8. At Kentucky Wildcats
Saturday, Nov. 9; Commonwealth Stadium; Lexington, Ky.
Welcome to our first SEC game on the list. On paper, there should be some easier games for Tennessee football than the Kentucky Wildcats. After all, Mark Stoops is building a great program, and the Vols do have to face this team on the road.
However, UK playing this game in Lexington is the only twist on the slate. The Vols dominated the Wildcats in their best season since the Bear Bryant days last year, winning 24-7, while they were en route to a second straight losing season.
Meanwhile, the Wildcats lost everybody, while Jeremy Pruitt has a ton of talent. Stoops’s system is the type that Pruitt defenses east up, so this should be by far the easiest SEC game for the Vols in 2019.
That doesn’t mean they are a sure bet to win. After all, they did lose to Kentucky in 2017, even if it was by a slim margin, when Butch Jones’s program was collapsing. That and 2011 are the only times Kentucky has beaten the Vols the past 35 years.
Even as the program has fallen apart this decade, UK is still one team that Rocky Top owns. In fact, it’s the only SEC program the Vols have a winning record against. Now, they are 2-2 at Commonwealth Stadium, but the state of Kentucky this year compared to the state of the Vols should still make this their easiest SEC game. That’s why they’re No. 8.