Quinten Dormady and John Kelly

How do we feel about the Tennessee Vols the rest of the way?

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Now that we have at least one week’s worth of data, let’s take a look at what to reasonably expect out of the Vols the rest of the way.

Explanations are below, but here’s the updated chart for this week. There’s also a chance for you to log your own expectations at the bottom of the post.

The Vols after Georgia Tech

Not sure exactly what to make of the Vols yet, of course. It’s difficult after one game anyway, but when the first opponent is Georgia Tech, it’s even more sketchy to attempt to draw too many conclusions. It’s not just that the defense played against the flexbone, it’s that the offense was sitting on the sideline while it was happening. We knew this going in, of course, but it bears repeating. Perhaps the biggest takeaways are that John Kelly is going to be a workhorse (he got 19 of 20 carries against the Yellow Jackets) and that Marquez Callaway is our non-Jauan Jennings playmaker at wide receiver.

Apart from that, you have to be happy about a few things: No sacks, no TFLs. The offense had five trips to the red zone and scored touchdowns every single time. Special teams looked like they’re going to pick up right where they left off, and the trash can is +2 with no interceptions and no fumbles to go along with two fumble recoveries. Plus, the team had only two penalties for 20 yards, which puts them tied for third nationally with four other teams. Give Jones credit for harping on Maxim 1 heading into Atlanta.

You can’t really draw any conclusions about the defense due to the opponent. Or I should say, let’s hope you can’t draw any conclusions about the defense. They did make the play that mattered most, but you don’t want to look at the stats.

So, on the whole, I’d have to say that I feel pretty much the same about the Vols themselves after the first game.

The Vols’ past opponents

None yet.

The Vols’ future opponents

9/9/17: Indiana State (0-1, 0-0 MVFC, NR)

  • W1: Lost to E Illinois, 22-20.
  • W2: At Tennessee.
  • W3: At Liberty
  • W4: Bye
  • W5: At Illinois State
  • W6: North Dakota State
  • W7: At South Dakota
  • W8: S Illinois
  • W9: At Missouri State
  • W10: Youngstown State
  • W11: W Illinois
  • W12: At Northern Iowa

Expectations for a Vols win: Indiana State lost in the last three seconds to E Illinois, so don’t put too much on that loss. On the other hand, they are still an FCS program that should be overmatched against Tennessee. I’m going to keep them at 98%.

W1 W2 W3 W4 W5 W6 W7 W8 W9 W10 W11 W12 W13
98 98

9/16/17: Florida (0-1, 0-0 SEC, #22)

  • W1: Lost to #11 Michigan, 33-17.
  • W2: N Colorado
  • W3: #25 Tennessee
  • W4: At Kentucky
  • W5: Vanderbilt
  • W6: #12 LSU
  • W7: Texas A&M
  • W8: Bye
  • W9: vs #15 Georgia
  • W10: At Missouri
  • W11: At South Carolina
  • W12: UAB
  • W13: #10 Florida State

Expectations for a Vols win: The headline may be “Michigan hands Florida its first season-opening loss since 1989,” but Florida generally doesn’t open with a good team anyway, so the headline should probably be “Florida still hasn’t found its offense.” It’s not that Florida lost to Michigan, it’s that their offense scored only three of 17 points. Note, though, that Florida was without two of their best playmakers on offense in receiver Antonio Callaway and running back Jordan Scarlett. I had them at 51% before, and I’m going to bump that up to 55%.

W1 W2 W3 W4 W5 W6 W7 W8 W9 W10 W11 W12 W13
51 55

9/23/17: UMass (0-2, 0-0 IND, NR)

  • W1: Lost to Hawaii, 38-35.
  • W2: Lost to C. Carolina, 38-28.
  • W3: Old Dominion
  • W4: At Temple
  • W5: At #25 Tennessee
  • W6: Ohio
  • W7: Bye
  • W8: At #21 USF
  • W9: Ga Southern
  • W10: Appalachian State
  • W11: At Mississippi State
  • W12: Maine
  • W13: At BYU

Expectations for a Vols win: UMass is struggling out of the gate, and so far, it does not look like the Vols should have any trouble with them. I’m sticking with 98% and slotted above Indiana State.

W1 W2 W3 W4 W5 W6 W7 W8 W9 W10 W11 W12 W13
96 96

9/30/17: Georgia (1-0, 0-0 SEC, #15)

  • W1: Beat Appalachian State, 31-10. QB Jacob Eason went down, but freshman Jake Fromm looked good and took care of business.
  • W2: At #24 Notre Dame
  • W3: Samford
  • W4: Mississippi State
  • W5: At #25 Tennessee
  • W6: At Vanderbilt
  • W7: Missouri
  • W8: Bye
  • W9: vs. #22 Florida
  • W10: South Carolina
  • W11: At #13 Auburn
  • W12: Kentucky
  • W13: At Georgia Tech

Expectations for a Vols win: The latest on Eason is that he’s week-to-week. But there really doesn’t seem to be much difference between Eason and Fromm. Bottom line, Georgia looked good. I had them at 45% and two spots above Florida before the season began, and I’m going to keep them there for now. We’ll know more about them after this week’s game at South Bend.

W1 W2 W3 W4 W5 W6 W7 W8 W9 W10 W11 W12 W13
45 45

10/14/17: South Carolina (1-0, 0-0 SEC, NR)

  • W1: Beat NC State, 35-28.
  • W2: At Missouri
  • W3: Kentucky
  • W4: LA Tech
  • W5: At Texas A&M
  • W6: Arkansas
  • W7: At #25 Tennessee
  • W8: Bye
  • W9: Vanderbilt
  • W10: At #15 Georgia
  • W11: #22 Florida
  • W12: Wofford
  • W13: #3 Clemson

Expectations for a Vols win: Get used to hearing the phrase, “Jake Bentley to Deebo Samuel.” Those guys are dynamic and dangerous. The Gamecocks’ win over NC State was actually an upset, and it did come down to the last play as the Wolfpack was throwing into the end zone on the last play. There’s also this: South Carolina was outgained 504-246. These guys may be better than we gave them credit for in the offseason. Or they may not be. Holding firm on them for now at 70% and first in the group that consists of them, Kentucky, Missouri, and Vanderbilt.

W1 W2 W3 W4 W5 W6 W7 W8 W9 W10 W11 W12 W13
70 70

10/21/17: Alabama (1-0, 0-0 SEC, #1)

  • W1: Beat #3 Florida State, 24-7.
  • W2: Fresno State
  • W3: Colorado State
  • W4: At Vanderbilt
  • W5: Ole Miss
  • W6: At Texas A&M
  • W7: Arkansas
  • W8: #25 Tennessee
  • W9: Bye
  • W10: #12 LSU
  • W11: At Mississippi State
  • W12: Mercer
  • W13: At #13 Auburn

Expectations for a Vols win: All these guys did was dominate the third-best team in the country and knock their opponent’s best player out for the season in the first game. I had them at 10% preseason, and I’m keeping them there for now.

W1 W2 W3 W4 W5 W6 W7 W8 W9 W10 W11 W12 W13
10 10

10/28/17: Kentucky (1-0, 0-0 SEC, NR)

  • W1: Beat Southern Miss, 24-17.
  • W2: E Kentucky
  • W3: At South Carolina
  • W4: #22 Florida
  • W5: E Michigan
  • W6: Missouri
  • W7: Bye
  • W8: At Mississippi State
  • W9: #25 Tennessee
  • W10: Ole Miss
  • W11: At Vanderbilt
  • W12: At #15 Georgia
  • W13: #17 Lousiville

Expectations for a Vols win: Kentucky won their game this weekend, but their offense didn’t look good. QB Stephen Johnson had only 176 yards, and running back Benny Snell had only 67 rushing yards. The team needed every bit of two forced fumbles late to win. It’s early, but at this point, and I’m going to keep them at 65% for now.

W1 W2 W3 W4 W5 W6 W7 W8 W9 W10 W11 W12 W13
65 65

11/4/17: Southern Miss (0-1, 0-0 C-USA, NR)

  • W1: Lost to Kentucky, 24-17.
  • W2: Southern
  • W3: At UL Monroe
  • W4: Bye
  • W5: North Texas
  • W6: UTSA
  • W7: UTEP
  • W8: At LA Tech
  • W9: UAB
  • W10: At #25 Tennessee
  • W11: At Rice
  • W12: Charlotte
  • W13: At Marshall

Expectations for a Vols win: Everything I just said about Kentucky could instead mean more about Southern Miss. We won’t know for a little while, so for now, I’m going to give Southern Miss the benefit of the doubt and move them up a bit, too, from 90% to 85%.

W1 W2 W3 W4 W5 W6 W7 W8 W9 W10 W11 W12 W13
90 85

11/11/17: Missouri (1-0, 0-0 SEC, NR)

  • W1: Beat Missouri State 72-43.
  • W2: South Carolina
  • W3: Purdue
  • W4: #13 Auburn
  • W5: Bye
  • W6: At Kentucky
  • W7: At #15 Georgia
  • W8: Idaho
  • W9: At UConn
  • W10: #22 Florida
  • W11: #25 Tennessee
  • W12: At Vanderbilt
  • W13: At Arkansas

Expectations for a Vols win: Keep an eye on Missouri, as they like to fly low all the way to the finish line. Yeah, their opponent was Missouri State, but 72 points is 72 points. QB Drew Lock had a record-setting 521 yards and seven touchdowns, and Damarea Crockett had 202 rushing yards. On the other hand, their problem last year was defense, and they allowed 43 points and 6.6 yards per play, so . . . who knows at this point? I’m going to move them to 65% and slot them above Kentucky.

W1 W2 W3 W4 W5 W6 W7 W8 W9 W10 W11 W12 W13
70 65

11/18/17: LSU (1-0, 0-0 SEC, #12)

  • W1: Beat BYU, 27-0.
  • W2: Chattanooga
  • W3: At Mississippi State
  • W4: Syracuse
  • W5: Troy
  • W6: At #22 Florida
  • W7: #13 Auburn
  • W8: At Ole Miss
  • W9: Bye
  • W10: At #1 Alabama
  • W11: Arkansas
  • W12: At #25 Tennessee
  • W13: Texas A&M

Expectations for a Vols win: Running back Derrius Guice had 120 yards and two touchdowns, and the LSU defense didn’t allow BYU’s offense to even cross midfield. We’ll see whether Orgeron can hold things together, but all of the pieces seem to be there. I had LSU at 25% preseason, significantly away from the Florida/Georgia pack, and I’m going to stick with that at this time.

W1 W2 W3 W4 W5 W6 W7 W8 W9 W10 W11 W12 W13
25 25

11/25/17: Vanderbilt (1-0, 0-0 SEC, NR)

  • W1: Beat MTSU, 28-6.
  • W2: Alabama A&M
  • W3: #19 Kansas State
  • W4: #1 Alabama
  • W5: At #22 Florida
  • W6: #15 Georgia
  • W7: At Ole Miss
  • W8: Bye
  • W9: At South Carolina
  • W10: W Kentucky
  • W11: Kentucky
  • W12: Missouri
  • W13: At #25 Tennessee

Expectations for a Vols win: Yikes, that’s a tough stretch from Week 3 to Week 6 for the Commodores. QB Kyle Shurmur threw for 296 yards and three touchdowns, and the defense held a Blue Raiders that was 12th nationally in scoring last year to only six points. Vandy may be better this year than we believed heading into the preseason. I was inclined to move Vanderbilt above Kentucky, too, but for now I’m leaving them where they are at 70%.

W1 W2 W3 W4 W5 W6 W7 W8 W9 W10 W11 W12 W13
70  70

All of that puts me at 7.92 wins, but with 9 if the coin comes up the right way every time.


How would you set your win probabilities for the rest of the Vols games? Fill out this form, and we’ll compile the results and post them later this week:


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Isaac Bishop
Isaac Bishop
2 years ago

Yeah I’m not really impressed with Mizzou’s offensive numbers and Drew Lock’s performance. Why? Because they kept their starting QB, and probably other starters, in for the whole game! It’s obvious they did that to pad stats and the score so they didn’t look bad against an FCS opponent. If any Power 5 school puts their starters in for the whole game I’m sure they’d put 70 or more also. I mean let’s take Indiana State this week. I say we’ll put in Guarantano and hand most the rushing reps to Chandler and Fils-Aime midway through the 3rd quarter and… Read more »

Will Shelton
Will Shelton
2 years ago

I have UT up from 7.9 to 8.3 wins. That’s exactly the difference in giving us a 60% chance against Georgia Tech and getting that extra 40% from the win, but I’m also feeling better about our chances against Florida and Kentucky and worse against South Carolina and LSU.

Isaac Bishop
Isaac Bishop
2 years ago
Reply to  Will Shelton

Yeah I think South Carolina is looking good right now. They gained some separation from the bottom half of the East. Fortunately we’ll get a good feel of them after four SEC games. We definitely need to make the best out of that BYE week. As for LSU I’m just not sure. Granted I never watched that game, but BYU doesn’t look like the sleeper many people predicted. Their game against Portland State was too close and not impressive. However, LSU not allowing the Cougars past the 50 and holding them under 100 total yards as opposed to the Tigers… Read more »