Vol outlook bleak

Tennessee's basketball outlook is bleak, and it may be about to get bleaker.

Fans who thought Saturday's 88-63 loss to Vanderbilt was ugly should check out the Vols' upcoming schedule. The Big Orange (8-6 overall, 1-1 SEC) probably will be an underdog in its next five consecutive games.

The five-game stretch opens with rugged Mississippi State Wednesday night in Knoxville. The Vols then hit the road for games at South Carolina (Jan. 15), at Florida (Jan. 19) and at Louisville (Jan.22) before hosting No. 8 Kentucky (Jan. 25).

For what it's worth, losing those five games would drop Tennessee's record to 8-11 overall and 1-5 in SEC play.

It's safe to say this is the most critical five-game stretch in Buzz Peterson's Vol coaching career.

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