Experience vs. Intuition: Predicting the Vols' Season

We pit a local tarot-card reader vs. a sports talk radio host to see who can best predict the 2011 Vol season

That's the fun of prognostications—no one knows for sure how the Vols football season will go. We asked two very different sources to make their predictions, leaving those of us looking for answers to decide whether we trust someone's psychic intuition or the best guesses of someone who's been there, done that.

Our Predictors:

Mary Whiteflower is an intuitive consultant and life coach who has no previous knowledge of the Vols and read tarot cards to gain insight into the season. She stresses that she doesn't predict the future, just gives people directions on how to move forward—so many of these outcomes could change based on future happenings. She sees lots of devotion and playing from the heart for the Vols.

Terry Fair is a former Vol (lettering 1994-97) and NFL cornerback (retiring in 2002) who hosts a radio show on "all things sports" on WNOX. A self-described "ultimate optimist—I'd have the Vols going 12-0 if it was up to me," he reluctantly made some realistic picks, but still envisions a season "much better than last year" for the Vols.

vs. Montana (Sept. 3, home)

Whiteflower: UT

"They have more strength than they thought, and if they keep their balance and don't go on an ego trip, they should win. And they'll learn a lot."

Fair: UT

"Tennessee can pull that one out, maybe score 48-13."

vs. Cincinnati (Sept. 10, home)


"They're going to win by playing with lots of heart, and they won't be dragging the past with them."


"They're a more talented team."

vs. Florida (Sept. 17)


"This one hasn't really been determined. But they can win, gaining strength from going somewhere different, unless someone gets in trouble and goes to jail. I see some sort of legal something."


"The Gators are the Gators and I hate 'em. I never beat 'em and I root against them every chance I get."

vs. Buffalo (Oct. 1, home)

W: Buffalo

"It's gonna be a harder problem than they thought. They won't win; they'll rest on their laurels."


"They are gonna stomp 'em, like 42-7. The only Buffalo I know is the Bills."

vs. Georgia (Oct. 8, home)

W: Georgia

"Tennessee is gonna lose—sorry."


"The Dawgs, we've got a young team, they've got a young team, but we'll get 'em here at Neyland—here at home."

vs. LSU (Oct. 15, home)


"It looks like it will have a surprise ending, but they'll win—unless they celebrate too soon."


"LSU is too good on defense. They're one of those teams, if they get it together this year, they can be on the way for a title run."

vs. Alabama (Oct. 22)


"They'll come in feeling dejected, but a big change is coming from that game, at the end they get their energy back from the coach talking. The end isn't decided, but they can probably win."

F: Alabama

"Just too tough, too strong, Nick Saban—all those factors give Bama that win."

vs. South Carolina (Oct. 29, home)


"They can win but they must play really hard and play with their hearts again. They'll pull it out of the ditch at the last minute."

F: South Carolina.

"They're a very talented football team; they can put it together, escape Tennessee's charge, and barely win."

vs. Middle Tenn State (Nov. 5, home)


"This is real important to them because of somebody's mother—or some woman—and it will have a very satisfying ending so I assume they're gonna win."


"A big-time win for us—we never lose to in-state schools. Though there was '96 Memphis, but we don't talk about that."

vs. Arkansas (Nov. 12)


"This involves and emotional coaching speech, playing with maturity, lots of heart, and learning new ways of communication. They have a very good chance of winning, and getting in position to move to something bigger."

F: Arkansas

"They're going to be too deep, too athletic for the Vols to overcome."

vs. Vanderbilt (Nov. 19, home)


"I'll say they're going to win for sure."


"A big-time W. Vandy is Vandy. If Vandy beats us, I won't do radio again."

Vs. Kentucky (Nov. 26)

W: ? (UT by default)

"This involves the card of the great mystery, and also the card that says they'll win a battle they didn't want to have to wage. They'll have to watch their egos. This card is advising me not to predict this game."


"All I have to say is the streak continues."