Streak busters? Vols hope to end 11-game slide against SEC West
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Streaks and Tennessee football go hand in hand in the past decade.
Unfortunately, several tilt in their opponents’ favor.
It is well known that the Volunteers are trying to end an 11-year losing streak to Florida. Alabama also holds a nine-game streak against Tennessee heading into this fall’s Third Saturday in October.
The Alabama losses of late have accompanied other SEC West losses. The Vols have not defeated an SEC West team in 11 tries, dating to 2010. History and tradition aside, playing Alabama every year is an obvious competitive disadvantage. But the Tide hasn’t accounted for all of those losses.
The Vols have lost to six SEC West teams (they haven’t played Texas A&M, but will do so this season, at College Station). They’re 0-5 vs. Alabama, 0-2 against Arkansas and 0-1 against Auburn, LSU, Mississippi State and Ole Miss.
The last time Tennessee beat an SEC West team was 2010, crushing Ole Miss 52-14 at the tail end of Derek Dooley’s first season.
The Vols are just 2-18 against the SEC West since their last SEC championship game appearance in 2007. The only other win in the past 20 SEC West games came against Mississippi State in 2008.
The numbers aren’t pretty: During the Vols’ 11-game losing streak, they have been outscored 420-154, an average loss of 38.2-14.
They have given up 4,975 total yards (452.3 ypg) and produced 3,331 total yards (302.8 ypg).
Team 120 is embracing the hype. They’re talking openly of getting to Tampa. They’ve been picked to win the SEC East by most and to win the SEC by some. They’re the preseason East favorites for the first time since 2005.
Ending their slide against the West would go a long way toward realizing those goals.
ESPN’s Football Power Index suggests Tennessee has a legitimate chance doing so. According to the index, the Vols have a 59.3 percent chance of winning at Texas A&M on Oct. 8 and a 58.9 percent chance of defeating Alabama inside Neyland Stadium on Oct. 15.
The Golden Nugget casino in Las Vegas has also released opening lines for the 2016 season, as Tennessee is favorites at Texas A&M (-5) and against Alabama (-1). The South Point Casino in Las Vegas also has the Vols as early favorites at Texas A&M (-4.5), but three-point underdogs at home against Alabama.
Inside the slide
Tennessee vs. the SEC West since its last win in 2010
2011 vs. LSU (L, 38-7; LSU 383 total yards, UT 239)
2011 at Alabama (L, 37-6; Alabama 437 total yards, UT 155)
2011 at Arkansas (L, 49-7; Arkansas 449 total yards, UT 376)
2012 at Mississippi State (L, 41-31; Mississippi St. 449 total yards, UT 361)
2012 vs. Alabama (L, 44-13; Alabama 539 total yards, UT 282)
2013 at Alabama (L, 45-10; Alabama 479 total yards, UT 322)
2013 vs. Auburn (L, 55-23; Auburn 479 total yards, UT 354)
2014 at Ole Miss (L, 34-3; Ole Miss 383 total yards, UT 191)
2014 vs. Alabama (L, 34-20; Alabama 469 total yards, UT 383)
2015 vs. Arkansas (L, 24-20; Arkansas 494 total yards, UT 365)
2015 at Alabama (L, 19-14; Alabama 363 total yards, UT 303)