The Tennessee Vols’ goal under Jeremy Pruitt is to compete for the SEC East division title on a yearly basis.
But unfortunately for the Vols, there’s still a bit of talent gap between them and Florida/Georgia — the perceived frontrunners in the SEC East.
That’s why 247Sports predicted that Tennessee will finish third in SEC East in 2020.
Here’s what 247Sports had to say about the Vols:
Tennessee’s offense should improve behind one of the better offensive lines in the conference. Trey Smith has great punch and might be the best offensive guard in the SEC. The Vols return Ty Chandler and Eric Gray at running back but lose receivers Jauan Jennings and Marquez Callaway. Tennessee will appear on several top 25 ballots in the preseason and the Vols deserve the attention.
I think this is more than fair for the Vols. Right now, it’s clear that Florida and Georgia have more talent than Tennessee (247Sports picked Florida to finish first and Georgia second).
It’s not out of the question, however, for the Vols to stun some folks and finish higher than third in the SEC. While UT may not be as talented as the Gators and Bulldogs, they still have enough talent to pull some upsets. And Tennessee is clearly well-coached (six-game winning streaks don’t happen because of a fluke).
Of course, winning the east would require the Vols pulling off an upset against either Alabama, Florida or Georgia. I’m not expecting Tennessee to win any of those matchups, but thanks to the Vols’ potentially dominant offensive line, combined with the improvement of the defense last season, it’s certainly a possibility.
We’ve seen teams come out of nowhere before to win the SEC East (most notably Missouri in 2013 and 2014), so it’s not like the Volunteers winning the division would be unprecedented.
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