Assess the damage to your expectations here

Tennessee’s shocking season-opening loss to the Georgia State Panthers Saturday was a gut-punch to our expectations for the 2019 Vols in Jeremy Pruitt’s second season. In our most recent podcast, we said it was like the sucker punch that killed Houdini.

How exactly do you recalibrate expectations under these circumstances? On one hand, if you just lost a game you were 95% sure you were going to win, logic will sit there and calmly explain to you that you should also lose any game you were less certain to win. And just like that, there goes every game except maybe Chattanooga, which itself becomes more of a coin flip than a sure thing.

On the other hand, we also know both from intuition and experience that logic doesn’t understand college football. When people put on their colors and kids start chasing balls designed to bounce funny, logic is often relegated to simply shrugging its shoulders.

You have to look at the hard data you have, no matter how disturbing it might be. But you also have to look at the softer data that makes more sense. How do you strike the balance?

Me? Today? I tend toward the middle, so I’m inclined to think that a significant adjustment to expectations is warranted but that it shouldn’t all just go in the trash can. But I also think that if we’re going to re-assess our expectations weekly, it makes the most sense to do it based primarily on the prior week’s results. If next week is better, we can account for that next week. Please, please, pretty please, let’s account for that next week.

So, with all of that, my current win total expectation for the Vols is . . . welp . . . 2.87, down from 6.6 last week. This will move significantly again next week if the evidence against BYU suggests that Georgia State was a fluke. Please, please, pretty please let it be a fluke.

  • Preseason: 6.55
  • After Week 0: 6.6
  • After Week 1: 2.87

Details: Alabama and Georgia at 1%. Florida at 10%. I’ve moved Kentucky, Missouri, Mississippi State, South Carolina, and Vanderbilt all from toss-ups to 20%. I’ve changed BYU and UAB from 80% to toss-ups. And I now have Chattanooga at 75% instead of 95%. Oof.

The GRT Expected Win Total Machine

Explanations are below, but here’s a table with my updated expectations:

Tennessee Volunteers currently

Current record: 0-1 (0-0), 2nd in the SEC East

The Vols’ past opponents

Georgia State Panthers

Current record: 1-0 (0-0), 1st in the Sun Belt East

The Vols’ future opponents

BYU Cougars

Current record: 0-1 (0-0)

Chattanooga Mocs

Current record: 1-0 (0-0), 2nd in the Southern Conference

Florida Gators

Current record: 1-0 (0-0), 2nd in the SEC East

Georgia Bulldogs

Current record: 1-0 (1-0), 1st in the SEC East

Mississippi State Bulldogs

Current record: 1-0 (0-0), 1st in the SEC West

Alabama Crimson Tide

Current record: 1-0 (0-0), 1st in the SEC West

South Carolina Gamecocks

Current record: 0-1 (0-0), 2nd in the SEC East

UAB Blazers

Current record: 1-0 (0-0), 1st in C-USA West

Kentucky Wildcats

Current record: 1-0 (0-0), 2nd in the SEC East

Missouri Tigers

Current record: 0-1 (0-0), 2nd in the SEC East

Vanderbilt Commodores

Current record: 0-1 (0-1), 7th in the SEC East

What about you? Where are your expectations heading into Week 1?

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Will Shelton
Will Shelton

I said I was at 4.55 on the podcast, but I did that before Missouri lost to Wyoming. On Monday afternoon I’m at 4.74.

daetilus
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daetilus

3.82, which honestly my heart still says is pretty optimistic. My head says realistically they should be able to pull at least a couple of wins off somewhere, even if I don’t really know where. Other teams have had embarrassing losses, and still went on to wins some games (or already did had won some). But it still feels so far out of reach. Really, I think this week against BYU will give us some more definitive answers. Which is why it was so hard to pick things this week. Another loss, especially one looking so thoroughly apathetic and whipped… Read more »

HixsonVol fka MariettaVol
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HixsonVol fka MariettaVol

I would agree about the OL rotation. For the BYU game play the same 5 guys for at least 3 series. Also get some energy going, i have seen more enthusiasm from five year olds at a broccoli and asparagus eating contest.

HixsonVol fka MariettaVol
Member
HixsonVol fka MariettaVol

I am now at 4.19

Harley
Member
Harley

I am at 3.0… less than half of pre-season expectations. I hope I am completely wrong. Sigh… Go Vols!

Pete
Member
Pete

At this point, why ruin a perfectly historic season with a win? I may be overly optimistic at 2.73. That’s the problem with expected values – even games like Bama (1) and Georgia (2) count somthing toward the total and there’s not a chance on God’s green earth that we’ll earn even those expected values. I am 35, 65, 10, 2, 25, 1, 25, 45, 25, 20, 20.

HT
Member
HT

July 25, 2019 (pre-season): 5.96
August 26, 2019 (after “Week Zero”): 5.92
September 3, 2019 (post-Georgia St.): 3.86

That’s actually a little higher than I would have expected.

Gavin Driskill
Member
Gavin Driskill

3.92!

I’m looking downright cheery in here 😛