Tennessee Still Controls Its Own Destiny in the SEC

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    Tennessee Football

    Dark Mode Uniforms for Tennessee Football against South Carolina. Photo by Tennessee Athletics.

    At the halfway mark of the 2021 season, the only thing that can stop the Tennessee Volunteers from this point out is the Tennessee Volunteers. Or at least in theory.

    Tennessee is one of just six SEC teams that still control their own conference destiny. Essentially, a team that controls its own destiny does not need extra help from around the league. So, for example, Tennessee will finish first in the SEC if the team can win their remaining games.

    Essentially, win and you’re in.

    The SEC teams that control their own destiny after six games are Georgia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, Auburn, and Mississippi State.

    For all six of these teams, a lossless finish to the season will crown them first place in the conference regular-season standings.

    Just because Tennessee does control its own destiny, though, does not mean it will be easy. Tennessee still has games against three of the other five teams mentioned. The Vols will travel to Alabama on October 23, to Kentucky on Nov. 6, and will host Georgia on Nov. 13.

    After the Vols’ win on Saturday, Tennessee moved to 4-2 on the year and 2-1 in SEC play. Currently, Tennessee is sitting in third place in the SEC East with a two-game win streak. Tennessee took care of business on the road against Missouri and at home against South Carolina. Now, Tennessee will look towards former Tennessee head coach Lane Kiffin and the Ole Miss Rebels.

    Tennessee’s final six opponents will feature five SEC teams. In order, Tennessee will take on Ole Miss, Alabama, Kentucky, Georgia, South Alabama, and Vanderbilt. The next four games feature an opponent’s combined record of 21-2 through six weeks. However, South Alabama and Vanderbilt have a combined record of 5-6 through the first half of the season.

    SEC Standings Post Week Six:

    SEC East:

    1. Georgia  (6-0, 4-0 SEC)
    2. Kentucky (6-0, 4-0 SEC)
    3. Tennessee (4-2, 2-1 SEC)
    4. Florida (4-2, 2-2 SEC)
    5. Missouri (3-3, 0-2 SEC)
    6. Vanderbilt (3-3, 0-2 SEC)
    7. South Carolina (3-3, 0-3 SEC)

    SEC West:

    1. Alabama (5-1, 2-1 SEC)
    2. Mississippi (4-1, 1-1 SEC)
    3. Auburn (4-2, 1-1 SEC)
    4. Mississippi State (3-2, 1-1 SEC)
    5. Texas A&M (4-2, 1-2 SEC)
    6. Arkansas (4-2, 1-2 SEC)
    7. LSU (3-3, 1-2 SEC)


    Ric Butler is a Knoxville based sports media personality who has covered University of Tennessee athletics since 2017. Most recently, he served as the lead writer for the website of a local radio station. Ric also helped create and host a daily radio show called “The Blitz." Ric’s passion for sports, smooth vocal, and infectious personality have made him popular with both his peers and Vol Nation. Originally from Dallas, Ric didn’t grow up riding horses to school. But he did dream of the big city lights. When not chasing down the latest Tennessee story, Ric can be found watching the WWE, often attempting their moves in an embarrassing fashion.