Volgorithms to the SEC East

It’s hard to imagine that Tennessee’s possible SEC East bid could ride on Kentucky. A rivalry dating all the way back to 1893 in which the Vols lead 50-16 and one that has left the Vols snake-bit a few times along the way. Recent memories of a loss under the leadership of Derek Dooley in which Kentucky manage to beat the Vols with a 3rd string wide receiver in as quarterback makes Kentucky and interesting matchup given their improved play this season.

While sports pundits map out several scenarios for the SEC East title which include almost every team except Missouri and Vandy, Tennessee has one job…. Win out! (and then root for LSU).

Winning out may not be as easy as a Vol fan might expect with all 3 opponents Kentucky, Missouri, and Vanderbilt, while having dismal seasons, have shown some ability to be a thorn in the side of any team who attempts to overlook them. In these games, it will be less about the score and more about the W. Winning out will put the Vols at a season ending 9-3, one game better than last year, and with a LSU win over Florida, a second chance against arguable one of the best Alabama teams of all time in the SEC Championship.

Now, who here (considering the best case scenario) would be overly critical of Butch Jones and the Vols if they were to lose to Alabama again in the SEC Championship?

The answer had better be “no one”! Whether you like the overall product or not that Butch Jones has assembled in team #120, you will have a hard time convincing people that he doesn’t have this program moving in the right direction.

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Now, if you follow your SEC Abacus, you’ll see that the Vols have already taken care of 1/3rd of the problem. The Vols, however, shouldn’t overlook either opponent and follow Butch Jones’ latest mantra “1 game season at a time” in upcoming Missouri and Vanderbilt. If LSU does beat Florida and put us in the SEC championship, it should already be a win for the Vols and Butch Jones. Given the past decade of Tennessee’s dismal seasons, we have in fact come a long way. Of course there is still much work to do but no matter the outcome I am please we’re heading in the right direction. Unrealistic expectations by fans and driven by media hype is something we should all ignore and look at this program on its overall performance. This year has been a struggle but one Tennessee has come through with some major milestones.

I expect more milestones to come……