Marquez Callaway

Updated projected win totals for the Vols after Charlotte

What are Tennessee’s chances for bowl eligibility with three games remaining? It depends on how you view the Vols’ outing against Charlotte, how their past opponents looked this past weekend, and how those three remaining opponents have looked so far. Here’s how it all shakes out for me.

First, I’ve been saying all season that I thought Tennessee’s chances of winning the Charlotte game was somewhere between 90-99%. See the graphic below for proof.

So I was surprised when our Statsy Preview Machine last Thursday spit out a mere three-point prediction for the Vols. I was surprised enough not to embrace it and put my own prediction at 34-17, but the machine coughing that up — along with S&P+ suggesting the Vols wouldn’t cover the Vegas spread — did have the effect of preparing me for a battle no one was really expecting.

And hey, football is weird. It’s a contest, and your team’s performance any given week is a product not only of how good your team is and how well it did that day but also how good its opponent is and how good they played that day. And even though we never really know how to weigh each of those factors any given week, we always seem to jump right to the conclusion that our team is either awesome or terrible regardless of any of the other three factors.

Me, I think Charlotte’s defense might be pretty good, particularly at stopping the run, and for an offense having trouble running the ball, that can cause real problems. So, I don’t know that Saturday really tells us much more about the Vols that we didn’t already know. Still, although it wasn’t cause for writing off the rest of the season, it was cause for some degree of readjustment of expectations.

The other thing that happened that changed things this week was that Missouri beat Florida, which is bad news for Vols fans.

Anyway, here’s how I’ve switched up my expectations after this weekend.

My new expected win total:

  • This week: 5.3
  • Last week: 5.55
  • After Week 8: 6.0
  • After Week 7: 6.3
  • After Week 6: 5.0
  • After Week 5: 4.9
  • After Week 4: 4.55
  • After Week 3: 5.5

I docked the Vols a bit for the performance against Charlotte, so I changed Kentucky and Missouri from 50% to 40%. Kentucky did about as well against Georgia as I expected, but Missouri beating Florida the way they did was a surprise, so I put them ahead of Kentucky. Vanderbilt, who didn’t play, went from 60% to 50%. I’m basically thinking we’ll get one of the next three instead of the two we need, but those other two are close enough to tossups that I think they could go our way.

Use the form below to calculate your expected win total and post it in the comments below the post.

Explanations are below, but here’s the updated chart for this week:

Tennessee Volunteers currently

Current record: 4-5 (1-4), 5th in the SEC East

  • Lost to #17 WVU*, 40-14
  • Beat ETSU, 59-3
  • Beat UTEP, 24-0
  • Lost to Florida, 47-21
  • Lost to #2 Georgia, 38-12
  • Beat #21 Auburn, 30-24
  • Lost to #1 Alabama, 58-21
  • Lost to South Carolina, 27-24
  • Beat Charlotte, 14-3
  • Kentucky
  • Missouri
  • Vanderbilt

The Vols’ past opponents

West Virginia Mountaineers

Current record: 7-1 (5-1), 1st in Big 12, #7

  • Beat Tennessee*, 40-14
  • Beat YSU, 52-17
  • NC State, Canceled
  • Beat Kansas St, 35-6
  • Beat #25 Texas Tech, 42-34
  • Beat Kansas, 38-22
  • Lost to Iowa State, 30-14
  • Bye
  • Beat Baylor, 58-14
  • Beat #17 Texas, 42-41
  • #17 TCU
  • #15 Oklahoma St.
  • #5 Oklahoma

East Tennessee State Buccaneers

Current record: 8-2 (6-1), 1st in Southern

UTEP Miners

Current record: 1-8 (1-4), 6th in C-USA – West

  • Lost to N Arizona, 30-10
  • Lost to UNLV, 52-24
  • Lost to Tennessee, 24-0
  • Lost to New Mexico St, 27-20
  • Lost to UTSA, 30-21
  • Lost North Texas, 27-24
  • Bye
  • Lost to LA Tech, 31-24
  • Lost UAB, 19-0
  • Beat Rice, 34-26
  • MTSU, 3:00 PM ET ESPN+
  • W Kentucky, 7:30 PM ET
  • Southern Miss, 3:00 PM ET ESPN+

Florida Gators

Current record: 6-3 (4-3), 3rd in SEC – East, #19

  • Beat Charleston So, 53-6
  • Lost to Kentucky, 27-16
  • Beat Colorado St, 48-10
  • Beat Tennessee, 47-21
  • Beat #14 Miss St, 13-6
  • Beat #5 LSU, 27-19
  • Beat Vanderbilt, 37-27
  • Bye
  • Lost to #7 Georgia, 36-17
  • Lost to Missouri, 38-17
  • S Carolina, TBD
  • Idaho, TBD
  • Florida State, TBD

Georgia Bulldogs

Current record: 8-1 (6-1), 1st in SEC – East, #5

Auburn Tigers

Current record: 6-3 (3-3), 3rd in SEC – West

  • Beat #6 Washington*, 21-16
  • Beat Alabama St, 63-9
  • Lost to #12 LSU, 22-21
  • Beat Arkansas, 34-3
  • Beat Southern Miss, 24-13
  • Lost to Miss St, 23-9
  • Lost to Tennessee, 30-24
  • Beat Ole Miss, 31-16
  • Bye
  • Beat #20 Texas A&M, 28-24
  • Georgia
  • Liberty
  • Alabama

Alabama Crimson Tide

Current record: 9-0 (6-0), 1st in SEC – West, #1

South Carolina Gamecocks

Current record: 5-3 (4-3), 3rd in SEC – East

  • Beat C. Carolina, 49-15
  • Lost to #3 Georgia, 41-17
  • Marshall, Canceled
  • Beat Vanderbilt, 37-14
  • Lost to Kentucky, 24-10
  • Beat Missouri, 37-35
  • Lost Texas A&M, 26-23
  • Bye
  • Beat Tennessee, 27-24
  • Beat Ole Miss, 48-44
  • Florida
  • Chattanooga
  • Clemson

Charlotte 49ers

Current record: 4-5 (3-2), 3rd in C-USA – East

The Vols’ future opponents

Kentucky Wildcats

Current record: 7-2 (5-2), 2nd in SEC – East, #12

  • Beat Cent Michigan, 35-20
  • Beat #25 Florida, 27-16
  • Beat Murray State, 48-10
  • Beat #14 Miss St, 28-7
  • Beat S Carolina, 24-10
  • Lost to Texas A&M, 20-14
  • Bye
  • Beat Vanderbilt, 14-7
  • Beat Missouri, 15-14
  • Lost to Georgia, 34-17
  • Tennessee
  • MTSU
  • Louisville

Missouri Tigers

Current record: 5-4 (1-4), 5th in SEC – East

Vanderbilt Commodores

Current record: 4-5 (1-4), 5th in SEC – East

  • Beat MTSU, 35-7
  • Beat Nevada, 41-10
  • Lost to #8 Notre Dame, 22-17
  • Lost to S Carolina, 37-14
  • Beat Tennessee St, 31-27
  • Lost to Georgia, 41-13
  • Lost to Florida, 37-27
  • Lost to Kentucky, 14-7
  • Beat Arkansas, 45-31
  • Bye
  • Missouri
  • Ole Miss
  • Tennessee

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PeteGavin DriskillHarleyHTJoel Hollingsworth Recent comment authors
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I am sitting 5.56 this week. Hoping our banged up players can get well, and i would love to see our offensive line somehow not be a liability for the next 3 games.

Will Shelton

I’m at 5.25. It’ll be interesting at the end of the year to look at our strength of schedule. The top is business as usual, but the middle tier of our schedule is tougher than in recent years


Aren’t we sitting at about 7th right now? I think I saw or read that somewhere this past weekend. I may be confused but I’m pretty sure I saw that.

Will Shelton

It’s 5th in S&P+


I’ve dropped to 4.8. I think we have seen our last win for this season. The team seems to have regressed. I know the loss of Trey Smith was huge, but the way the line played this week was absolutely atrocious. There is no excuse for there not being any improvement by anyone on this line. Drew Richmond should be allowed to finish his degree, but should never see the football field again for UT (barring another catastrophic injury and even then I’d convert a couple D-linemen first). If there is a bigger disappointment as far as football expectations in… Read more »


Pre-season: 5.12 Post-WVU: 4.98 Post-ETSU: 4.84 Post-UTEP: 4.65 Post-Florida: 4.01 Post-Georgia: 4.20 Post-bye: 4.63 Post-Auburn: 5.58 Post-Alabama: 5.48 Post-South Carolina: 5.08 Now: 5.00 My remaining individual game confidence levels are now Kentucky 20 (down from 25), Mizzou 30 (down from 35), and Vandy 50. How I have picked each UT game in the Pick ‘Em contest versus actual results: West Virginia 40, Tennessee 14 (picked WVU for 14 points) Tennessee 59, ETSU 3 (picked Tennessee for 20) Tennessee 24, UTEP 0 (picked Tennessee for 18, two games canceled for weather) Florida 47, Tennessee 21 (picked Florida for 7) Georgia 38,… Read more »

Gavin Driskill
Gavin Driskill

We continue to largely mirror each other…I’ve got UK at 25%, Mizzou at 25%, and Vandy at 40% for a total of 4.9 now.


Total Wins 5.2. I have KY=40, MO=30, Vandy=50… tough year; was hoping for better. Prove me wrong… Go Vols!


Down to 5.0 from 5.10. I think we are poised for a great defensive turnaround which will at least keep the games as possible wins for a little longer while we hang onto the bowl dream. We’ve held 5 teams under 126 rushing yards (W Va, ETSU, UTEP, Auburn, Charlotte). While last year’s Vols gave up 289 (8.0); 433 (8.2) and 246 (5.7) rushing yards to UK, Mizzou & Vandy. [You remember last year’s defense, right? Coach Jones, Coach Shoop, meet General Sherman, What? Yes you can smoke his cigar as you watch the fires burn…]

Gavin Driskill
Gavin Driskill

It’s really odd that Shoop has been great at every stop, including his current one at Mississippi State (currently top 20 in rushing, passing, total, and scoring defense), but was awful at UT.

It makes you realize/appreciate that there must have been some serious dysfunction in the overall administration of the program.