It’s been an offseason full of doom and gloom predictions for the Vols. Everything from losing to Kentucky to firing Butch Jones as head coach before the season is even over has been offered up as a possibility this offseason.
But even now that the season is almost here, those predictions aren’t going away. In fact, they’ve only gotten even more pessimistic for the Vols.
The SEC Network made game-by-game predictions for the Vols on air, and the results were more than a little surprising. Especially when they’re compared to another SEC school’s predicted finish.
Analysts Matt Stinchcomb and Greg McElroy went through Tennessee’s entire 12-game schedule, and they picked the Vols to finish a dismal 6-6 for the 2017 season. Not only did they pick the Vols to lose to Florida, Georgia, Alabama, and LSU, but they also have Tennessee dropping games to Kentucky and Missouri. The Vols have never lost to those two teams in the same season in program history (part of that might be because Missouri only joined the SEC in 2012, but still).
The predicted 6-6 finish would be enough to rile up Vol fans. But as these screenshots from a Vol fan’s Twitter account show, other SEC Network analysts picked Vanderbilt to finish with a better record than the Vols.
Year 5. 🤦🏼♀️ pic.twitter.com/QF3bJHzkTF
— KACY (@SEC_CRNA) August 23, 2017
Not only that, but their predictions give Vanderbilt a better SEC record as well. The Commodores finish with a 3-5 conference record in these predictions while the Vols finish with a 2-6 SEC mark.
Tennessee hasn’t finished behind Vanderbilt in the SEC East since 2013 when the Commodores finished fourth in the division and the Vols finished sixth. That was back during Butch Jones’ first season as Tennessee’s head coach.
Oddly enough, the SEC Network analysts still have Vanderbilt losing to the Vols despite them finishing ahead of Tennessee in the division.
National perception around the Vols has been very split this offseason, but most national analysts have been much more negative on the Vols than positive. And this latest round of prognostications hit a low point in terms of season predictions for Tennessee this year.