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Tennessee Football Schedule Plays Well During Survive in Advance Timeframe

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Tennessee Football linebacker Keenan Pili No. 11 (left) and quarterback Nico Iamaleava No. 8 (right). Photo via Keenan Pili on Instagram.

The college football season can be broken up into three distinct periods based on the three months that the sport is in season.

September football is all about getting comfortable early in the season, trying to sneak in a big non-conference win if possible, and not dropping behind the eight-ball.

October football is about trying to really excel in the rhythm that was hopefully built against non-conference opponents during the month of September. These games typically involve a big rivalry game or two but also represent the time when contenders and pretenders start to separate.

November football, though, is about surviving and advancing for the top teams in the country. It’s about trying to maintain the wins you’ve already had and staying away from any losses that could drop you down or out of the rankings during the most crucial time of the College Football Playoff selections. Yes, it’s a basketball term, but it works here too.

Tennessee has a marquee game in each of the three months of the season: Oklahoma in September, Alabama in October, and Georgia in November. But, aside from Georgia, the other four opponents that Tennessee will face in November are not nearly as daunting as some of their other conference foes.

Tennessee will face Kentucky, Mississippi State, Georgia, UTEP, and Vanderbilt in their final five games. Aside from a road game against the Bulldogs, the other four opponents combined for just 17 wins last season.

Kentucky had seven wins in 2023, Mississippi State had five, UTEP had three, and Vanderbilt had two.

Additionally, all of those four games except for Vanderbilt are home games inside Neyland Stadium. But as Tennessee pointed out in their schedule release video, Nashville can resemble a Tennessee Vols home game fairly easily these days.

More from RTI: Tennessee Football Full 2024 Schedule Revealed

While it’s not a perfect stretch considering the Georgia game is looming in the middle, Tennessee should still be able to go 4-1 over the month of November judging by the very, very early projections for Kentucky, Mississippi State, UTEP, and Vanderbilt.

That’s a stark comparison to some of the other SEC team’s November/final five stretches.

Florida, for instance, will run a gauntlet. The Gators’ final five opponents are Georgia, Texas, LSU, Ole Miss, and Florida State. All five of those teams finished in the Top 15 of the final College Football Playoff rankings this past season.

Oklahoma has a massive challenge, too. The Sooners’ final five include Ole Miss, Maine, Missouri, Alabama, and LSU.

Texas A&M won’t have an easy late-season stretch with LSU, South Carolina, New Mexico State, Auburn, and Texas as their final five opponents.

Kentucky’s final five include Auburn, Tennessee, Murray State, Texas, and Lousiville.

The Vols are set to kick off the 2024 season on Saturday, Aug. 31, against Chattanooga inside Neyland Stadium. For more on the advantages and disadvantages of Tennessee’s 2024 football schedule, click here.

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