What kind of win will this be for Tennessee?

Tennessee at Vanderbilt

Saturday November 29, 2014 | Nashville | 4:00 ET | SECN

Except for the last two seasons, Tennessee has had a nearly embarrassing amount of success against its in-state rival Vanderbilt. What is surprising is how many of these games have been close even when the two teams were far apart in talent and season records.

Sure, Tennessee has beaten Vanderbilt by scores of 65-0, 48-0, 45-0, 41-0, 38-0, etc.

But there have been the surprising close games…

The 1951 National Championship season comes to mind, during which, on December 1, the Vols hosted the Commodores. Tennessee needed a victory to achieve another unbeaten regular season and have a shot at being voted the national champion. Vandy was only 6-4, ready to embark on a 6-decade long age of futility (Vandy had only 6 losing seasons up to 1951, but it would suffer greatly by only having 11 winning seasons after 1951).

The Vols hung on for a 35-27 win and the ultimate glory.

Since that game, Vandy defeated Tennessee 8 times whereas the Volunteers won 53 of those games against the Commodores, many being by very close scores.

But all that matters is what is happening right now.

Vanderbilt is sitting on a two-game winning streak against its biggest rival – the first time that the Commodores have defeated the Vols in consecutive seasons since 1926 (the year Vandy won its 6th straight over Tennessee).

And Butch Jones desperately needs a win Saturday in Nashville in order to reach a bowl game invitation with the chance of achieving the first winning season since 2009.ut for the first time in three seasons, it looks like the natural order of all things Tennessee vs Vanderbilt is being restored, with the Vols improving and the Commodores devolving back to their place down in the bottom.

I’d like to predict an all-time rout by Tennessee, but I see this game as somewhere in the middle.

Go Vols.

Tennessee 39 Vanderbilt 23

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