On Saturday, the Vols lost 24-21 against the South Carolina Gamecocks, marking the team’s first loss to an unranked opponent.
Dozens gathered at local bars near UT to watch the two face off on Saturday, but some bar managers say they saw fewer fans than expected.
“It's a little bit weaker this week,” said Kenny Mubarack, assistant manager of Fieldhouse Social. “I feel like coming off of a bye week and Alabama playing really good football against Tennessee, the fans aren't as enthusiastic as they normally are.”
Mubarack said his bar didn't start to fill until hours later than usual. He said the kitchen was overstaffed for fewer fans than expected.
"We planned for something really big. We were really overstaffed, trying to make sure we get really efficient service. Didn't really get busy until 5:30 or 6, which is not normal."
His wasn't the only bar to admit that. A manager at Cool Beans, a popular sports bar on Cumberland Avenue, also admitted to fewer attendants than earlier away games.
Some fan say after two losses to Alabama and Texas A&M and a bye week, they've noticed less fan enthusiasm. The Vols’ latest loss to the Gamecocks didn’t help.
"Now that we've had those losses, it's just less enthusiasm because we're less likely to make it to the championship,” said UT sophomore Devan Iturrian.