The Tennessee Vols certainly aren’t deserving of a high ranking after last year’s disastrous 4-8 season.
But I definitely think they’re better than No. 74 overall in the nation, which is where CBS Sports has the Volunteers ranked in their initial top 129.
Tennessee comes in below teams like Wake Forest, Ohio and Wyoming, among other questionable teams.
Look, I kind of get it. The Vols were pretty bad last year. But as bad as they were, they were still just a few plays away from being a seven win team. Given all that transpired last season, with Butch Jones and the crazy coaching search that began getting coverage a month before Jones was even fired, it’s easy to understand why UT struggled so mightily.
Tennessee has talent. I don’t think they have the talent to finish in the top 25. But they have better than top 75 talent.
Not only do they have decent talent, they finally have a head coach, Jeremy Pruitt, that can get the most out of that talent.
There will undoubtedly be some ups-and-downs for the Vols in 2018. Pruitt, after all, is a first time head coach. There will be mistakes made and lessons learned. That’s to be expected.
But Tennessee is going to finish the season as one of the 50 best teams in the nation. There’s too much talent and the staff is too good not to finish among the top 50 teams.
By the way, Kentucky and Vanderbilt were the only SEC teams to rank below the Vols.
Featured image via SI