Tennessee Football: Ranking the Hardest Games of the 2014 Schedule

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Tennessee Football: Ranking the Hardest Games of the 2014 Schedule
Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

The schedule makers who were in charge during years past haven't done the Tennessee Volunteers any recent favors.

As head coach Butch Jones tries to spearhead this massive rebuilding effort in Knoxville, his first campaign was dotted with land-mine games against the SEC's top programs and a road trip to Oregon during a 5-7 2013 season.

Unfortunately for Jones and a UT team that got much more talented but a lot younger, a rugged 2014 schedule features many of the same pitfalls. Nine of the Vols' 12 opponents were bowl participants.

There are really only four games—Arkansas State, Chattanooga, Kentucky and Vanderbilt—that the Vols should definitely win. Even games like the season opener against Utah State and star quarterback Chuckie Keeton are extremely dangerous.

Many of Tennessee's toughest games, such as Oklahoma, Georgia, Ole Miss and South Carolina, will be away from Neyland Stadium. And even though Tennessee rotates off national title runner-up Auburn, it adds a road tilt against the uber-talented Rebels. 

Any time you have a list of difficult games that doesn't include the Florida Gators, a team who has beaten UT every year since 2004, you know it's a hard slate.

Let's rank the five toughest games on the Vols schedule in what is expected to be yet another challenging season on the road to recovery.

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