Tennessee Football Schedule 2012: Game by Game Breakdown
Tennessee is a program that's really struggled the last few years, which is something that the Volunteers are exactly not used to doing. Without a bowl win since 2007, they are on the verge to finally experience some success.
The Volunteers return a total of 19 starters and could really be the surprise team in the SEC this season. It has really been a rough two years for head coach Derek Dooley, but he has the talent and youth to really turn some heads this season.
Last year's football season may have just ended, but it's never too early to make predictions.
Here are predictions for the Volunteers schedule next year.
Vs. NC State (In Georgia) 09/01
North Carolina State has really surprised people the last couple of seasons, but they are still a very inconsistent team. I'll take a talented SEC team over a talented ACC team any day of the week.
May be a close game, but expect the Volunteers to pull out a victory.
Tennessee wins: 28-21
Vs. Georgia State 09/08
This is one of those games that doesn't need a explanation. This game won't be close at all and we'll likely see a lot of backups.
Tennessee wins: 45-7
Vs. Florida 09/15
Tennessee is a young team that's returning majority of their starters from a year ago. Much like Florida, they are very talented, but it's hard not to pick the home team in this game.
The Gators have won the last seven games in this meeting, but I think that will change with a minor upset. The Volunteers only lost by 10 points in last year's meeting and that game was in Florida and with Justin Hunter getting hurt.
Tennessee wins: 24-21
Vs. Akron 09/22
Akron is one of the worst teams in all of college football as they finished last season with a 1-11 record. They couldn't play defense or offense to save their lives and will have no chance in this game.
It really doesn't get much simpler than that.
Tennessee wins: 38-3
At Georgia 09/29
If this game was being played in Knoxville, I may have been crazy enough to pick the Volunteers in a upset. Instead it's in Georgia, a place where Tennessee has lost the last two meetings.
I expect the Bulldogs to increase that streak to three games.
Georgia wins: 38-21
At Mississippi State 10/13
The last time Mississippi State beat the Volunteers was back in 1994. You can expect the losing streak to continue for the Bulldogs, especially with them losing their starting quarterback, Chris Relf, and workhorse running back Vick Ballard.
Tennessee wins: 35-17
Vs. Alabama 10/20
When these two teams met up last season, the Crimson Tide destroyed Tennessee by a score of 37-6.
Do not expect the same result. I don't think the Volunteers will win, but I really wouldn't be surprised if they did. This is a trap game where Alabama must show up, especially with the game being played in Knoxville.
Alabama wins: 24-21
At South Carolina 10/27
If this game was being played in Knoxville, I may have given the Volunteers a chance.
But it's going to be played in a hostile environment, and the Gamecocks have a solid quarterback in Connor Shaw and a healthy running back in Marcus Lattimore.
That may be a little bit more firepower than the Volunteers can handle.
South Carolina wins: 38-24
Vs. Troy 11/03
Troy couldn't even win in the Sun Belt, as they finished with a 3-9 record last season. No way they go into Knoxville and pull out a victory.
This is an easy victory for the Volunteers as they prepare for the final stretch of SEC teams.
Tennessee wins: 45-17
Vs. Missouri 11/10
Missouri is a team that's moving in the right direction and will be a fun team to watch with the combination of Dorial Green-Beckham and James Franklin. I do think this will be a big test for the Volunteers, but they'll be able to pull it out.
It's going to take the Tigers a while before they get used to playing in the SEC; a game in Tennessee is a tall order.
Tennessee wins: 35-28
At Vanderbilt 11/17
Vanderbilt is a team that's improving under head coach James Franklin, but I'm not sure they're talented enough to knock off the Volunteers just yet. Tennessee is a team that's beaten the Commodores 27 out of the last 28 matchups.
You can expect the Volunteers dominance to continue.
Tennessee wins: 35-21
Vs. Kentucky 11/24
The Wildcats snapped the Volunteers' 25-game winning streak last season they were holding over their heads. With a year under the Volunteers belt, they will be ready to begin a new winning streak, especially at home and it being the last game of the season.
Tennessee should roll rather easily in this game.
Tennessee wins: 38-17
Randy Chambers is a B/R featured columnist that covers college football and the NFL. You can contact him @Randy_Chambers or Randy.Chambers7@yahoo.com.