Tennessee Football: 1 Reason Why the Vols Beat Every Team on the Schedule
Derek Dooley, the staff and the players actually think they can win ballgames...despite how crazy that may seem.
However, before the first whistle has blown, many Vegas odds-makers have already decided the fate for this season's Vols. In short, this season will likely be a repeat of last season or at best only be marginally better. In fact, there are quite a few teams in the SEC that believe the best things for the Vols is to just roll over and die.
But, there just might be life in them old hillbillies yet. Here is why they can beat every team on their schedule.
Sept. 3: Montana Grizzlies
Why the Vols win: The Grizzlies are outmatched at every position.
It's one of those times when you really just want to stay home and sit in the shower. Montana has to travel 2,100 miles just to get beat up, and trust me, that is what will happen. The Vol team has improved on a level that sophomore players are fast enough and strong enough to contend with the senior players on the Montana squad. Speed and strength will be too much for their defensive line, and the offensive line will simply be overpowered by the new and improved strength conditioning provided by Ron McKeefery.
Sept.10 Cincinnati Bearcats
Why the Vols win: The Bearcats overestimate their talent.
The Bearcats are pretty good...for the Big East, but let's face facts. The Bearcats' biggest win last year came against Rutgers, whose biggest attribute is having the 20th best passing defense, but again, need I remind you, it is the Big East and so was Rutgers, and five returning starters on the offense is not good against the SEC no matter who they are.
There was a flash of greatness last season, as they stood toe-to-toe with Oklahoma in a 31-29 free-for-all, but that flash was quickly dismissed the next game, when they lost to Miami OH 45-3. Not being mean, just honest. Their last SEC game was in the Sugar Bowl, and we all know how that turned out...OK, maybe you don't remember.
Allstate Sugar Bowl: Jan 1, 2010, Florida 51 Cincinnati 24
Sept.17: Florida Gators
Why the Vols win: Gators under construction.
Charlie Weis goes from the head coach position at one of the nation's most prestigious programs (Notre Dame) to taking orders from a defensive coordinator. I don't see it.
Regardless, Weis had trouble winning with the most highly recruited QB (Jimmy Clausen) in the nation, and now he expects to make that Patriot offense work in Gainesville?
Brantley is a decent QB and will appear incompetent as Weis again tries to figure out how to correlate that offensive mind to collegiate play. Trouble is brewing for Muschamp with Weis at the offensive helm, and the Vols will reap the benefits.
Oct.1 Buffalo Bulls
Why the Vols win: It's a MAC team for crying out loud.
This is a team that even Kentucky and Vanderbilt could beat on their worst day with third string. The Bulls have not put together a decent recruiting class in the last eight seasons, and this season is no better.
Even with 16 returning starters, they will have trouble in every area of the game. The QB is too slow; the receivers can't catch. The RB can't cut, and the OL is too weak.
Oh yeah, they lose routinely to teams like Akron, Kent State, Ball State and Toledo.
Oct.8 Georgia Bulldogs
Why the Vols win: Derek Dooley was embarrassed last season.
Not enough of a reason? Last season's 41-14 loss in Athens was a little too humbling.
Now, I know you are looking for a more concrete reason for this win, but trust me. This game is probably the most important game for Dooley, because winning here means he has achieved a level of status with his father. Yea, I know it's Freudian, but what son doesn't want to be better than their father? Add in the sound thrashing that Richt handed him, and it has to sting.
Plus, the OL will finally be strong enough to last more than 2 quarters. And, Aaron Murray is good, but Justin Wilcox will use spies on him until he breaks. Then it's just a matter for Bray, Hunter and Poole.
Oct.15 LSU Tigers
Why the Vols win: OC Jim Chaney knows how to beat the LSU defense.
OC Jim Chaney started putting it together last season in the Mad Hatter's mulligan win in the bayou. If not for the last minute screw up, LSU would have been crying in their gumbo. Alas, Chaney started pressing receivers into vacated passing lanes. Why? Chavis thought the receivers were heading into corners, and vice versa. For whatever reason, "Chief" John Chavis couldn't figure why his DB's and LB's were continually where they weren't supposed to be. Chaney will utilize the same offensive schemes and wreak havoc.
Oct.22 Alabama Crimson Tide
Why the Vols win: The apprentice knows his mentor.
They say you should never teach your apprentice every trick because they will eventually take your livelihood. That won't happen, but Dooley can steal a little of Saban's pride.
Again, the concrete reason is more of faith and perseverance. Derek Dooley knows how Nick Saban runs a football team; what's more is he helped him do it on the collegiate and pro level. Alabama is always stacked with talent, but the Vols aren't exactly a pushover as of late.
The talent locks horns, but Dooley reaches into his bag of tricks that Saban gave him.
Oct.29 South Carolina Gamecocks
Why the Vols will win: Spurrier and Garcia are a disaster.
If you don't trust the man leading you, then who do you trust?
Honestly, I think I would be in rehab too. Garcia knows he isn't Weurffel; the bad part is Spurrier reminds him of that on a daily basis. This is the concrete. Spurrier will push Garcia to the bench and bring in Connor Shaw. By the time that happens, it will be too late for Spurrier and Garcia. Shaw is good, but doesn't have enough time on the field to throw by Prentiss Waggner. The secondary will be the end for the Cocks.
Nov. 5 Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders
Why the Vols win: The Blue Raiders are too shallow.
Where Buffalo is a pushover, Middle Tennessee is not. The Blue Raiders are top contender in the Sun Belt and find a way to stock what's left of the in-state talent after the Vols and Commodores pick the best of Tennessee's high school athletes. The problem is, even after they have done that, they still can't compete with the likes of Alabama, Auburn and LSU, which leaves the cupboard bare. The depth just isn't there. After 14 minutes of play, the Blue Raiders will depend on the Vols' mercy.
Nov.12 Arkansas Razorbacks
Why the Vols win: No more Ryan Mallett.
The razorbacks have a lot of returners on both sides, but they lost two TE's two OG's and a key OT. It will be too much for the offense to recover. The starters are young, and Tyler Wilson has not seen nearly enough playing time to lead Arkansas past the Vols, who will be battle proven before they bump chests. The defense will shut down the rush and hold Knile Davis to 100 yards, and that will be the end.
Nov.19 Vanderbilt Commodores
Why the Vols win: Vanderbilt has no offense.
Eleven...that's right, 11 starters return for the Commodores offense. The good news for Vol fans is that same offense only managed 12 points per game last season. Cut and dry Vanderbilt can change coaches all they want, but at the end of the day, their athletes spend more time studying than playing football. In the SEC, that wins no games. The Commodores' ship is forever dry-docked.
Nov.26 Kentucky Wildcats
Why the Vols win: The streak.
That is all the reason Tennessee needs to beat Kentucky. Losing to Kentucky means that the program has sunk to the lowest of lows. The Vols might as well lose to Valdosta State. Joker Phillips is a prince among men, I am sure, but Dooley would gladly beat him to within an inch of his life to ensure he is not the one that allowed the Vols to lose to the Wildcats, breaking a 26-year winning streak. This will also be a measuring stick for Dooley. If they can't beat Kentcuky in a fashionable way, it breeds rumors that all is still not well within the Big Orange program. They win because they have to.
Like or don't like what you read? Let me know. -Godspeed