Oct 5, 2013; Knoxville, TN, USA; Tennessee Volunteers quarterback Justin Worley (14) during the second half against the Georgia Bulldogs at Neyland Stadium. Georgia won in overtime 34 to 31. Mandatory Credit: Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

Way Too Early to Tell: Oklahoma vs. Tennessee Volunteers


It’s June, but with Phil Steele’s College Football Preview magazine in hand, my excitement levels are getting too high for early summer. Players literally just reported back to campus, and are getting their first taste of mandatory summer workouts.

Anyway, the third game of the season for Oklahoma is against an SEC opponent. While I’d love for OU to beat up on Alabama again, they will get a conference rival of the Crimson Tide instead.

The Sooners and Tennessee Volunteers are scheduled for September 13 contest in Norman, which will kickoff at 7 p.m. on either ABC, ESPN, or ESPN2. Buy OU football tickets from Totally Tickets.

Gameday could be on hand for this one. As of right now, Oklahoma and Tennessee is the only match-up other than USC and Boston College tabbed for an ESPN primetime game. Regardless, here’s my way-too-early take on OU and Tennessee.

Best Case Scenario: Oklahoma gets an early test, but overpowers an inferior Tennessee team. While no one would complain with an OU blowout victory, an early season test could help the Sooners down the line, especially considering this is still a relatively young Oklahoma squad. Tennessee has no returning starters on either the offensive or defensive line, which could spell trouble with one of the best pass rushing teams in the country wearing crimson, as well as a plethora of running backs looking to make a name for themselves early. With a rowdy home crowd, OU should be able to win easy.

Worst Case Scenario: Tennessee avenges the SEC, and stymies Oklahoma’s offensive attack. The Vols have been a bottom-feeder of the SEC for quite a while and under Butch Jones, this could be the statement the Vols need right before their SEC opener against Georgia. Oklahoma has experienced problems before with big games early in the season, and maybe Tennessee’s group can do just enough to prevent Trevor Knight from breaking it open.

Prediction: Oklahoma 28, Tennessee 10. OU’s offense doesn’t get too wild, but an eighteen point margin gives them a nice out-of-conference win the College Football Playoff Committee will enjoy.

 

Tags: Football Oklahoma Sooners

  • tndjinn

    Just a quick point of order: we have no interest in avenging our most hated rival (Bammer). In fact, we were quite happy to see you upset them! That said, I would love for the Vols to pull off an upset (it would really jump start our season) but I consider it a very big long shot. I wish I was more optimistic but I just don’t think our young guns will be ready in time (they need experience and OU as an early game is the kind of game where our youth and inexperience could very much come into play) and it could get bad early. The future is very bright on Rocky Top and we’ll FINALLY be back soon just not soon enough to make me feel like anything other than a beating will take place in OK. Here’s to an injury free game and a competitive one (despite my lack of confidence). Cheers.

  • tndjinn

    One other thing… Kiffin and Dooley blew up our program. However, you might want to correct your statement that we’ve been a bottom feeder for quite some time under Jones – Jones has only coached 1 season and inherited no QB, no TEs, and no WRs with any experience going into 2013 and if that weren’t bad enough we were starting walkons and true freshmen all over the field, just to name a few problems (Dooley was truly a disaster). Even though it feels like we’ve been down forever, we were in the SECCG in 2007. That said, we’ve also been more mediocre than bottom feeder even though back to back 5-7 seasons have marked a historic low for us — multiple injuries, including to our QBs made that three 5-7 seasons in a row (sigh). FWIW, we’re also one of only two teams that have never lost 8 or more games in a season *knock on wood.* OSU is the only other one. But you are correct that we’ve definitely been down and still have work to do before we are back to our former selves.

    • Joseph Buettner

      Thanks for the comment, man! And yeah, I meant no harm by the “bottom feeder” label, but Tennessee hasn’t been Tennessee lately. I hope for a good one in Norman!

      • tndjinn

        I didn’t really take it as much insult as it really feels and looks that way and we’ve been down for a long time. It just stings.Much like OU we’ve got a lot of pride in our program even though obviously we’re down and OU is back. :-)

        I’m hoping for an injury free good one in Norman as well but I must admit I’m pessimistic about it. Both lines being replaced is just scary, especially that early in the season although we’ve got more talent overall than last year it’s very, very, young/inexperienced.