You Have to Play Bama…Maybe Twice
True competitors want to test their skills against the best. They crave that competition. But Tennessee is at a disadvantage in the SEC East that no other team has to worry about on an annual basis. The Vols are the only team in the East who play Alabama every single season. Sure, the Tide plays two East teams every year. But Tennessee is the only team guaranteed to play them every year. So that means if Tennessee wants to win the SEC Championship, it’s very likely they not only have to play Alabama once, but they would likely have to play Alabama twice.
Alabama has been the representative from the West in six of the last nine seasons, and that includes three straight appearances (not including this year yet). It’s almost a given the Tide will make it there, and Tennessee would have to play them twice to even have a chance to make it to the playoffs.
The Fan Base
As much as a positive as Tennessee’s fan base can be, they can also be a negative because of their passion. If you witnessed any of this 2017 season, you’ve seen how that passion can turn from positive and exciting to negative and possibly damaging. All fan bases have this problem, especially if a team is historically underachieving like the Vols have been doing. But that passion is a double-edged sword.