May 21, 2024

Opinion: Where the Vols Finish in the East

After reeling off wins in back-to-back games, Tennessee is in a position to make a run at fourth or a tie for third in the SEC East.

After reeling off wins in back-to-back games, Tennessee is in a position to make a run at fourth or a tie for third in the SEC East.

Tennessee has a very good chance of winning their last two games (vs Missouri, at Vanderbilt), so these scenarios will be based on the assumption that Tennessee wins at least one.

If Tennessee beats Missouri, then loses to Vanderbilt

If, and this is a big if, Tennessee gets a big win at home against Mizzou, and then the Vols lay an egg in Nashville, Tennessee will finish with a 6-6 record (3-5 in SEC play).  The Vols will be ahead of South Carolina (3-5 SEC record) because of the head-to-head tiebreaker, and will finish 4th in the SEC.

If Tennessee loses to Missouri, then beats Vanderbilt

This scenario is exactly the same as the first, except the “W” and “L” are switched on the schedule.  Many columnists have picked this as the most likely scenario due to Missouri’s recent play, but Tennessee has home field advantage and momentum heading into the game, so the final scenario could be just as likely.

If Tennessee beats Missouri AND Vanderbilt

If Tennessee wins the final two games of the season, the Vols will have their first winning season since 2009, and their first winning regular season since 2007.  Tennessee will finish 7-5 (4-4 in SEC play) and tied for 3rd with Florida in the SEC East.  Because Florida won the head-to-head matchup with Tennessee, the Gators will technically finish 3rd and the Vols 4th, but a tie for 3rd sounds better than just outright 4th place, and would be a big step for the program under Butch Jones.

Edited by Will Lomas

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Nathan is a junior at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville. He spends most of his free time eating meaningless foods and watching sports. If you wish to contact Nathan, you can email him at wodom3@vols.utk.edu or find him on Twitter, @NathanOdom11.