The Vandy-UT game suddenly feels like a big deal
The complexion of the Vanderbilt-Tennessee football game has certainly changed in the last few weeks.
- What seemed like a throwaway game between a national title contender and an SEC doormat has suddenly taken on much more significance.
State of play: The Commodores are riding high on a two-game winning streak after downing Florida last week. They need a victory to become bowl eligible.
What he's saying: "We're aware of the fact that we have a chance to extend our season," Vandy coach Clark Lea told the media yesterday.
- AP sports reporter Teresa Walker points out the Dores haven't been bowl eligible since 2018, and the program endured a jaw-dropping 26-game SEC losing streak during that skid.
Meanwhile: The Volunteers are on the downswing after getting throttled by South Carolina and losing star quarterback Hendon Hooker, who's been in the conversation for the Heisman Trophy, to a torn ACL.
Yes, but: Despite the teams being on opposite trajectories, the oddsmakers are still heavily favoring the Volunteers, who are 14-point favorites according to DraftKings.
- The playoffs may be out of reach, but Tennessee still needs a win in order to reach the best possible bowl game.
By the numbers: Tennessee has won three straight games against Vanderbilt, though the rivals have evenly split the last 10 games in the series.
- Tennessee owns a 78-32-5 record against Vanderbilt.
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