Tennessee football’s top 10 upset wins one week after bad loss

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Tennessee junior fullback Hubert Simpson (32) slashes toward a gain as guard Mike Jester (68) blocks for him against the defense of Notre Dame Nov. 10, 1979. Simpson tied a team single-game scoring record with four touchdowns runs in leading the Vols to an 40-18 upset victory of Notre Dame before a record throng of 86,489 fans at Neyland Stadium.
Hubert Simpson

Can the Tennessee football Volunteers pull off another shocker a week after a bad loss?

Last week’s loss to the Kentucky Wildcats may be the worst for Tennessee football in the Jeremy Pruitt era. Unlike the Georgia State Panthers and BYU Cougars last year, his team got blown out, and he doesn’t have the rebuilding excuse.

So what’s up next for Rocky Top? They get to host the No. 2 ranked Alabama Crimson Tide. While UT was losing 34-7 at home to UK, Alabama was dominating the No. 3 ranked Georgia Bulldogs, establishing their dominance once again over the SEC.

Add in the fact that Nick Saban hasn’t lost to Tennessee football since taking the Alabama job back in 2007 and has never lost to any of his assistants, which Pruitt is among, and UT is in trouble. It’s shocking to think that Alabama is just a 21.5-point favorite.

Simply put, there is no reason to believe the Vols won’t head into their bye week with a losing record. However, don’t completely shut the door on them yet. Rocky Top has been in this situation before, facing an elite team one week after a bad loss, and pulled off the upset. In fact, they have done it a few times.

In this post, we’re going to rank UT’s biggest upset wins over ranked teams the week after suffering a bad loss. Our criteria for the ranking will be a combination of how bad the initial loss was and how big of an upset the win was in the following week.

To qualify for this list, however, it has to be the very next week. For instance, in 2013 and 2018, UT upset the South Carolina Gamecocks and Auburn Tigers respectively after losing to the Georgia Bulldogs. However, they had a bye after those UGA games. We should also note, to be fair, that they weren’t upset by Georgia in either of those outings.

Anyway, there are plenty of other matchups throughout history that may give Pruitt’s team a glimmer of hope for Saturday. Let’s look back on those. These are Tennessee football’s 10 biggest upset wins one week after a bad loss.

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