The School: The “University” of Tennessee
Record: 4-7 (0-7 in the SEC). The last time the Vols went winless in conference play was .... never. Holy shit. Do NOT blow this, Vanderbilt.
Ranking: Unranked in the AP Top 25 and the Coaches' Polls. Jeff Sagarin has Tennessee rated 82nd in his rankings. Vandy’s entry just redirects to something called lemon party dot org and I refuse to click it.
Mascot: It’s a dog. Especially prophetic for 2017 as this team has done nothing but crap all over itself.
Location: Knoxville, Tennessee. Home of Calhoun’s, forever the epicenter of completely bullshit coaching rumors. Calhoun’s held a mirror up to the toxic culture surrounding blind super-fannery and then served it ribs. Did we learn anything from this? OF COURSE NOT.
Coach: Brady Hoke. Hoke perpetually looks like he stepped out of a 1950s sitcom where he plays an ornery dad who works construction during the day. No idea how he hasn’t resonated with recruits.
Conference: The S-E-C.
All-time vs. Vanderbilt: 75-31-5. Moving on!
In the Last 10 Years vs. Vanderbilt: uhhhhh
In the Last 5 Years vs. Vanderbilt: 2-3. Much better. I’m just sad Butch Jones lost before he could depart with a losing record against the ‘Dores.
The Last Time We Saw These Guys: Vanderbilt 45, Tennessee 34. Vandy’s out-of-nowhere offense emerged at the best possible time, toppling then-No. 17 UT behind Kyle Shurmur’s 416 yard performance. It came less than a week after Jones declared his team “champions of life.” Vandy’s victory made them the transitive champs:
We made you something, @VandyFootball pic.twitter.com/Z6G5jiKpfV— SB Nation CFB (@SBNationCFB) November 27, 2016
That only lasted a month, sadly, as the ‘Dores lost to NC State in the Independence Bowl.
But still, second-ever champions of life might be the high point of Derek Mason’s tenure.
Is Vandy Favored?: No. But Tennessee is only a one-point favorite at home, which is probably why tickets are currently available for $11 at Neyland Stadium.
Most Potent Offensive Threat: Tennessee’s quarterbacks — all three of them — have combined for a 9:9 touchdown-to-interception ratio this year, so not them. John Kelly has run for 64 yards on 34 carries his last two games, so expect him to come out of nowhere (now....here?) and gash Vandy for 150 yards Saturday.
Most Potent Defensive Threat: Colton Jumper is half linebacker, half bullshit hipster outfit. Also he’s UT’s leading sacker.
Matchup to Watch: Derek Mason vs. the rising temperature of his seat. Vandy’s hot finish to 2016 suggested the program was on the rise and even earned the third-year head coach a contract extension. His 3-0 start to 2017 appeared to build on that...and then SEC play began. The Commodores’ have lost each of their conference games, all but one by 14 points or more. That’s bad!
Interesting Fact: There is nothing interesting about Knoxville, Tennessee.
Bonus Fact!: Or the University of Tennessee.
If Tennessee wins, we: invest heavily in basketball stock. I mean, you wouldn’t know it from our site here, but Vandy very nearly beat a top 10 team earlier this week. If you’re reading this and not on the D’Jery Baptiste bandwagon, I have several concerns about your wellbeing.