The Tennessee Vols’ opponents are set for the next several years, but I think they need to make a change in their upcoming schedule.
Specifically, they need to amend the schedule in 2020.
Tennessee is set to play at Oklahoma in 2020. While I think the Vols will be capable of winning that game, I think they should find a way out of that series.
And I have a program in mind that Tennessee can schedule instead.
Why the Vols should get out of the series with Oklahoma
By 2020, Tennessee should be a small factor in the College Football Playoff. But they won’t be a factor without some help from their schedule.
A road loss to Oklahoma in the second game of the season wouldn’t do much to help Tennessee in 2020. And let’s be honest, the matchup against the Sooners, at best, will be a “toss up” game. I would fully expect Oklahoma to be a home favorite.
As Jeremy Pruitt continues to build the Vols into a national powerhouse, Tennessee needs to rack up as many wins as possible. That means scheduling some Power 5 opponents that will be good “resumé building wins”.
Tennessee can work its way up to scheduling games against marquee opponents. Now isn’t the time.
By the way, there’s a precedent for a move like this. The Vols pulled out of their series with North Carolina in 2011/2012.
Who should replace Oklahoma on the schedule
Recent reports have indicated that former Vols head coach Butch Jones and almost UT head coach Greg Schiano are potential candidates to replace DJ Durkin at Maryland.
— Scott Greene (@TerrapinNation) November 1, 2018
I think you know where I’m going with this.
The possibility of the Volunteers hosting a Maryland team led by either Butch Jones or Greg Schiano sounds like a wonderful idea to me.
Can you imagine the media circus leading up to a matchup between Tennessee and the coach they fired, or the coach they came dangerously close to hiring?
I highly doubt Maryland ends up hiring Jones. He has the stigma of “losing the team” still attached to him. He’ll probably have to get a head coaching job at a non Power-5 school, or join a Power-5 school as an offensive coordinator, before he can even think about becoming a head coach at that level again.
Schiano, however, is a realistic option for Maryland. He’s a great a regional fit for the Terps.
A lot of folks will likely point out that going from Durkin to Schiano wouldn’t be a good look for Maryland. But the way Maryland has handled this whole Durkin saga, leads me to believe this is exactly the type of move they’d make.
The Vols need to get Maryland on the schedule. No one wants to miss out on a possible matchup with Jones or Schiano.
And if neither of those guys are hired, Tennessee would still have a winnable Power-5 game on their schedule.
It’s a win-win situation for the Volunteers.
Featured image via Bryan Lynn-USA TODAY Sports