Jamie Cutler’s Favorite NBA Win Totals for 2021

The 2021 NBA season is here, so it’s time to get in on some NBA win totals action!

NBA win totals 2021 Credit: ClutchPoints

Every year, Bill Simmons does a two part NBA win total podcast going over every team and picking a side. It is always one of my favorite listens before the season starts; it helps get to gage where each team is at based on the consensus of basketball junkies I trust. This year I decided to hold off listening to the podcast so I could pick a few of my own. Win totals are always a fun bet that gives you more of a rooting interest in different teams. Without further ado, here are my five favorite NBA win totals for 2021.

Golden State Warriors Over 47.5 Wins

This is the first total that stuck out to me, each time I look, I keep coming back. The once dominant Warriors have come back to reality with a plethora of catastrophic injuries over the past couple seasons, but there is optimism in the bay once again. Klay Thompson is on track to play for the first time in over 2 years, clips of him practicing have looked encouraging. Stephen Curry is coming off an MVP caliber season, and the Warriors got better over the season.

The Warriors have much more talent this time around with Draymond Green, Andrew Wiggins, the return of Andre Igoudala and a another year of last years 2nd overall pick James Wiseman. Combined with two high draft picks and Otto Porter who has flashed signs of being a valuable role player in the past.

All of this depth plus a player who I expect to make a leap this season, Jordan Poole. Poole has really come into his own and he has shown flashes of being a true number 3 option on this team. Expect Poole to be a major part of the Warriors offence this season. The Warriors are ready to re-enter the title conversation, and should smash this win total.

Charlotte Hornets Under 38.5 Wins

The Hornets were one of the league’s most surprising teams last season, they beat their win total of 26.5 by 6 games. Come 2021 LaMelo Ball and co. have higher expectations. While I believe this team is on the right track, I think a lot broke right for Charlotte last season, from a weaker eastern conference to lucky breaks. The east has definitely improved this season, with the top 6 likely a combination of the Bucks, Celtics Hawks, Heat, Nets and 76ers. The Bulls, Knicks and Pacers all improved this season and added key contributors through personnel or coaching.

That is 9 teams currently set up to be better than Charlotte, not including a pesky Raptors squad and a always in the mix Wizards. The Hornets are young, but it feels like they are missing established vets who help right the ship during a tough stretch. I expect some growing pains from the young Hornets, this feels like a learning season to get LaMelo to the next level.

Philadelphia 76ers Over 50.5 Wins

One of the biggest question marks in the NBA right now is Ben Simmons. After talk all offseason that Simmons would not play for the Sixers again, Ben has finally reported and it sounds like he is on track to play for the team this season. A shocking development that no one expected, makes it hard to get a read on this team. The Sixers were the #1 seed in the east last season, winning 49 games in a shortened season. I believe this Sixers team is capable of winning 50 games with or without Ben Simmons.

The Sixers have one of the league’s best in Joel Embiid and a fantastic supporting cast for him. Tobias Harris and Seth Curry are perfect complimentary pieces to Embiid’s game. Tyrese Maxey is a player i expect to make a leap this season, he showed flashes in 2020 and the Sixers would be wise to push him into the starting lineup sooner than later. Embiid and Simmons have both shown they play better in a system without each other.

The best case scenario is trading Simmons for a package that includes shooters, or a floor general to work with Embiid. If they could pry Tyrese Haliburton or in a crazy situation, De’Aaron Fox from the Kings, that would upgrade the lineup immensely. The Sixers are in a good position regardless of Simmons status, I expect another strong regular season from the team.

Sacramento Kings Under 36.5 Wins

Speaking of the Kings, I am expecting their under to hit as well. The Kings roster construction confuses me, two years in a row they drafted best player available. A draft strategy I usually love, but the team already had a young stud point guard in De’Aaron Fox. Now they have 3 ball dominant guards with Tyrese Haliburton and Davion Mitchell, plus another guard who loves to shoot in Buddy Hield. They can’t possibly play the 4 of them at once, the defense could have prime Hakeem as their 5th and still be horrendous. While I like Richaun Holmes as role player his defense lacks as well.

The best thing this team could do is trade for Simmons. A defensive stud who can drive to the basket, and make plays. The Kings also suffer from having the worst coach in the league, Luke Walton. Walton and the Kings are in for a rough season, which might see them saying goodbye to some of their core players.

Denver Nuggets Over 47.5

Coming off an MVP season, Nikola Jokic and the Nuggets are looking to make the jump from perennial playoff team, to title contender. They have had playoff success the past two seasons but couldn’t get past the hump. Late last season rising star Jamal Murray tore his ACL just weeks before the playoff run. While Murray is out for at least the first half of the season, the other Nuggets will need to step up in order for the team tops in the west again.

This team gets a full season of Aaron Gordon, and Will Barton is fully healthy for the first time since last march. I am excited to see how Michael Porter Jr. looks in the absence of Jamal Murray. Many around the league are expecting a major jump from Porter Jr in year three.

The Nuggets have intriguing role players from PJ Dozier, to rookie Nah’Shon “Bones” Hyland . They will need one of the guards to step up as well as more of a scoring effort from Gordon and Porter. Nikola Jokic is a threat to take over any game, he is one of my favorite league pass alerts (a player who gets so hot you have to text a friend telling them to turn on a random basketball game in December, Steph Curry usually leads this made up stat).

He can keep the Nuggets in any game, which always helps the win total. The Nuggets high powered offense and good coaching will lead them to another strong season, I expect another 50 win season for Michael Malone.

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Bears vs Packers: Week 6 Recap – Bears lose. Again

The Bears took on the Packers on Sunday, and the results were…the same as they usually are

Bears vs Packers
Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Your Chicago Bears (3-3) lose vs the Green Bay Packers (5-1) 24-14. Not much else is new, besides Aaron’s new soundbite. “I own you!” Tough, but fair. Bears were actually within striking distance for the whole game, even having jumped out to an early 7-0 lead, as well as cutting it to 3 points with a long touchdown drive late. Yet, as soon as Rodgers got the ball in his hands in the 4th, you knew what was going to happen. At the same time, we saw a few bright spots. I’ll do my best to play those up.

1st Quarter 

Neutral zone infraction on the first play, and the next was a 16-yard scramble from Rodgers. Nice foreshadowing. Aaron Jones followed it with a nice run, Rodgers had a couple of short passes after that, but the Bears ultimately get some early-down run stops, force the Packers into a 3rd and long, and sack Rodgers to get off of the field. At which point the Bears, somehow, not only establish the run with Khalil Herbert but get a perfect 3/3 passing drive from Justin Fields. Add in a long PI and the Bears punch in a 7-0 early lead with Herbert.

Next drive Bears get a 3 and out after Quinn gets home on 3rd and long. What could possibly go wrong? Good return as Grant got a little banged up, a great run from Herbert, Fields scrambles for a near first when the pocket collapses on 3rd and 5, we pick it up on 4th and short. A few plays later, Green Bay clearly jumps into the neutral zone.

Refs don’t call it, Justin thinks he has a free play (that Allen Robinson seemingly gives up on) and Green Bay gets an interception in the end zone that should have never happened. The refs would never allow that to happen to Rodgers, by the way. The Bears started off getting good pressure on Green Bay’s next drive. So inevitably, the refs miss Rodgers grabbing Mario Edwards Jr.’s face mask and hit Edwards with an unsportsmanlike for reacting to it. Typical. 

2nd Quarter

Packers run a QB sneak on a 4th and 1. Bears run defense responds, and then Davante Adams kills Jaylon Johnson for 29 yards on a slant. Johnson had been shadowing Adams, he was doing well on the outside, but this one came from the slot. Eventually Green Bay scores on a shovel pass to tie the game. Bears go 3 and out, and it feels like Green Bay is figuring it out. They are. Dillon runs for 38 to start the next drive.

Green Bay eventually settles for a field goal after they get called for OPI. Quinn had a big TFL on the drive as the defense fought back after the big lead. Still, Green Bay takes a 10-7 lead. Bears start off well with the run, dodge a bullet on another Fields near pick, have another shot to tie the game but ultimately take a sack on 3rd down, and have to punt instead of getting up a field goal attempt. 

3rd Quarter

Bears start the 3rd with a few runs, but a dropped pass on a screen to Herbert leads to a punt. Green Bay takes over on offense, they go to DA on 1st down, gash the bears with Aaron Jones after that. We get another questionable PI penalty on 3rd and 4, and after a Marcedes Lewis reception and even more Aaron Jones the Pack go up 10.

The ballgame feels done at this point. Bears try to get something going with more Herbert, as well as a nice pass to Mooney, but the drive ultimately stalls. Hicks sacks the Packers on a free run to get off the field the next drive, but seemingly hurt himself on the play. 

4th Quarter

After an 82 yard punt, the Bears take over from their own 20. After 2 solid runs, Fields finds Robinson for a 20-yard strike down the middle of the field on 3rd and short. Could have had the easy first with his legs but you love the confidence. On the next play, he responds with a 21-yard strike to Cole Kmet. Hope returns. Justin makes a play with his legs, Herbert gets a TD called back on another questionable penalty.

Bears fightback from 1st and 20, and eventually end a 5 minute, 80-yard drive with a Mooney receiving touchdown. Bears down 3, but Rodgers gets the ball back, hooks up with Adams for a 40-yard completion after a couple of thwarted runs, and ultimately rolls out to the near side of the field for the game-winning touchdown.

Seemed like he was holding on to that one since his first scramble in the first quarter. He discount double checks in the end zone, berates the fans in a video you’ll see forever, and that’s pretty much it.

The Bears show some fight but just don’t have enough yet. Next week they travel to Tampa (who have 10 days of rest) next week. 

This is fine.

Florida Panthers 2021-2022 Season Preview: The Cup Window Opens

Floirda Panthers head coach Joel Quenneville
(Quenneville pouring Champagne into the Stanley Cup/Origin Unknown)

The preseason is over, the final cuts have been made, and the regular season awaits us. The Florida Panthers finally kick off their most anticipated season in franchise history. Thursday night against the Pittsburgh Penguins at the FLA Live Arena.

On paper, this is the deepest Panthers team I’ve ever seen. Guys who were regulars in the lineup last season will see their ice time reduced. Via off-season acquisitions and the rise of several of the Young Cats. 

Recap

Patric Hornqvist, started last season on the second line and was a lock for PP1 minutes. He is now looking at a bottom six role and a role on the PP2 unit. Anthony Duclair floated between the top two lines last season, earned a contract extension in the offseason. He is projected to be a third line winger just because that’s how good this team is.

So much credit has to be given to the front office for getting the team to this point. Bill Zito and Co turned this team around from pretenders to contenders in a little over a calendar year.

But at the end of the day, roster moves do not determine who wins the Stanley Cup. The games have to be played. I know the boys are up for the challenge, and while minor I think the team’s new social media hashtag describes the energy in the locker room, it’s #TimeToHunt

This is a team that’s hungry. A team that knew they were good enough to win last year. They were just a bit unlucky with injuries and having to face the Lightning in the first round. This isn’t a group of individuals who are going to make excuses though.

It’s a team who would rather go out on the ice and show just how good they are. It’s a team filled with highly motivated players who all want to win and win together HERE. Aleksander Barkov’s comments at his extension press conference highlight this belief.

Opening Night Roster

As I mentioned before, this is the deepest Florida Panthers team we’ve ever had. The team has changed a bit since we recorded our season preview episode a few weeks ago though.

Noel Acciari received shoulder surgery and is expected to be out for a few months, while 7th Defenseman Kevin Connauton is currently on the IR with the expectation that he joins the team sooner rather than later.

On top of that, the team made a trade with the Vancouver Canucks for Olli Juolevi. Juolevi was the fifth overall pick in the 2016 NHL Draft and has had an underwhelming start to his NHL career. The Panthers acquired him for Juho Lammiko and Noah Juulsen and the team hopes a change of scenery can help revive his career. We saw this work out for the Panthers last season with the acquisition of Sam Bennett, and it will be interesting to see how Juolevi plays with an opportunity to impress Joel Quenneville early.

(Panthers Opening Night Roster / @FlaPanthers twitter)

Forwards

The initial list is not surprising at all. Prospects Grigori Denisenko and Aleksi Heponiemi were cut early in camp, showing that they still have a ways to go in their development. This is a good thing for the Panthers, as they can get a full season of AHL hockey under their belts before being expected to become significant contributors for the team in the 2022-2023 season.

Of all the names on the list, all eyes will be on Anton Lundell. Lundell has been described as “Barkov Jr.” by fans and beat reporters since he was drafted, and we’ll get to see him start in the big leagues. How he plays will be a major area of focus when it comes to the personnel moves made by the team, as they may be forced to move lines around or acquire another center if he isn’t ready.

Defensemen

RIP the Matt Kiersted 7D hype train. Like the forwards list, the defensemen come with zero surprises as well. The team made clear who their six defenders were by their offseason moves, and Juolevi is a shot in the dark until Kevin Connauton returns.

If the Panthers are to make a big move in season, I think it’ll be to shore up their bottom four defensemen. We already know Mackenzie Weegar, Aaron Ekblad, and Gustav Forsling are locked in on defense. Radko Gudas plays the enforcer role, leaving Brandon Montour and Markus Nutivaara. Their play early in the season will tell Zito and Quenneville whether or not a personnel change is needed, and the front office has shown they’re willing to make moves.

Goalies

With Chris Gibson heading to Charlotte, the Panthers begin the season with Sergei Bobrovsky as their starter. Rookie phenom Spencer Knight as his backup. The word all offseason has been a goalie by committee approach, similar to last season, with Bob getting the bulk of the starts. However, I believe Bob will have a shorter leash than he used to. Knight’s development and play last season has accelerated the timetable for him to become the #1. As he went from winning the World Juniors with Team USA, playing at Boston College, to starting in the Stanley Cup Playoffs within a calendar year.

If Bob can figure it out in Year 3 here, that’s a good thing for the Panthers. The goalie by committee approach worked last season and if the former Vezina winner can get back to that level. The Panthers can ease Spencer Knight into becoming a full-time starter. This will be his first full season in the league.

Opening Night Line Predictions

Take these with a grain of salt, as Q loves to throw his lines in a blender throughout games and change things up.

*Original predictions from a few weeks ago have been scratched out and replaced with those now occupying their spots*

(also shoutout the voice of the Florida Panthers Steve Goldstein for taking the guessing work out of it)

LWCRW
1st LineCarter VerhaegheAleksander BarkovSam Reinhart
2nd LineJonathan HuberdeauSam BennettOwen Tippett
3rd LineFrank VatranoAnton LundellAnthony Duclair
Patric Hornqvist
4th LineNoel Acciari
Joe Thornton
Joe Thornton
Eetu Luostarinen
Patric Hornqvist
Anthony Duclair
LDRD
Defensive Pairing 1Mackenzie WeegarAaron Ekblad
Defensive Pairing 2Gustav ForslingBrandon Montour
Defensive Pairing 3Marcus NutivaaraRadko Gudas

When the team is fully healthy, I expect the guys with their names crossed out to return to their spots.

Line 1- Verhaeghe, Barkov, Reinhart

By the end of the season, this might be the best top line in the league. I wrote earlier this offseason that the team needed another Top 6 forward, and Reinhart is exactly that. Not only that, but Reinhart offers roster flexibility with experience playing at Center. He can help the team should Lundell or Bennett miss any significant time. If that were to happen, Anthony Duclair can be elevated to the top line and we’ve seen what 23-16-10 can do together. Reinhart’s skills should mesh with Verhaeghe and Barkov nicely, and I’m excited to see what they can do throughout the year.

Line 2- Huberdeau, Bennett, Tippett

Huberdeau and Bennett are locked into this line, but it’s the RW position where the debate begins. After finding his footing last year and having a strong preseason camp, I believe 74 has earned the right to start on the 2nd line. The chemistry they showed together in the postseason brought out the best in Owen Tippett, and the franchise needs to find out whether it was a fluke or the real deal. If it doesn’t work, Anthony Duclair is still there for the return of the 9-1-1 line (although it’ll need a new name with Duclair now wearing 10)

Line 3- Vatrano, Lundell, Hornqvist // Vatrano, Lundell, Duclair

I’ll break this into two parts, one to talk about early in the season and the other about the playoff push. Vatrano, Lundell, and Hornqvist isn’t a sexy line but I think it can work. You have a proven goal scorer in Vatrano with a guy who has made a career out of parking himself in front of the net in Hornqvist. Those pieces can complement Lundell’s style of play and help him settle into the NHL. I think the Duclair/Hornqvist swap was made to add some speed to the fourth line, and should swap once Acciari comes back.

If we get to see Vatrano, Lundell, Duclair later in the season watch out. We saw how well Duke played with Barkov last season, so we can expect similar results playing alongside Barkov Jr. With Vatrano playing for a contract (and most likely his last as a Panther) he’ll be even more inclined to produce and potentially be an attractive trade chip for the team as the deadline nears.

Line 4- Thornton, Luostarinen, Duclair // Acciari, Thornton, Hornqvist

With the team shipping away Lammiko, we found out Luostarinen is the team’s preferred 4th line center. I’m interested to see how much Thornton plays this season, as Ryan Lomberg and Mason Marchment are younger and can handle the wear and tear of an 82 game season. I’d expect Hornqvist to get similar treatment too, as he and Thornton are going to be more beneficial to the team once the playoffs roll around.

Once Acciari gets back, we’ll have a true grit line. Especially if guys like Lomberg and Marchment get regular playing time. Acciari, Thornton, and Hornqvist are capable of setting the tone and will be a tough line for opposing teams to play against. They’re capable of making teams frustrated and have enough offensive power to make a play when the game is on the line. Thornton came to South Florida to chase a cup, so we know he’ll be hungry and give his all.

Power Play Units

The first Power Play unit is already out there, and it’s lethal. Barkov, Huberdeau, Reinhart, Bennett, and the return of Aaron Ekblad. Like the top line, the power play has a chance to finish on top of the league. Tampa’s power play gave them the edge in the playoffs last season, and the Panthers upgrades should level the playing field.

The second Power Play isn’t set yet, but it’s going to include players like Verhaeghe, Tippett, Duclair, Hornqvist, Montour, or Weegar. That’s an upgrade from last season and should create some good scoring chances if the first unit isn’t able to get it done (which I suspect will not be often)

Penalty Kill Units

Off all units affected by the roster changes, the Penalty Kill took the biggest hit. Alex Wennberg is no longer here and Acciari is out for a portion of the season. I’m not saying that there will be a significant decline in the PK %, just simply stating that the personnel is going to change and we don’t know how effective it will be. Will be interesting to watch how Q and his coaching staff handle the personnel decisions here as the season goes on.

Quick Takes:

  • Barkov leading goalscorer
  • Huberdeau points leader
  • Owen Tippett breakout season
  • Knight takes over as the 1 before the Olympic Break
  • Everyone in the Top 6 finishes with 20+ goals
  • Panthers win the Atlantic

Season Prediction:

As I sit here today writing this, I can see this Florida Panthers team winning it all, which has never been a thought I’ve had as a Panthers fan going into a season. The teams bond is so strong, and that’s accredited to the culture change that’s taken place inside the building since Q arrived. They’re highly motivated to win together, and they’ll play harder than most teams across the league.

While this is just year one of the team’s newly formed Cup Window, I think this may be their best shot. The Cats kept their core together, had the best offseason of any team in the NHL, and have the prospect pool and roster flexibility to be buyers at the deadline. On top of that, this is probably Joe Thornton’s last year in the league, and he chose to chase a cup here.

Personally, I’d just love to see us win one playoff series, but the expectations are higher than that. This is a team that can make and win the conference finals, and this is a team that can win the Stanley Cup.

We’ll have to see how the team navigates through the season and the moves they make at the deadline, but it’s going to be a special few years in Sunrise.

Until next time, we move 🤝

Tennessee football looks to continue momentum as they host #13 Ole Miss

Photo courtesy of Vol Football on twitter

Tennessee football plays host to 13th ranked Ole Miss in what has become the most anticipated match up the Vols have played all season. The Vols play host to the ghost of their past: Ole Miss head coach, Lane Kiffin. Kiffin coached the Vols for only one season in 2009 and is considered a main part in the downfall of Tennessee football. Since Kiffin’s departure in 2009, Tennessee has beat Florida once and has yet to beat Alabama. What does Tennessee have to do to exorcise this demon? I have your answers.

The defense must force turnovers.

Tennessee Football
Photo courtesy of Vol Football

So far in the season, Tennessee’s defense has been exceptional in stopping the run; however, Ole Miss offense revolves around quarterback Matt Coral. Coral has thrown for 1,497 yards and 12 touchdowns and has yet to throw an interception; add in Coral’s 8 rushing touchdowns and he has an astounding 20 touchdowns in just 6 games this season. If Tennessee is going to come out the victors in this pivotal matchup, they’re going to have to limit Coral’s production and force his first interception of the season.

The offense has to dominate the run game.

Photo Courtesy of Vol Football

Tennessee has been running the ball at will so far this season. That starts with JUCO transfer running back Tiyon Evans. Evans has rushed for 486 yards and 6 scores, including a 92-yard sprint at Missouri in the Vols’ SEC opener. QB Hendon Hooker has also been a focal point to Tennessee’s rushing attack. The red-shirt senior has piled up 282 yards and 3 touchdowns in 4 games as a starter. Tennessee has been without Jabari Small for the past 3 weeks and it appears that Small will be back for this game against the Rebels.

The injury bug is ceased.

Tennessee played last Saturday’s game against South Carolina with a plethora of injuries. Cooper Mays, Jabari Smalls, Trevon Flowers, and Daneiko Slaughter were just some of the guys that were missing and who are set to make their return to the field this weekend. You never want to have injuries, but the time couldn’t have been better for the Vols. Tennessee got to play Missouri and South Carolina while undermanned. As Tennessee begins to get back healthy, it does so at the best time possible. In the next four games Tennessee plays: #13 Ole Miss, @ #5 Alabama, @ #11 Kentucky, and #1 Georgia. I’m not saying Tennessee will win all of these games, but it will feel good to Heupel and company to have all of their guys back to try and pull off some upsets.

Tennessee football announced that Neyland Stadium has been sold out and will be checkered for the first time since 2017. A lot of excitement is going into this game and could be looked back at as a key win for Heupel and company as they work towards bringing the Vols back to their rightful spot atop the SEC. The Vols can move 5-2 headed to Alabama next weekend and I think that is exactly what will happen.

My score prediction: Tennessee 48, Ole Miss 31.

Tennessee vs South Carolina Preview: Vols look to continue momentum

Tennessee vs South Carolina
Courtesy of Vol Football on Twitter

Tennessee has played very well to start out the season. Especially if you consider the lack of talent and the situation that first-year head coach Josh Heupel obtained when he came to Tennessee early this year. The Vols are 3-2 (1-1) in the first five games of the Heupel era and have gotten better every game as the weeks go by. The consistent improvement from week to week is something refreshing for Vol fans. 

Tennessee fans have not seen a team get better from week to week in a very long time. Tennessee welcomes the South Carolina Gamecocks to Neyland Saturday to play the Vols fourth noon game of the season. What must Tennessee do vs South Carolina to walk away with a win?

Defense must attack a weak South Carolina offense.

Photo courtesy of Vol Football

Fans should expect to see linebackers Jay Blakely and Tyler Baron to have huge days on the defensive end. If you have watched South Carolina on offense this season, you would have seen the majority of their run plays are outside of the tackles. This is due to the lackluster performance from the Gamecocks’ offensive line so far in this season.

South Carolina comes into this game only rushing for 605 yards and with one touchdown. To give some comparison, the Vols had five rushing touchdowns in their blowout win on the road in Columbus last Saturday against the Tigers. Tennessee needs to win the trenches and it starts on the defensive end this Saturday.

The offense must continue to stay fast and aggressive.

Tennessee has moved faster than anyone in the country on offense so far in the 2021 season; a lot of that has to be accredited to the preparation from this coaching staff. Coach Heupel stressed last weekend just how important the final 48 hours leading up to kick-off have been. The synchronization on offense is crucial to the speed the Vols play with.

Furthermore, Senior red-shirt quarterback Hendon Hooker, has handled it nicely in his three and a half games for Tennessee. In fact, you could make a reasonable argument that UT is 4-1 if Hooker gets the start from the get go. Hooker has not turned the ball over in the past 3 games and has looked more composed than any Tennessee QB we’ve saw in the past five years.

The rushing attack, along with Hooker’s playmaking ability, produce a deadly combination for opposing defenses; expect big numbers from the Vols this Saturday against the Gamecocks.

Tennessee enters ‘Dark Mode.’

This isn’t necessarily a key to victory, but the Vols unveiled their new ‘Dark Mode’ jerseys on Wednesday much to the teams and (most of) the fanbase’s delight. Now whether or not you’re a traditionalist, or you don’t care what we wear (like myself), it’s clear to see that the day and age we are in that gimmicks matter. Checker Neyland, smokey greys, and now black uniforms are just a few examples of the Vols attempt at joining the notion.

It helps in recruiting and creates a buzz that simply would not be there. Josh Heupel is in the middle of a culture upheaval and has a lot of work to do to change the brand of Tennessee Football. The players love it, and Coach Heupel has a job to do both on and off the field. If Heupel wants to use uniforms to create excitement and boost recruitment, then I am all for it.

As Tennessee welcomes South Carolina to Neyland stadium this Saturday, the Vols should have zero trouble putting away the Gamecocks early in this ballgame. If Heupel wants to solidify growth and productivity, games like this on vs South Carolina are the ones Tennessee must win.