Despite entering the South Carolina game as nearly a two-touchdown favorite, Dave Bartoo says Tennessee should not have been favored to beat the Gamecocks on the road last weekend.

How in the world did Bartoo, who runs CFB Matrix – one of the best and most accurate college football prediction sites on the internet, come to such a conclusion? During a recent segment of the Out of Bounds Show with Bo Bounds, Bartoo explained how we should have seen the Tennessee loss coming.

“Coming into the season, Tennessee, I had them ranked 15th in the country in talent and I had South Carolina as 20th,” Bartoo said on the air. “Well, where’s this game played at? It’s played at South Carolina. That’s a win for South Carolina, right? If it’s Team A vs. Team B, No. 15 vs No. 20 (in terms of talent), average coaching, you go with the home team.”

Bartoo’s wildly successful formula for predicting games is easy to understand and can be broken down by his acronym of TLC – Talent, Location and Coaching. Judging by those three metrics alone, Bartoo assigns a plus, a minus or a push rating for each head coach after every game. Following the South Carolina game, Bartoo rates Butch Jones as having a +1 overall record thus far for the 2016 season.

“It’s not that big of a surprise, it really shouldn’t be,” Bartoo continued. “South Carolina put it together at home. Butch Jones on the season is still +1 (in overall coach effect). The bigger picture that’s being missed here, it’s not that it’s South Carolina (Tennessee lost to). Do you want to know why (Tennessee fans) are pissed about losing to South Carolina? Would they be pissed if it was Steve Spurrier they lost to? It’s not because they lost to South Carolina, it’s not because they lost on the road, it’s because they lost to Will freaking Muschamp. That’s what’s psychologically pissing them off.”

Bartoo may have a point. After beating Spurrier by two points in 2013, three points in 2014 and beating interim head coach Shawn Elliott by three points last season, the series between Tennessee and South Carolina has been one of the most contested games in the SEC over the last four seasons.

Taking that all into account, dropping a game by three points on the road in this series shouldn’t necessarily be a reason for panic and meltdown from Vol Nation. In other words, don’t put the For Sale signs up in Jones’ yard just yet Tennessee fans.

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Tennessee online sports betting officially launched on November 1, 2020, and many of the largest sportsbooks are live and operating in the volunteer state. Tennessee is only one of a handful of SEC football states with legalized sports betting.