Tennessee snapped an 11-game losing streak against ranked opponents with a win over Kentucky in Week 11 of the 2021 college football season. And at 5-4 with South Alabama and Vanderbilt (and Georgia) remaining on their schedule, the Vols were all but guaranteed to exceed their regular-season win total (six) for just the second time in the last five seasons, as they did with blowouts over the Jaguars and Commodores.
In Josh Heupel’s first season as head coach, Tennessee had a win total greater than only three other SEC teams (Vanderbilt, South Carolina, and Arkansas). In Heupel’s second season, expectations are higher on the field and at the online sportsbook; the Vols have a higher total (seven) than six SEC teams as they chase their fourth eight-win season in the last 15 years.
“Any time Tennessee does well, even if it’s clearly because of a one-off situation, there’s an immediate pressure to ramp back up to the Phillip Fulmer national title days,” an anonymous opposing coach told Athlon Sports.
As of late June, 10 weeks before Tennessee opens the season against Ball State at Neyland Stadium, there are eight SEC teams with a regular-season win total greater than seven. And for Hendon Hooker, Jabari Small, and the Vols to surpass that total, they must finish, at minimum, .500 in conference play for just the sixth time since 2008.
Hendon Hooker's 84.4 PFF Grade last season was the best by a Tennessee QB since 2014 🎯 pic.twitter.com/47QDpeTiuT
— PFF College (@PFF_College) June 26, 2022
Ramping up to the national title days might be the long-term expectation in Knoxville. But for now, in college football betting, Tennessee only needs to exceed last year’s win total (seven) by one. And they’ll attempt to do so against a tough conference schedule that features Alabama in their annual crossover game and Georgia on the road.
|Thurs., Sept. 1||vs. Ball State|
|Sat., Sept. 10||at Pittsburgh|
|Sat., Sept. 17||vs. Akron|
|Sat., Sept. 24||vs. Florida|
|Sat., Oct. 8||at LSU|
|Sat., Oct. 15||vs. Alabama|
|Sat., Oct. 22||vs. UT Martin|
|Sat., Oct. 29||vs. Kentucky|
|Sat., Nov. 5||at Georgia|
|Sat., Nov. 12||vs. Missouri|
|Sat., Nov. 19||at South Carolina|
|Sat., Nov. 26||at Vanderbilt|
Tennessee hung with Bama through the first three quarters last October but eventually suffered their 15th straight loss in the series – and sixth straight by at least 22 points. They haven’t beat the Crimson Tide since 2006 and have losing streaks of at least five games against Georgia, LSU, and Florida.
Here’s a look at 2022 college football win totals for all SEC teams:
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