1. Tennessee’s future opponents will be overconfident and have nothing to go on.
Not only did Tennessee football get a huge advantage with keeping their starters in all game Saturday, but they also now can cash in on the fact that none of their opponents will focus on them. Guys, this is a huge deal.
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That’s for the rest of the FBS opponents on their schedule. Even going into next week, despite their loss to the Utah Utes, the BYU Cougars will be heading into Knoxville extremely overconfident. Why wouldn’t they be?
BYU went from being excited to play at Rocky Top to just hoping they don’t embarrass themselves to the team that lost to the Georgia State Panthers. Now, if they win, it means nothing, and losing will look horrible. All of a sudden they’re the team with nothing to gain.
Then you’ve got SEC play. The Florida Gators and Georgia Bulldogs were already almost certainly going to beat the Vols. But there was reason to believe they would take Jeremy Pruitt’s team seriously. Now they could get too overconfident.
And while the South Carolina Gamecocks and Missouri Tigers both had bad losses, they weren’t as bad as the Vols. The same holds true for the Mississippi State Bulldogs and Kentucky Wildcats looking horrible. All of those teams still have enough reason to be overconfident for UT.
On top of that, there’s the chance that the Vols lost because Jeremy Pruitt was just saving all of his good stuff for the SEC. Why not? That’s where the games count. It was worth losing this one to make SEC opponents overconfident and unaware of the plays Tennessee football will run. This is Pruitt’s brilliant strategy to win the East, and it just might work out.