What is the GRT Expected Win Total Machine telling you after BYU?

Sigh. My physical well-being showed a sudden sympathetic solidarity with my mental well-being all Saturday night and Sunday, so I’ve not yet fully processed what happened between the Vols and the Cougars this weekend. I was much more interested in saltines and ginger ale yesterday, so I don’t really even know the mood out there. I do have a pretty good guess.

My initial inclination is to note the devastation of starting 0-2 in a season for which you only expected 7-5 and having those two losses not only come out of the wrong column, but having them come in two of the four games about which you had the most confidence. Said confidence, shot. Dead.

On the other hand — and I don’t know if anyone is ready or willing to hear this at this point — the team did look mostly better, except for the colossal collapse at the end. This appears to be important. In our Reverse Mailbag from last Friday, one of the questions was what our readers wanted to see out of the team against BYU. The answers included progress, fight, something that shows that the team still cares (i.e., a desire to win), defensive improvement, and a solid running game. Those things were evident Saturday night, right up to the point they got eaten by the result.

But a loss is a loss, and we’re now living 2019 in a deep hole. For me, all of that washes out. I had the BYU game as a tossup, and if a double OT game isn’t a tossup, I don’t know what is.

Therefore, I’m keeping everything right where it was last week, which, with the BYU game going from 50/50 to 0 now gives me an expected win total of . . . 2.37. It’s downright gloomy in here.

  • Preseason: 6.55
  • After Week 0: 6.6
  • After Week 1: 2.87
  • After Week 2: 2.37

Details: Alabama and Georgia at 1%. Florida at 10%. Kentucky, Missouri, Mississippi State, South Carolina, and Vanderbilt are all 20%. UAB is a toss-up. And I have Chattanooga at 75%.

Here’s the thing, though. Tennessee should have won that game, and they mostly looked like they were improving. We often assume that the team we see today is the same team we’ll see all season long. But it’s only going to take one win against some non-UTC team to shift everything in a more positive direction. But they are going to have to do it first.

The GRT Expected Win Total Machine

Here’s a table with my expectations this week:

Tennessee Volunteers currently

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

The Vols’ past opponents

Georgia State Panthers

Current record: 2-0 (0-0), 1st in the Sun Belt East

BYU Cougars

Current record: 1-1 (0-0)

The Vols’ future opponents

Chattanooga Mocs

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

Florida Gators

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

Georgia Bulldogs

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

Mississippi State Bulldogs

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

Alabama Crimson Tide

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

South Carolina Gamecocks

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

UAB Blazers

Current record: 2-0 (0-0), 1st in C-USA West

Kentucky Wildcats

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

Missouri Tigers

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

Vanderbilt Commodores

Current record: 0-2 (0-1), 7th in the SEC East

What about you? Where are your expectations for the Vols now?

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Will Shelton
Will Shelton

I’m at 4.00, which splits the difference between SP+ (3.8) and FPI (4.2).


We are a basketball school, dadgummit. I am at zero. I want the perfect season. Lose them all or Bust!. Don’t ruin it by beating UT Chattanooga. Don’t desecrate it by a fluke win over Vandy. Lose by 100 to Georgia and Bama. #GrudenWatch #UrbanNow


July 25, 2019 (pre-season): 5.96
August 26, 2019 (after “Week Zero”): 5.92
September 3, 2019 (post-Georgia St.): 3.86
September 9, 2019 (post-BYU): 3.09



3.3 Go Vols!


2.13, down from 3.82 last week. The team definitely looked a lot better this week. But they still lost what should have been one of the easier games. I said Guarantano deserved to start this season. That he hadn’t been given much of a chance with the lack of an oline. But he looks worse than he did, and he has a much better line now. I’ve switched to the camp of this season is pretty much lost (as in a bowl game is pretty much not happening), so I think we should give Maurer (my first preference) or Shrout… Read more »