More often than not, the defining game on the schedule for Tennessee each year is the Florida contest. Considering the Volunteers are currently experiencing the worst decade in school history, it’s no surprise to see Tennessee is 1-9 against the Gators during that span.

Despite that disturbing mark over the previous decade, Jeremy Pruitt will have an opportunity to start his head coaching career against Florida at 1-0 if he can lead Tennessee to a win in Neyland Stadium come Sept. 22.

How confident should Tennessee fans be heading into that game? It depends on who you ask.

USA TODAY Sports handicapper Danny Sheridan was a guest on the Paul Finebaum Show on Friday and fielded questions from the show’s callers during his appearance. One fan from Tennessee called in asking Sheridan about his take on the upcoming Florida game. Unfortunately for Vol fans, Sheridan isn’t very high on the home team heading into that one.

“I would say, of course, Florida will be favored,” Sheridan answered.

The longtime handicapper then went into why he’s so confident in the Gators being the favorite entering the game.

“Tennessee I’m looking at, because of the talent they have five wins — six would be Coach of the Year consideration. Looking at Florida winning eight games. I think most people have them at seven but I think Florida has a pretty good team,” he continued. “Tennessee, you’d have to give Jeremy (Pruitt) at least two, maybe three recruiting classes… I would say Tennessee is going to lose, and this isn’t picking on you by the way, I think they will lose to Kentucky this year. Yeah, they’ll probably beat Vanderbilt but they will finish somewhere at the bottom, behind Missouri, somewhere around Kentucky, Vanderbilt in the SEC East.”

That’s not the way Pruitt wants to start his head coaching career but it certainly is a possibility coming off the year Tennessee just had. If Pruitt is going to prove the doubters wrong, it will likely start with the home game against Florida. Win that one and the Volunteers could build some serious momentum heading into SEC play and steal a game or two that would make the team bowl eligible in his first season on Rocky Top.