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A Wishful 2020 Tennessee Football Schedule

Tennessee football

Believe it or not, Tennessee football is just a week away from starting fall practice. We are a little over a month away from the Vols taking the field to play an actual game.

Last week Greg Sankey and his team announced opponents for the upcoming conference only season. In familiar Tennessee fashion, the Vols got bent while other programs, like Georgia and Florida, were protected.

If you missed it, the Vols play every SEC East foe like any other year. The two SEC West opponents in the rotation this season were Alabama, like always, and Arkansas.

To round out the ten-game SEC schedule, Tennessee drew Texas A&M (home) and Auburn (away). Somehow the Vols weren’t lucky enough to play one of the Mississippi schools.

Sankey and the SEC have been on the side of playing college football from the beginning. It’s hard to criticize them, but I will because they didn’t put out the schedule for the season.

They left us to speculate. So, let’s speculate.

Here is how I hope the SEC plans Tennessee’s schedule.

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Week 1 – Missouri Tigers

September 26, 2020
Neyland Stadium

Eliah (Eli) Drinkwitz is making his coaching debut in the SEC this season. The guy has been a head coach for just one season. In fairness, he led Appalachian State to a 12-1 record, but that was the Sun Belt.

This here is the SEC. According to Drinkwitz’s first press conference, he believes it’s still the Sun Belt.

Please give me the Vols first game at home against a coach that jumped around his facility after signing a three-star prospect.

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Week 2 – Arkansas Razorbacks

October 3, 2020
Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium

You never want the first road game to be a tough one. Plus, Alabama is coming up in a few weeks, and I want Tennessee to ease into a season for once in my life.

The Razorbacks won’t be a match for Pruitt and the Vols. Playing Missouri and Arkansas early should allow Harrison Bailey some playing time, which could pay dividends later in the season.

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Week 3 – Auburn Tigers

October 10, 2020
Jordan-Hare Stadium

On October 13, 2018, the Vols went down to Auburn and beat the Tigers. I think playing them earlier in the season, just like in 2018, is smart. I have full confidence in Jeremy Pruitt’s defense.

Spoiler alert: Alabama is next to keep the tradition of the Third Saturday in October alive. Placing a good team like Auburn before Alabama allows the Vols to stay focused and not overlook an inferior opponent like South Carolina, Kentucky, or Vanderbilt.

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Week 4 – Alabama Crimson Tide

October 17, 2020
Neyland Stadium

Playing Alabama the week after Auburn will be tough. Both squads could be the best in the SEC West. However, since the SEC is set on the Alabama-Tennessee rivalry, they must preserve the Third Saturday in October alive.

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Week 5 – Kentucky Wildcats

October 24, 2020
Neyland Stadium

Playing a cupcake after Alabama is always a smart idea. Each preseason voters love Mark Stoops and Kentucky. And, each season the Wildcats never live up to the hype. Since 1977, Kentucky has just two seasons with over eight wins.

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Week 6 – South Carolina Gamecocks

October 31, 2020
Williams-Brice Stadium

I could have gone many different ways with his game. After the mid-way point of the season, I could have place Halloween as the Vols first bye week. However, it just feels right playing South Carolina on Halloween

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Week 7 – BYE

November 7, 2020

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Week 8 – Georgia Bulldogs

November 14, 2020
Sanford Stadium

Before Covid19, Georgia was moved back to November and in my wishful schedule that stays the same.

Think about Tennessee with 5-1 record heading into Georgia week. I like keeping this game late in the season due to the SEC East being on the line.

A Harrison Bailey homecoming game?

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Week 9 – Texas A&M Aggies

November 21, 2020
Neyland Stadium

Tennessee’s weather in November can be fickle. But, give me a Texas team traveling to Neyland with the chance of cooler temperatures.

Plus, A&M will be beaten down at the end of the season with their tough SEC West schedule.

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Week 10 – BYE

November 28, 2020

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Week 11 – Florida Gators

December 5, 2020
Neyland Stadium

Seeing the Gators play outside the state of Florida in November and December is rare. Just like playing Georgia late in the season, give me the Gators late with the SEC East on the line.

The last time the Vols and Gators played in December was in 2001. Tennessee won that game 34-32.

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Week 12 – Vanderbilt Commodores

December 12, 2020
Vanderbilt Stadium

You always want to end the season with a win.

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