Week 14, Rivalry Week SEC Football Picks Against the Spread

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Nov 22, 2014; Knoxville, TN, USA; Tennessee Volunteers running back Jalen Hurd (1) runs the ball against the Missouri Tigers during the first half at Neyland Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

Tennessee Volunteers (-17) at Vanderbilt Commodores, Saturday November 29, 3PM CT, SEC Network 

Perhaps it was just too good to be true. The Tennessee Volunteers were a favorite at Neyland Stadium hosting a ranked SEC East-leading Missouri squad. Their electric quarterback – Josh Dobbs – had sparked the team to two impressive wins in to weeks and played the Vols onto the doorstep of bowl eligibility. Instead, they simply couldn’t get it done and lost 29-21.

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It was a disappointing performance by the Vols, and by Dobbs, who we forget has only been the Tennessee quarterback for a few weeks. The defense also struggled and allowed 410 total yards to a mediocre Mizzou offense. Despite the loss, there is still something for the team to play for.

“We’ve got a lot to accomplish with this football team,” Tennessee head coach Butch Jones said after the loss. “We’re not going anywhere. Some people never even thought we’d be playing for a bowl game.”

They’ll play for a bowl game one more time, and are a favorite again. This time, the opponent is lowly Vanderbilt.

The Commodores have been the worst SEC football team of the 2014 season – by far. At 3-8, they are the only team in the league that has been eliminated from bowl contention, and they were pasted 51-0 by Mississippi State last week. The game seems like a formality, and Tennessee should win it easily. But, crazy things happen in rivalry games – even ones with lopsided histories. That said, this Vanderbilt team just doesn’t have the feel of one that can rise up and even put up a challenge against the Vols.

Tennessee 35, Vanderbilt 14

Next: The Five Greatest Auburn Iron Bowl Victories

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