Tennessee football: Ranking every 2020 game by difficulty

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Photo by Silas Walker/Getty Images

Here is a difficulty ranking of every Tennessee football Volunteers matchup.

Just like every other SEC team, Tennessee football has been forced to go from a 12-game schedule with four non-conference opponents to a 10-game schedule with all league opponents. For Jeremy Pruitt’s team, it made things much harder.

The Vols lost three easy teams and one top 10 team in the Oklahoma Sooners but picked up two top 12 teams, which we’ll get to later. All of a sudden, though, optimism for an 8-4 season has now turned into just hope for a 5-5 season.

Not every team got as bad a draw as Tennessee football, but many did. In addition to the talent of the teams on the schedule, the layout of the schedule also made things hard for lots of programs, including Rocky Top at times.

So what does this all mean? Well, in this post, we’re going to break down just how hard things look. We will be ranking every game on the Vols’ 2020 schedule solely based on how difficult it will be for them to win that game.

Our leading criteria is obviously how tough the team is. However, where it falls on the schedule is second. That includes whether or not UT or its opponent is coming off a bye, who each team played the week before and who they are set to play the week after.

Whether or not the game is at home or on the road will remain a factor, but given the pandemic, we’re lessening the impact of that for now, especially for games in September and October. After all, stadiums during that time will only be at 25 percent capacity, so home field advantage isn’t going to mean much.

We’ll still count it, though, just as we do everything else, even if it counts less. Putting all of this in play, let’s go ahead and look at the season. This is our ranking of all 10 games on Tennessee football’s 2020 schedule by difficulty.

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