Bad omen for Vols

As Tennessee prepares to face No. 6 Florida and No. 3 LSU on the road the next two weekends the Vols can only hope history doesn't repeat. The Big Orange faced top-10 foes consecutive weekends on the road just once before in school history, and the results were downright ugly.

Johnny Majors' 1981 Vols opened Sept. 5 against No. 10 Georgia in Athens and played No. 5 Southern Cal a week later in Los Angeles. Tennessee was crushed 44-0 in the former and 43-7 in the latter.

Amazingly enough, UT faced three consecutive top-10 teams in 1964 (No. 3 Alabama on Oct. 17, No. 7 LSU on Oct. 24, No. 7 Georgia Tech on Nov. 7) but the Bama game was at home and there was an open date between the LSU and Georgia games. For what it's worth, that Vol team – Doug Dickey's first – lost 19-8 to Bama, tied LSU 3-3, then upset Tech 22-14.

Seven times Tennessee has faced top-10 opponents back-to-back when at least one of the games was at home. For instance:

- In 1948 UT faced No. 3 North Carolina (Oct. 30) and No. 6 Georgia Tech (Nov. 6) but the UNC game was in Knoxville.

- In 1966 UT faced No. 9 Georgia Tech (Oct. 8) and No. 3 Alabama (Oct. 15) but the Bama game was in Knoxville.

- In 1985 UT faced No. 10 UCLA (Sept. 14) and No. 1 Auburn (Sept. 28) but both games were in Knoxville and they were separated by an open date.

- In 1988 UT faced No. 9 LSU (Sept.17) and No. 4 Auburn (Sept. 24) but the LSU game was in Knoxville.

- In 1990 UT faced No. 3 Auburn (Sept. 29) and No. 9 Florida (Oct. 13) but the Florida game was in Knoxville and the outings were separated by an open date.

- In 1999 UT faced Georgia (Oct. 9) and Alabama (Oct. 23) when each was rated No. 10 but the former was in Knoxville and the two games were separated by an open date.

- In 2004 UT faced No. 8 Auburn (Sept. 27) and No. 3 Georgia (Oct. 4) but the Auburn game was in Knoxville.

For what it's worth, UT has beaten consecutive top-10 foes just one time in program history. That occurred in ‘99, when the Vols defeated Georgia 37-20 and topped Alabama 21-7 two weeks later.

Tennessee went 1-1 in 1948 (losing to North Carolina 14-7, then beating Tech 13-6), 0-2 in '66 (losing to Tech 6-3 and to Alabama 11-10), 1-0-1 in 1985 (tying UCLA 26-26, then beating Auburn 38-20), 0-2 in '88 (losing to LSU 34-9 and to Auburn 38-6), 1-0-1 in 1990 (tying Auburn 26-26, then beating Florida 45-3) and 1-1 in 2004 (losing 34-10 to Auburn, then beating Georgia 19-14).

All told, Tennessee is 7-9-3 when playing top-10 foes in consecutive games.

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