Tennessee is a tough call for me. Most of that revolves around their Nov. 13 game against Ole Miss, which will probably decide whether or not they go bowling in 2010. I think Tennessee is better than Kentucky and Mississippi State, both of whom I have going to a bowl game, but the Vols have a much harder schedule than either team. Particularly Kentucky, of course. They could be 3-6 welcoming the Rebels to Knoxville, and I'm not sure if the team's confidence is going to be high enough to defeat Ole Miss.
It's just incredibly hard with the roster issues Tennessee faces to have a lot of optimism about a team facing that schedule. I like the Derek Dooley hire for the Vols and think that he could lead them back to the top half of the SEC East in time. But the key part of that phrase is in time. I don't think this is Tennessee's year, or anything even close.
Not that there aren't a few games that could swing one way or the other. Oregon has its own issues to deal with. We still don't know what to think about LSU, South Carolina or, for that matter, Georgia. But those are all chances, not something to build a season projection on. When you look at it game by game, it's difficult to count to six.
So while I don't like to choose a team's floor as its likely record, I don't feel like there's another way to go with Tennessee. But there's no reason to be surprised if they're playing in December.
Place: 4th in the SEC East
Record: 5-7, 2-6 SEC
Could be: 5-7 to 8-4
Best chance for an upset: Florida
9.4.10 | TENNESSEE-MARTIN | WIN
9.11.10 | OREGON | POSSIBLE LOSS
9.18.10 | FLORIDA | PROBABLE LOSS
9.25.10 | UAB | WIN
10.2.10 | at LSU | PROBABLE LOSS
10.9.10 | GEORGIA | POSSIBLE LOSS
10.23.10 | ALABAMA | LIKELY LOSS
10.30.10 | at SOUTH CAROLINA | POSSIBLE LOSS
11.6.10 | at MEMPHIS | LIKELY WIN
11.13.10 | OLE MISS | POSSIBLE LOSS
11.20.10 | at VANDERBILT | PROBABLE WIN
11.27.10 | KENTUCKY | POSSIBLE WIN