Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports
But it’s close.
2020 will bring us a unique season, kicking off on September 26th with unique openers across the country. Tennessee will play an SEC-only schedule this year, meaning there are no warm-up games. The Volunteers will dive right into SEC East play, kicking things off with the South Carolina Gamecocks.
Tennessee took care of business with mid and bottom-level teams in SEC play to close 2019. Wins over Mississippi State, South Carolina, Kentucky, Missouri and Vanderbilt helped stabilize the program after a dreadful start to the season. The Volunteers are looking to keep that momentum rolling to start 2020.
Directly after the schedule was announced last week, Tennessee and South Carolina opened as an even pick ‘em. After seven days on the gambling market, that number now favors the Volunteers by three points.
Tennessee was finally able to get the better of Will Muschamp in 2019, rolling to a 41-21 victory. South Carolina had a pretty strange season overall, knocking off Georgia on the road before dropping five of six — including a loss to Appalachian State.
Muschamp enters 2020 squarely on the hot seat, needing a bounceback season to continue his time at South Carolina. Tennessee starts that campaign for the Gamecocks, who will enter the matchup as home underdogs.
Other lines around the SEC for week one include Alabama -21.5 at Missouri, Florida -10.5 at Ole Miss, Georgia -24 at Arkansas, Kentucky +7.5 at Auburn, Mississippi State +17.5 at LSU and Vanderbilt +30 at Texas A&M.