If you want to be optimistic about the Tennessee football season, check out the schedule – not the depth chart.
Under no circumstances mind that the Vols have myriad shortcomings. Some of their opponents will be incapable of exploiting these deficiencies.
New mentor Josh Heupel can be thankful for that as he tries to patch up a depth chart that previous coach Jeremy Pruitt remaining in disarray.
For assessment reasons, I’ve divided UT’s schedule into 5 classes: Confident wins, positive losses, possible losses, possible wins and swing online games.
Bowling Eco-friendly: The Vols have not opened their season versus an less complicated opponent considering that Austin Peay in 2013.
Bowling Environmentally friendly played only five games very last time, but that was five game titles too a lot of for its admirer foundation. The Falcons lost all five and did not appear closer than 25 points. They gave up 62 points to Kent Point out. That was 5 more than Bowling Inexperienced scored all year.
Tennessee Tech: UT’s only FCS opponent went 2-5 last time. The Golden Eagles obtained even worse as their season went alongside, dropping 5 of their last 6 online games.
South Alabama: The Jaguars also lost 5 of their previous 6 online games to complete 4-7 last time. As terrible as they probable will be, some UT supporters may well be uneasy viewing Jake Bentley at quarterback.
He beat the Vols as a freshman at South Carolina in 2016 and has considering the fact that distinguished himself by transferring – to start with to Utah and then to South Alabama.
Florida: Tennessee hasn’t gained in The Swamp considering the fact that 2003. It also has not fared properly versus fourth-12 months mentor Dan Mullen, who probably cried when Pruitt was fired.
Mullen was 3- towards Pruitt with an ordinary victory margin of 23 factors.
Ga: The Bulldogs have outscored the Vols 166-47 in the earlier 4 video games. They are favored to get the SEC East, so never anticipate the development to transform.
Alabama: The Tide have received 14 consecutive games in the collection, and only two of the games ended up near.
Ole Miss: Former Tennessee coach Lane Kiffin will return to Neyland Stadium with a likely Leading 25 team. The Rebels have a veteran offensive line, depth at functioning again, and the league’s very best quarterback in Matt Corral.
Kentucky: The Wildcats never have a verified quarterback, but they really should be able to operate the ball and perform ample defense to prevail against Tennessee, which missing to the Wildcats 34-7 in a person of its worst performances last time.
South Carolina: Previous South Carolina coach Will Muschamp still left the Gamecocks in worse shape than he did Florida, the preceding SEC college to fireplace him. New coach Shane Beamer will be challenging-pressed to acquire a convention recreation.
Vanderbilt: Clark Lea picked a excellent time to choose the Commodores coaching job. If South Carolina is as poor as I anticipate, Vanderbilt will not have the worst team in the conference.
Swing game titles
Pittsburgh: You could argue that the Panthers must be outlined in the “probable losses” classification since they will return 15 starters from a 6-5 group. But they’re a mediocre ACC crew participating in on the road towards an SEC opponent.
The Vols will have a shot.
Missouri: Tennessee played its very best recreation of the 2020 time in opposition to Missouri. Another victory more than the Tigers could set the Vols in line for a winning year.
John Adams is a senior columnist. He might be arrived at at 865-342-6284 or [email protected] Abide by him at: twitter.com/johnadamskns.