Countdown to College Football: Day 38 - Tennessee

School: University of Tennessee

Mascot: Volunteers

Fight Song: Rocky Top

Head Coach: Butch Jones (80-48, 30-21 at Tennessee)

Stadium: Neyland Stadium (Capacity: 102,455)

Best Place to Eat on Campus:

Word around campus is that Gus's Good Time Deli was Volunteer Legend Peyton Manning's favorite spot on campus. Gus's has been around for 31 years, and doesn't have a website, which I can feel nothing but respect for.  The food is greasy, the fries are abundant and Volunteer memorabilia is plastered on the walls.  What more do you want?

Greatest Moment in Program History:

The 1998 Volunteers didn't feel like the most talented Tennessee squad ever.  The 1997 and 2001 squads may claim that.  They weren't tremendously dominating, needing a missed field goal to beat Florida, and a bumbling fumble to give them second life against Arkansas. But they won those games, they finally ended the misery against Florida. They went undefeated for the first time since 1938 and defeated the typical Bobby Bowden talented Florida State squad in the first BCS Championship game. 

Current State of the Program:

Tennessee for much of the season was wildly inconsistent.  They fell behind by double digits in seven of their 13 games. They also went 9-4. Butch Jones has done a good job recruiting and building up the talent level which had suffered greatly in the forgettable Derek Dooley era.  It doesn't feel like Jones and his staff is very close to returning Tennessee to the level of competing for SEC titles. Their ceiling has been still significantly worse than Alabama, and their floor is barely beating Appalachian State at home and losing by double digits to Vanderbilt.  Jones should continue to recruit well, but the coach that gets you to nine wins isn't always the coach that gets you to 11 wins. 

Prediction:  7-5

vs Georgia Tech - L

vs Indiana State - W

at Florida - L

vs UMASS - W

vs Georgia - W

vs South Carolina - L

at Alabama - L

at Kentucky - W

vs Southern Miss - W

at Missouri - W

vs LSU - L

vs Vanderbilt - W