No offense, or maybe definitely offense, but you gotta be crazy.
If UT ever loses to Vanderbilt, it is a huge detriment to the program. That means it’s definitely important. Games that you are expected to win are a 10. It would be a huge lift to beat Bama, but it’s not a 10 in the grand scheme of a program, it’s not detrimental to lose to them. Yes, nobody (you) gets excited to beat Vandy, but a loss would cause some to burn sh!+.
The OP said importance.......not popular.
I guess.. and you are right, but I just have a hard time giving Vandy a 10 for anything relevant to UT. Espeicially this season. If we lose this one, Heupel should feel like Mullen did yesterday when he got that "Will you be in my office at 10:00" call. Chances of that are zero. Everything with Vandy is zero. They are zero.
I’m not trying to take jinx king’s place, but who really expects it to be a game after the 1st quarter?
Nobody. Not us or Vandy folks. It’s a game on our schedule so by default it’s a 10 like every other game the Vols play. At the same time because of the expected outcome by everyone it’s a 0. Can the Vols sleep walk Saturday and beat them by 40+? Yes.
I expect us to go in handle our business and lay 50+ on them and walk away dissatisfied for them still being on our schedule.
This is not to take away from the recent past when Vandy was fielding better teams and were fielding worse teams making this a matchup that we paid more attention to.
Yes this same mindset applies to Kentucky, South Carolina, Missouri along with the scrubs in the west. No offense to them.
Honestly every game for us is a 10. We have to win the easy games (looking at you Georgia Southern....) and we need to win a big game. Knocking off GA or AL would be a "shocked the world" moment. We've got to make beating mid level teams like Ol Miss and Florida look like it was another day at work. We won't be relevant until then.
It is a 1 this year. I think the only people who would give it an 8 are those who live near Nashville, and are actually exposed to their local media. On paper, it is an important game, and I expect the team to treat them with the respect the weekly opponent deserves. You can't overlook anyone. And I guess it is possible for 30 players for the Vols to get injured, and Vanderbilt to play 5 or 6 of their better women's soccer team players to provide an unforseen wrinkle.
But I believe we will see South Alabama as a more prestigious opponent. Just based on what Vanderbilt has shown (or failed to show) this year. And it is all because Vanderbilt does not truly invest in football. If they ever did, they would be finding a spot to build a 80,000 seat stadium, or convince the Titans to allow them to use their stadium on Saturdays.
If we were still being coached by Dooley, Butch, or Pruitt? Vanderbilt might be a 5. If you are giving them an 8? You need to cancel your subscription to the Tennessean, and stop tuning into whatever radio or TV channels in Nashville is trying to talk them up. Maybe ETSU would like to join the SEC while Vandy joins the Southern Conference. Even after not having a football team for 12 years, they are actually building something. Beating them might be a 6. Vandy might be a -1, but that was just below the scale you asked for.
10... and I'd like to see some style points. Vandy is playing better. They were a "credible" opponent in four of their last 5 games.
They allow 35 ppg... so I'd like to see UT hit 50+. They've scored at least 17 points in each of their last 3 games... I'd like to see less than that.
UT rushes for 205 ypg. Vandy allows 185 and is one of the worst in the SEC... I'd like to see a 300 yd day.
UT passes for 255 ypg. Vandy is worst in the SEC allowing 274. I'd like to see at least 300 yds.
Vandy is 12th in rushing O just ahead of LSU and MSU who barely pretend to want to run the ball. I would like to see UT smother them for less than 100 yds rushing. Vandy is dead last in passing O with about 187 ypg. I would like to see UT hold them under that.
Really I'm looking for a "put them in their place" sort of game with absolute and total domination.
It's always a important game because we always need to beat Vandy. But this year it's a 10 because we are establishing a near era one that is establishing our dominance over them once again. We need to win how we should win, to carry our mojo into the bowl season. I am not worried about us being ready, we should be fired up and ready to put up win number 7. It's no time to fall back, it's time to show everyone vandy's days of beating UT anytime soon are gone!!!!! GBO!!!!!!
Guys, having watched Vanderbilt play in person this year, they are far worse than South Alabama. Coach Hype did not take them for granted, I guarantee he won't take an SEC team for granted. I expect the score to be at least as lop sided as the USA game was. So far they have beat a 1-10 Uconn team and a 3-9 Colorado State team. One of their "cupcakes" beat them senseless in the first game of the season.
That is literally the way CJH approaches coaching. The players consistently point out that he constantly, and seriously, looks at every single practice, meeting, film session or game as an opportunity to go 1-0 for that instance. That is one thing that keeps the players from looking ahead to the next game or getting too caught up in themselves.