8. South Alabama Jaguars
Saturday, Nov. 20; Neyland Stadium; Knoxville, Tenn.
We’re still on the circled games, but now we moved to the circled wins that Tennessee football still has a 0.0000001 percent chance of losing. The first of those circled wins is the South Alabama Jaguars. Honestly, despite them being an FBS team, this should be as easy of a game for the Vols as the Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles are.
South Alabama comes right after that Georgia Bulldogs game. If UT has met its goals, it will be 4-6 by this point. That’s what makes this game a bit more important. The Vols need to win their final two outings, and we’ll get to the last one, to get to 6-6 and reach bowl eligibility.
Because they are an FBS program, the Vols have to focus a bit more on South Alabama than Tennessee Tech. Needing to focus a bit more and taking all the wins they can get is what puts them above the other circled losses.
However, UT can’t exert too much energy on this game. The Jaguars haven’t had a winning season yet in FBS play and are undergoing a coaching change themselves with Kane Wommack. As a result, this should still be a sure win, and circled games on either side deserve less attention than others, which is why it’s still down here.