12 slot on our list. There is no way we could see UT losing to Chattanooga.