The Volunteers enter this week at 3-4, with an 0-3 record in the SEC. They've been saddled with three very tough losses this year - away losses to Ole Miss, Oklahoma, and Georgia - to go along with a baffling 10-9 loss to the hapless Florida Gators in Knoxville.
At 3-4 and with only conference games remaining, the Volunteers will likely need a win over at South Carolina or in Knoxville against Missouri to go along with victories over Kentucky and Vanderbilt if they want to make a bowl for the first time since 2010, Derek Dooley's first season. The Volunteers have not sported a winning record since the 2009 campaign, and will fail to reach 10 wins for the seventh straight season this year.
Before they play Carolina, however, the Volunteers have their fifth SEC game of the season to go this week - their annual match-up against the Alabama Crimson Tide, where they'll welcome home Knoxville's favorite son (and current Alabama offensive coordinator) Lane Kiffin.