Josh Heupel has won 11 of 17 games in his brief time as Tennessee’s football coach. Is that enough success to earn him a nickname?
Answer: Yes – if the Vols also beat LSU on Saturday at Tiger Stadium. I then would recommend the “Streak Terminator” for Heupel's nickname.
Just a few weeks ago, Tennessee beat Pittsburgh in overtime. That ended a three-game losing streak to the Panthers.
Two weeks ago, the Vols ended a five-game losing streak to Florida with a 38-33 victory.
Heupel will have another opportunity to terminate a streak against LSU. The Tigers have won five consecutive games against the Vols.
If Heupel can pull that off at one of college football’s most hostile venues, some fans will believe he could end an even longer losing streak next week against Alabama.
The Tide have won 15 games against Tennessee.
Tennessee 34, LSU 27: The Vols seemingly got a break when this game was scheduled for 11 a.m. CST. However, LSU has played well recently in early games.
But LSU didn't play well last week in a 21-17 come-from-behind victory against Auburn. And that could prove more significant than the starting time.
A defense that gives up big pass plays to Auburn is apt to give up bigger plays to Tennessee.
Georgia 37, Auburn 10: Why did CBS think this would be a more appealing game than Tennessee vs. LSU?
Answer: It probably just wanted to showcase the No. 1 Bulldogs.
Unfortunately for CBS, Georgia played so poorly in an ugly win over Missouri that it lost its No. 1 ranking to Alabama.
Florida 37, Missouri 23: Although I watched Missouri almost upset Georgia, I still can't comprehend how the game was so close. So, I've chosen to block it out and pretend Missouri is still just as incompetent as it was when it lost to Auburn.
Alabama 34, Texas A&M 10: The Tide brought out the best in the Aggies last season, which raises the question: Could we have an encore?
Probably not, because the Aggies offense refutes the popular theory that college football is immersed in an offensive era.
Mississippi State 30, Arkansas 27: If you appreciate quarterback diversity, you couldn’t hope for a better matchup.
Arkansas’ KJ Jefferson comes from the Tim Tebow school of quarterbacking. He’s as apt to run over a defensive back as throw over him.
Contrast that with how Mississippi State’s Will Rogers functions in coach Mike Leach’s Air Raid offense. He will counter Jefferson’s power with finesse and will venture outside the pass pocket only under extreme circumstances.
But Rogers passes with uncanny accuracy and is exceptional at quickly spotting the most open receiver. If you have noticed Arkansas' pass coverage recently, you know there will be open receivers.
Ole Miss 42, Vanderbilt 17: Rebels coach Lane Kiffin has complained about fans leaving Vaught-Hemingway Stadium early.
That’s not a problem at Vanderbilt Stadium since so many of the fans are cheering for the visiting team. If they travel to Nashville, they might as well stick around for the entire game.
Kentucky 34, South Carolina 20: The Gamecocks could benefit from early enrollees. But I’m not referring to next January.
South Carolina needs immediate help. So, if one of its 10 four-star commitments for 2023 showed up on campus, coach Shane Beamer probably could find playing time for them.
The Gamecocks’ top-five rated commitments play defense. Their two SEC games suggest their defense is manned with two-star players.
Arkansas and Georgia scored 92 points combined on South Carolina.
Record: 44-8 (.846), 24-19 (.558) against the spread.
John Adams is a senior columnist. He may be reached at 865-342-6284 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him at: twitter.com/johnadamskns.
This article originally appeared on Knoxville News Sentinel: Here's why Tennessee football will win at LSU, end another streak