Football time is almost here!
Yes, the countdown is on in Tennessee. In about two weeks we will here the greatest five words in the English language.
But, before we do I would like to share my predictions for the 2010 season. Sadly, one of the funniest things to do in the dragging college football off—season is predicting how your favorite team will fair.
So, to fill out these last couple of weeks let’s take a look at the schedule to analyze how Tennessee will do this year.
UT—Martin, Sept. 4
I believe we all know the outcome of this game.
However, I think this game will tell us a lot about how the rest of Vols season will go. It will be Derek Dooley’s first game as Tennessee’s head coach and I am sure he will try to play many different players.
Most likely, he will give Matt Simms and Tyler Bray an even amount of time under center. This game could very well decide the starter in the Quarterback battle.
I think the defense has a coming out party here. They’re stacked with leaders and I don’t think they will allow a touchdown.
But, I see Tauren Poole stealing the show in this game and rushing for at least, 150 yards.
My prediction: UT 52, UT-Martin 6
Oregon, Sept. 11
This will be a very critical game for this season. Oregon will come in ranked in the top 15, but the long trip to Knoxville will take a toll on the Ducks.
I think this will be a battle of defenses. The Tennessee offense may struggle early in the first half and Oregon will probably take that opportunity to take the lead.
Tennessee could capitalize on a turnover from the Oregon offense and turn it into a touchdown.
I think Tennessee fights hard here and they surprise a lot of people. But I think they come up a little short in this game
My prediction: Oregon 21, Tennessee 17
Florida, Sept. 18
Florida comes into this game riding a five game win streak against the Vols. I see them coming into this game very arrogant.
That could be a bad combination.
The Gators should not take UT lightly, and if they do the Dooley family may be singing Rocky Top by the time this one is over.
Coming into this game Tennessee may have gained confidence and some offensive chemistry. But, once again, I believe the defense will shine in this game.
If Tauren Poole has a big game along with the defense, the Gators streak could come to halting stop.
Which is exactly why I believe “Pandemonium reigns” on this night.
My prediction: Tennessee 24, Florida 21
UAB, Sept. 25
This game may end up being too close for comfort.
After the Oregon and Florida game, there might be a hangover. That could lead to sloppy play by the entire team.
UAB could take an early lead thanks a turnover by the offense. But I think the talent of Tennessee will begin to show in the second half.
The Volunteer passing attack could have a great day against UAB’s lackluster secondary.
My prediction: Volunteers 35, Blazers 20
LSU, Oct. 2
This will be UT’s first away game of the season. Couple that with the fact that LSU will be having a good season and it could spell trouble for the Vols.
The Tigers will bring in a monstrous Defense, not to mention the crowd.
I think the UT quarterback will have problems in this game, but the defense and running game will keep them in it.
Although, it’s hard to see the offense pulling this one out at Death Valley.
My prediction: LSU 28, UT 17
Georgia, Oct. 9
This may be a defining moment for Tennessee’s 2010 season.
If they win, it’s a chance to go to a big bowl and possibly finish in the top 25.
But if they lose, it could hurt the teams morale and send them to the bottom half of the SEC East.
I think Tennessee will play very well in this game. I’m not so sure Georgia will finish in the top three in the East this year. They lost a lot on offense and defense, including all of the experienced quarterbacks.
This will be a very close contest, but I think Tennessee pulls this one out in the final minutes.
My prediction: Volunteers 27, Bulldogs 24
Alabama, Oct. 23
This will be a tough game, but Tennessee will have the home field advantage. Alabama will likely want to blow Tennessee out after last years narrow win.
The UT defense will have trouble stopping the Alabama offense, but I don’t think Alabama will have the great defense it did last year.
The crowd and a few big plays by the offense could give the Vols a lead in this game.
But I don’t believe it can give them the win.
My prediction: Tide 31, Vols 23
South Carolina, Oct. 30
Steve Spurrier and the Gamecocks will be looking for revenge after that 31-13 bashing last year. They bring in quarterback Stephen Garcia and an experienced offensive line.
Tennessee’s tough schedule could be wearing the Vols down by this point.
Although, I think the offense really starts to pick up at this point in the season. Add that with the fact that South Carolina will be lacking in defensive talent this year and I think it could mean a loss for the Gamecocks.
My prediction: Tennessee 28, South Carolina 20
Memphis, Nov. 6
It’s no secret that the University of Memphis has had its trouble for the past well, decade. They have just had no luck.
Of course, maybe that will change with their first year head coach, Larry Porter.
He could turn the Tigers luck around and lead them to a bowl game.
Just not this year.
I think Memphis will have the usual trouble of a first year head coach, plus the fact that they have not brought in much talent.
Tennessee will likely take an early lead and will cruise the rest of the game.
My prediction: Tennessee 38, Memphis 14
Ole Miss, Nov. 13
This will be a challenge for the Vols.
This is a home game this year, but it is late in the season once again. That could mean injuries. A test of depth is not what Tennessee wants.
I don’t think that the Masoli pick up will be that much of a problem here. He has played his entire career in the Pac-10 and the SEC defenses are tougher to get through.
Both offenses will play a big role in deciding who wins this game, but I think Ole Miss will make some big plays on defense to take this one late.
My prediction: Rebels 27, Volunteers 24
Vanderbilt, Nov. 20
This is, yet another, Tennessee opponent with a first year head coach.
Vanderbilt may struggle early in the season, but I think they will be playing at their full potential at this point. Unfortunately for them, that probably won’t be enough to take down the Vols.
Vanderbilt’s talent level is already close to the bottom of the SEC. Combine that with a first year head coach and a grueling SEC schedule and it could be trouble for the commodores.
My prediction: Tennessee 31, Vanderbilt 17
Kentucky, Nov. 27
Could this be the year?
Of course, I am referring to the miraculous 25 year winning streak Tennessee has over Kentucky.
This year the game will be in Knoxville, so it might be a little harder for the Wildcats this year. Although, Kentucky does have some great talent at skill positions this year.
But, every time I think of this game, I see Tennessee beating UK in the trenches.
I don’t think the Wildcats will be able to protect Morgan Newton long enough to have a big game.
My prediction: Tennessee 21, Kentucky 14
Overall Record: 8-4
With the Kentucky win Tennessee’s record would go to 8-4. I would consider this a very successful season.
I also believe it is a reachable goal, especially when you look at it game-by-game.
If UT can avoid early injuries and a late season meltdown, they will put together a good season and head to a respectable bowl game.