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2012 College Football Win Totals: Tennessee

2012 College Football Win Totals: Tennessee

Tennessee ended the regular season 5-7 last year by losing to Kentucky for the first time since 1984. However, oddsmakers believe the Vols will gain bowl eligibility this season and have set their 2012 college football win totals at over 7 (-135) and under 7 (+115).

Helping us preview and project Tennessee’s 2012 season win totals is Jai Eugene over at the Tennessee football website Losers With Socks.

Bigger, Stronger & Faster

Initially I think that Tennessee is bigger, stronger, faster, better coached, and for the most part have high character kids. Everyone with any kind of football acumen knows that high character kids don’t produce wins. There is a reason the Fulmer Cup is called the Fulmer Cup.

The team strengths are the passing and the kicking game. Receivers Rogers, Patterson, Hunter and Rivera promise to be as good of a bunch catching the ball since the Peyton Manning era.

2012 college football win totals - Tennessee QB Tyler Bray

Tennessee QB Tyler Bray

Although the offensive line run blocks like shit, they can pass block like it is nobody’s business. So QB Tyler Bray, who ESPN ranked as the #6 QB in the nation, should be able to get all “Big 12” on opposing defenses. “Big 12” refers to the fact that Tennessee will be all pass-happy and play no defense. Not a good cocktail for success in the SEC. It is really pointless to let an opponent build a sustained offensive drive on you and eat 7 or 8 minutes off the clock; if you want the ball back faster just let the other team score. Using this strategy Tennessee will be a nightmare to game plan against.

Lou Groza Award nominee and fan favorite FG kicker Mike Palardy is coming back to win some more games for Tennessee. His head is clear and his powerful young leg is ready to amaze the most calloused Vols fan. Let’s be honest about the Tennessee kicking game and Palardy. Palardy was our 2011 offense after Hunter and Bray were injured. The Tennessee Kicking Game: A Game Changer.

The DL looks to be a bit better. What is mo’ better is that former DC Justin Wilcox left and took his ‘bend and break’ defensive scheme with him to the PAC-12. Good riddance. Former Bama assistant Sal Sunseri replaced Wilcox and for what I have heard Sunseri seems to be talking the talk. I guess we will see what a 3-4 scheme does to NCSU on 31 August.

Experienced and Talented, but …….. 

This is the most experienced and talented Tennessee team in the last several years but I am having a hard time getting really optimistic or positive.

We still have huge questions marks about the running game; the offensive line couldn’t block a troop of girl scouts passing out cookies last year (116th in the run). QB Tyler Bray has never finished a full season and we still have real depth concerns at LB.

2012 college football win totals - Tennessee HC Derek Dooley

Tennessee HC Derek Dooley

And then there is this weakness: Coach Derek Dooley. This rant below is lifted off of the 8th Maxim.com message board. I added a few of my thoughts to it, but the author nails it better than I could ever do it.

Drives program off one cliff to another, incites the ire of Eric Berry (and other Vols legends), goes into hiding after loss, compares us to Nazi’s, says the team doesn’t know how to properly shower, snaps the streak against Kentucky, allows the perception that Coach Milk Dud in Nashville has our number, loses 3/4 of staff after only his second season, cancels a game against mid-level ACC squad, gives a Nixon quote at SEC Media Days, that damned orange ceramic dog, moving practices to Milligan College, the 43 players he had on the field that cost us the LSU game the list just goes on and on…and then there’s this gem, reported by Quinn at KNS prior to taking podium SEC Media Days, when asked how he planned to approach his time:

“I’m not here to sell. It’s like that old song, ‘A Little Less Conversation, A Little LESS Action.’ That’s about where we are. Selling ain’t going to do me any good. We’ve got to go out and win.”

Clearly, in butchering his lyrics (it’s supposed to be MORE action) Dooley not only has a fundamental misunderstanding of either that song or his role as head coach, but he hates Elvis Presley.

Barring his shoving Peyton down a flight of stairs, poking fun of Pat Summit’s lagging memory or suggesting that Smokey should be replaced with a ferret, I’m honestly uncertain as to how the man’s mouth could wreak more havoc.

Schedule Analysis

2012 college football win totalsThese games should be automatic wins, but who the hell knows anymore what is an automatic win:

Georgia State
Akron
Troy
Vandy
UK (lulz)

Games we’ll be small favorites to win (toss ups):

NC State
Miss State
Missouri

Games in which Tennessee will play the underdog role:

Florida
UGA
South Carolina

Game we’d have to play close to perfect to win:

Alabama

2012 College Football Win Totals – Tennessee

I think Tennessee is on the verge of taking a step forward. There is enough talent on hand to win 8 games this season. The schedule is still SEC difficult, the four games against Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and Alabama appear to be likely losses on paper, but the Vols do get the Gators and the Crimson Tide at home and I wouldn’t be surprised if the Vols upset someone this season. The other 8 games on the schedule are very winnable.

I believe Tennessee is a minimum 7 win team this season and think an 8-4 regular season isn’t out of the question. I will wager accordingly. Let me know what you think the Vols chances of winning at least 7 games this year are

- Pez

 

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7 Responses to “2012 College Football Win Totals: Tennessee”

  1. UTSUX says:

    TENN played alot of young kids last year and should be alot better for it.If TENN doesn’t win 8 games this year DOOLEY better watch out.He’s got talent he better start doing something with it.

    • Pezgordo Pezgordo says:

      Agreed. I am starting to become a little skeptical as to Dooley’s coaching abilities. However, he was handed a really bad situation at Tennessee, so I will give him another year before passing judgement.

  2. I like Tennessee over 7.5 wins +130

    Tennessee has 21 returning starters including special teams. 10 on Off, 9 Def, 2 SP. Last year they were 5-7 but drew ALA, LSU, Ark from SEC west. This year they only draw ALA from the SEC west’s top tier. Last year the OL had 3 SO and a Frosh starting. This year the whole unit returns and they have 105 career starts between them, which is third most in the nation. Four of the five were highly rated recruits out of high school so the talent is there. The WR group only losses Arnett 21 catches for 242 yards and he will be replaces by a 5* JC WR who has impressed early on in practice. Brey missed 5 games due to injury and should have a break out year (LY 1983 yards 60% 17 TD 6 INT). The OL will be better (only allowed 18 sacks LY) and he has some electrifying playmakers at WR (Rogers 6’3 210 4.4 speed 1000 yard receiver LY). The rushing numbers can only improve with a more experienced OL. They lose there starting RB but he was not impressive last year, 693 yards 3.7 average.

    The defense returns 9 starters but also adds DE JC who was on ALA for 3 years and was a 4* recruit out of high school. They also add a 6-6 380 JC NT and he will fit in nicely because they are moving to a 3-4 defense. Last year they had two starting freshman at LB (starting LB’s last year had 1 career start, this year 55), they are the top two returning tacklers. They should be even better this year being bigger and more experience with the defense. They also add there number 2 tackler from 2010 who was injured last year. The Defensive backfield returns 8 players who started last year and 5 of those started 8+ games. This unit should also be improves due to experience. They only loss there LS from special teams. They had decent return numbers and have a good FG kicker but there punter was very lacking last year.

    Tennessee was a really young team last year and they return 21 starters 2nd most in the nation(2nd only to UTSA who is entering their first year at DIV 1). I think they dramatically improve on last year 5-7 record and also on their 4-8 ATS. I think they are at least a 8-4 team and have potential to win 9 or 10. I also think they will have a winning record ATS this year.

    http://somoneyforum.somoneysportspicks.com/User/Discussion.aspx?id=340610&p=1&fps=0&anchor=a1940891

    • Pezgordo Pezgordo says:

      Somoney, great info. Thanks a lot for sharing.

      • Tenn line has moved on 5 dimes. Over 7.5 wins has gone from +130 to +105 and over 7 has gone from -120 to -180. That’s a big jump. BetDSI still has over 7 at -120 and I’m locking that bet in right now.

        • Pezgordo Pezgordo says:

          Thanks for the heads up. I locked in O 7 at -135 at BetOnline a few weeks ago. It is still -140 over there.

          It doesn’t take much to move these early lines. I got Oregon State O 4.5 (-165) several weeks ago and after I made the bet it jumped to -190 and is now at -280.

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