The Tennessee Vols‘ matchup against the Missouri Tigers on Saturday in Knoxville has all the makings of a “trap game”.

It’s a noon kickoff after Tennessee’s emotional loss to the Georgia Bulldogs. Missouri is 4-5 but their record is a bit deceptive — only one of the Tigers’ losses has come by more than 7 points (that includes a four-point loss to Georgia in Columbia). Mizzou’s defense is also much improved this season which has led to offenses struggling against them at times.

Despite those factors, ESPN’s Football Power Index (which uses 20,000 simulations among other metrics) doesn’t see this game being close. The FPI has Tennessee winning by 21.7 points on Saturday. That’s in line with the feeling from Las Vegas with the Vols currently a 20.5-point favorite.

Tennessee Vols
Tennessee wide receiver Ramel Keyton (80) makes a catch during Tennessee’s Homecoming game against UT-Martin at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville, Tenn., on Saturday, Oct. 22, 2022.
Kns Vols Ut Martin

This is certainly a game that Tennessee should win. But we saw in Missouri’s narrow loss to Georgia that any team in the SEC can be in danger of losing on any given Saturday.

The Vols still have a shot to play for a national championship this season, but they have to get past Mizzou first. The weather in Knoxville could be less-than-ideal on Saturday (though the worst of the rain should be moving through on Friday), which is good news for Missouri and bad news for the Vols.

Bad weather or not, Tennessee has to find a way to win this game or their College Football Playoff hopes will be dead.

Featured image via Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

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