5. 2020: 3-7
We’re finally at the 2020 team. To be fair, this is the one team that had to play all SEC opponents due to COVID. However, even by that standard, going 3-7 and losing four games by at least 21 points is embarrassing. They also lost to two teams with a winning record, only beat one team with a winning record and didn’t beat any team that finished the year in the top 25.
Simply put, this was a bad team. Tennessee football opened the year up with a solid win at the South Carolina Gamecocks, and then they blew out the Missouri Tigers. At 2-0, they were in the top 20 and on an eight-game winning streak to that point.
Although they blew a halftime lead to the Georgia Bulldogs to lose 44-21, things were still looking okay. Then they fell apart. A turnover filled first-half resulted in a shocking 34-7 home loss to the Kentucky Wildcats. UT then lost expectedly to the Alabama Crimson Tide. They came off the bye to blow back to back two-score leads to the Arkansas Razorbacks and Auburn Tigers.
All of a sudden, this team was 2-5, and Pruitt was on the hot seat. At this point, he turned to young talent, benching Jarrett Guarantano, and the Vols then lost to the Florida Gators. They finally regrouped to beat the Vanderbilt Commodores, but the season ended with a blowout loss to the Texas A&M Aggies, the same day that investigation that got him fired was revealed.
Multiple teams coached by Pruitt could have made this list, as the 2018 team went 5-7 with six losses by at least 25 points. However, that team saved itself from being on here by scoring two top 25 wins and suffering no losses to teams that didn’t make bowl games.