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Advantages, Disadvantages Of Tennessee Football’s 2024 Schedule

Tennessee Football
Tennessee Football. Photo By Cayce Smith/Tennessee Athletics.

The SEC released Tennessee football’s complete 2024 schedule on Wednesday night. We already knew all of Tennessee’s opponents but didn’t know the order of the games.

What about the schedule is advantageous for Tennessee? What are the disadvantages?

Taking a look here.

More From RTI: Tennessee Football’s Complete 2024 Football Schedule


Open Date Between Oklahoma And Arkansas

Tennessee’s road trips to Oklahoma and Arkansas are both extremely long ones. Playing them in consecutive games is a challenge.

Fortunately for the Vols, their first open date of the season falls the week between the two matchups. That mitigates that potential concern and should also help Tennessee avoid any mental or physical hangover from a highly touted game at Oklahoma.

Arkansas’ Challenges Before Tennessee

While Tennessee gets an open date the week before it travels to Fayetteville, the Razorbacks host the Vols in their sixth straight game and the week before their first open date of the season.

Not only will Arkansas be concluding a long stretch of games, the Razorbacks face Oklahoma State, Auburn and Texas A&M in three of the four weeks before the matchup.

Tennessee will be rested entering a can’t lose game at Arkansas. The Razorbacks will be on the tail end of a trying stretch.

No Away Games Between Oct. 5 and Nov. 16

Tennessee plays five games away from home in the 2024 regular season. But somehow, the Vols won’t leave Knoxville for a remarkable six-week stretch in the middle of the season.

After Tennessee returns home from Arkansas, they host Florida and Alabama before its second open date. After the open date, the Vols host Kentucky and Mississippi State before heading on the road to face Georgia.

I’d wager that Tennessee has never played four straight home SEC games in its entire history. But they’ll do it in the first year of the 16-team Southeastern Conference.

Lead Ins To Kentucky Game

The same benefits Tennessee enjoys against Arkansas, they also enjoy against Kentucky. The Vols enter the Wildcats coming off their open date while Kentucky is coming off a challenging stretch of games.

Kentucky’s trip to Tennessee is its final game before its second open date. In the three games between Kentucky’s first open date and its trip to Knoxville, the Wildcats host Vanderbilt, travel to Florida and host Auburn.

Advantage Tennessee.


SEC Opener At Oklahoma

Tennessee’s SEC opener being its third hardest game of the season is certainly a negative. There will be a ton of emotion ahead of Josh Heupel’s return to Oklahoma and the Sooners fans will be extremely rowdy in hopes of making a statement in their first ever SEC game.

That would be a disadvantage on its own but it’s particularly challenging because it will be redshirt freshman quarterback Nico Iamaleava’s first career road start.

Florida And Alabama Back-To-Back

Amidst Tennessee’s advantageous four straight road games, the Vols play their two biggest rivals in consecutive weeks.

That’s a challenge for Tennessee to be able to reset and be locked in for the Alabama game. Win or lose, there is absolutely no room for the Vols to have an emotional hangover from the Florida game.

But on the positive side, how much fun will those weeks be for Tennessee fans and media alike? Two massive home games in as many weeks.

Five Straight Games To Close The Season

This is the least concerning disadvantage, in my opinion. In a 12-game schedule with two open dates, Tennessee would ideally have the season split into three, four-game pods. Having the a four-game, three-game and five-game stretch isn’t anything crazy, but having the five-game stretch to end the season is a negative.

That’s where it’s most likely for any team to be banged up and the stretch being extended does Tennessee no favors.

However, this is a little bit offset by UTEP and Vanderbilt being the final two games. Tennessee should be able to mitigate some of those concerns by concluding its season with two of its four easiest games.

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