Given the make-up of their schedule and the returning talent, predictions for Tennessee football are ranging from 7-5 to 10-2. Some are cautiously optimistic about their chances of scoring an upset over either the Alabama Crimson Tide or Georgia Bulldogs.
College Football News is one of those outlets bullish on the Vols’ chances to win one of those games. In the CFB projections for every SEC team, Rocky Top was projected to shock UGA on the road, and that was projected to be the Dawgs’ only loss all year.
Not only was Tennessee football projected to beat Georgia, but they were projected to beat the Pittsburgh Panthers at the beginning of the season, one of the toss-up games. Somehow, though, the outlet has them going 8-4 on the year. How in the world does that happen?
Well, despite winning those two crucial games, it’s got Rocky Top losing at home to the Florida Gators, on the road against the LSU Tigers and even on the road against the South Carolina Gamecocks. The other loss is obviously Alabama.
How, though, could anybody project the Vols to beat Georgia on the road but lose at home to a a Florida team undergoing a coaching change or a South Carolina team that they blew out last year? That’s a wild level of inconsistency.
Okay, so let’s be fair. Sometimes teams are inconsistent. Rocky Top has had its own teams pull off huge upsets in the past the same year it suffered embarrassingly bad losses. In that regard, you could see UT beating Georgia or Pitt while losing to Florida or South Carolina.
Beating Georgia AND Pitt, though, while losing to Florida AND South Carolina, would be insane. You could add in the LSU loss since they’re also undergoing a coaching change, but that game is in Death Valley, and they have talent, so it’s a toss-up no matter what.
The point, though, is that Tennessee football going 8-4 would be a disappointment. Beating Georgia or Alabama this season, though, would be a success. If they beat them and Pitt, most people would think 10-2 or 11-1 is on the horizon. That’s what makes this so crazy.