Dan Fleser: Vols Sticking Within The SEC

Friday, August 7, 2020 - by Dan Fleser

KNOXVILLE – Tennessee’s schedule got easier when Oklahoma was dropped as an opponent last week. The SEC made it harder on Friday.

 

The Vols picked up Auburn and Texas A&M when the league announced the new 10-game slate for each team. The revamped schedule consists solely of league teams.

Auburn was ranked No. 11 in the preseason Amway Coaches Poll while A&M was ranked No. 13.

 

The school presidents approved a shift last week to the conference-only format in the hopes of better managing the COVID-19 pandemic for all SEC schools. Non-conference opponents were dropped and the Vols’ lost their Sept. 12 date with the powerful Sooners in Norman, Okla.

 

The athletic directors then voted on several scheduling models, which led to the final product.

“We made every effort to create a schedule that is as competitive as possible and builds on the existing eight conference games that had already been scheduled for 2020,” SEC commissioner Greg Sankey said in a league statement. “This schedule is a one-year anomaly that we have developed under unique circumstances presented by the impact of COVID-19.”

 

Dates for the games will be announced later. This much is certain at this point. The season will start Sept. 26.  Tennessee will play Alabama, Florida, Kentucky, Missouri and Texas A&M at Neyland Stadium. The Vols will travel to face Arkansas, Auburn, Georgia, South Carolina and Vanderbilt.

 

The Vols could look at their new schedule and consider it to be a little too competitive. Here’s guessing that many fans aren’t excited about the additions. The Vols already were going to play Alabama, Georgia and Florida, which they do every season. The two additions put five of the top 13 teams in the preseason coaches poll on their schedule.

 

By comparison, the Crimson Tide picked up Kentucky and Missouri. Fellow Eastern Division foe Georgia added Mississippi State and Arkansas.

 

Tennessee last played Texas A&M in 2016. The Vols overcame a deficit in regulation but lost in double-overtime 45-38 in College Station, Texas. UT coach Jeremy Pruitt coached on A&M coach Jimbo Fisher’s staff when Fisher was a Florida State. Pruitt hired running backs coach Jay Graham from the Aggies during the offseason. Texas A&M was 8-5 last season.

 

As UT’s coach, Pruitt has some history against Auburn. The Vols beat the then-No. 21 Tigers 30-24 in Auburn, Ala., in 2018. The victory snapped Tennessee’s 11-game conference losing streak, which spanned three seasons, and gave Pruitt his first victory over a ranked opponent. The Tigers were 9-3 last season.

 

----

 

Dan Fleser is a 1980 graduate of the University of Missouri, who covered University of Tennessee athletics from 1988-2019. He can be reached at danfleser3@gmail.com.

 


UCRA Announces Witchy Fifty Oct. 24 At Fort Payne Motor Speedway

Dalton State Makes Run But Settles For 7th At The Scenic City Invitational

CFC Wins NISA Fall Tournament Opener In Detriot


The United Championship Racing Alliance - UCRA presented by Red Line Synthetic Oil and Fort Payne Motor Speedway announces the Witchy Fifty weekend for the 604/Crate Late Models on Saturday, ... (click for more)

The Dalton State Men's Golf team finished off the first tournament of the 2020-21 season with a 7th place finish in the Scenic City Invitational at The Honors Course in Ooltewah, Tenn. on Tuesday. ... (click for more)

The Chattanooga FC soccer team opened the NISA Fall Tournament with a 2-0 win over the LA Force on Wednesday night in Detroit. Sean Hoffstatter scored in the 45th minute and Darwin Lom scored ... (click for more)



Sports

UCRA Announces Witchy Fifty Oct. 24 At Fort Payne Motor Speedway

The United Championship Racing Alliance - UCRA presented by Red Line Synthetic Oil and Fort Payne Motor Speedway announces the Witchy Fifty weekend for the 604/Crate Late Models on Saturday, Oct. 24. The series will compete for $2,000 to-Win along with FPMS's local division, to be announced at a later date. A special intermission Trunk or Treat will be hosted by all the racers ... (click for more)

Dalton State Makes Run But Settles For 7th At The Scenic City Invitational

The Dalton State Men's Golf team finished off the first tournament of the 2020-21 season with a 7th place finish in the Scenic City Invitational at The Honors Course in Ooltewah, Tenn. on Tuesday. The Roadrunners (307 – 302 – 305 = 914) moved up to 5th in a tight middle half of the leaderboard midway through the round, but settled for 7th place overall at (+50). UAB (296 – ... (click for more)

Breaking News

Hakeem Calls For Probe Of Hamilton County Election Office; Hargett Said He Has Confidence In The Office

State Rep. Yusuf Hakeem said he was asking for a state investigation of the Hamilton County Election Commission. In a letter to Secretary of State Tre Hargett, he said he ha s great "anguish and concern" that the county election office is "becoming a petri dish for undermining the fundamental right to free and fair elections." Secretary of State Hargett responded, "I will ... (click for more)

Former County EMT Charged With Vehicular Homicide Is Back Out Of Jail After Pretrial Services "Error"

A former county EMT accused of vehicular homicide was taken into custody in court on Monday based on five alleged violations of his pretrial release. But Justin Whaley was back out of jail on Wednesday after it was agreed that the report of the violations was unfounded. His attorney, Lee Davis, said, " The report filed by Pretrial Services was in error. There was no alcohol ... (click for more)

Opinion

Earl Freudenberg Remembers Bettye Parker

One of the most patriotic individuals I have ever known has passed away. Bettye Parker died Tuesday after a short illness. At Bettye's request there will be no memorial service. Bettye ran Bettye Parker Realty on Highway 58 for as long as I can remember. She handled thousands of property transactions. Her son, Paul Parker, also became involved in real estate and is the real ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Nashville's Big Day

The Nashville Election Commission will meet this afternoon to vote on whether to conduct a city-wide special election on Dec. 5. A grass roots group says they have enough signatures to bring a controversial 34 percent tax increase to the voters. Oh, the increase has already been approved, alright, but Nashville is the state’s Waterloo argue others, and if the city government goes ... (click for more)