Last year, we started talking about expectations for the Tennessee Volunteers football team in a different way. Rather than just look at the schedule and assign each game a W or an L, we assigned each game a confidence level as a percentage. A certain win was 100%, a certain loss was 0%, and a toss-up hovered somewhere around 50%. Calculating those out gave us what we believe is a better look at what we really expect the team’s final record to be at the end of the season.
Each game week in this space, we’ll monitor the impact of the prior week on our expectations for the rest of the season. How did Tennessee look? How do its prior wins and losses look now in light of how their past opponents did the prior weekend? How does the future look in light of how the Vols’ future opponents did? And how does all of that impact our expectations for the team’s final record?
Of course, we have no prior week to work with at this point, so we’re just going to benchmark our expectations heading into the season, acknowledging first that this season is a vast expanse of the unknown due to the all-new coaching staff.
The GRT Expected Win Total Machine
Use the form below to submit your data and get your answer.
Joel’s results and expectations
I’m at 5.9 wins. Here’s how I feel about each game, with space between the order of the games to help show relative confidence level of each game at this point:
My preliminary thoughts about each game are below. Leave yours in the comment section.
West Virginia Mountaineers
I’m putting this at 40%. The line has been 9.5-10.5 most of the preseason, but my numbers are showing somewhere between 3-4 instead. That’s based on last season’s numbers, of course, which aren’t especially reliable. But I think we’ll be better. West Virginia will be better as well, but I think it mostly balances out, so I’m rolling with my numbers at this point.
East Tennessee State Buccaneers, UTEP Miners, Charlotte 49ers
I have all of these at 95%. The Vols really shouldn’t have any problem with either of these teams.
I have this one at 45% right now. This is based on a hope bordering on belief that Jeremy Pruitt will eliminate fluky losses to the Gators.
Georgia Bulldogs, Auburn Tigers, Alabama Crimson Tide
These guys are all just too good for the Vols right now. Among the three, I have Alabama as the most difficult and Georgia as the least.
South Carolina Gamecocks
I think the Gamecocks are going to be a little more difficult than the Gators this year, so I have this one at 40%.
Kentucky Wildcats, Missouri Tigers, Vanderbilt Commodores
I have all of these as toss ups right now. I’m most fearful of Missouri.
What about you? What are your numbers, what’s your expected win total, and why?