No one expects the the Tennessee Vols to compete for the SEC East division title in 2018.

Not after a 4-8 season and with a new head coach at the helm.

But just how long will it be until the Volunteers are expected to be a factor in the SEC.

Well, according to CBS Sports’ Dennis Dodd “it may be a while”.

From CBS:

JP is exactly what athletic director Phillip Fulmer wanted and UT needed after the program’s meltdown. Pruitt — with an impressive staff — will run the ball and play defense. It may be a while, though, before the Vols are a factor in the SEC.

I’m completely on board with the Vols not being a factor in the SEC in 2018. It’s completely unrealistic to expect them to compete with Alabama and Georgia next season. Those teams are way ahead of where the Vols are currently.

But I also don’t think it will “be a while” before Tennessee is relevant in the SEC. ¬†At least it shouldn’t be.

Sure, the Volunteers are coming off their worst record in program history, but they were just a few plays away from a much different final result last year.

The Vols were only a play away from beating Florida, South Carolina and Kentucky. They could’ve easily won each of those three games. And had the wheels not completely fell off near the end of the season, they likely would’ve won at least one of their final three games. Tennessee wasn’t that far off from a seven or eight win regular season last year.

It’s obvious that UT needs more talent to compete with programs like Alabama and Georgia, but they have enough talent to be relevant in in the SEC in a short amount of time.

I have a feeling CBS Sports will be singing a different tune about the Vols a year from now.

Featured image via Getty

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