The Tennessee Vols officially announced Josh Heupel as the program’s new head coach on Wednesday morning.

Heupel was the head coach at UCF from 2018-2020, going 28-8 in three seasons after replacing Scott Frost.

I detailed earlier on Wednesday how I feel like this is a solid hire for the Vols, though it’s far from being a “home run”.

Now that Heupel is the guy for Tennessee, what does the immediate future look like on Rocky Top?

Well, I think the Vols have a better coach than Jeremy Pruitt in place. Offense is all the rage in college football right now and Heupel certainly has a great offensive mind. That automatically makes him a better option for UT than Pruitt.

But does that mean Tennessee is about to compete for championships?

I don’t know about that.

Here’s how I see things going at Tennessee over the next few years. I think we’ll see a better product on the field. We’ll see an exciting offense. But we’ll also see a team that lays an occasional egg.

I see Heupel springing some upsets at Tennessee. Maybe he knocks off Florida or gives Alabama a run for their money. I think UT wins some big games with Heupel. But I also see the Vols dropping some games where they’re favored (kind of like UCF did this past season).

Heupel’s ceiling at Tennessee is probably nine or ten wins a year. That’s the absolute best I see him doing. But after the way things have gone at UT over the last decade, that’s a win. And if nothing else, it sets up the next coach to have major success at Tennessee.

Vol fans have to be realistic with expectations right now. Tennessee hasn’t been relevant on the national scene in almost 15 years. Right now, the program is at rock bottom. And it’s not going to roar back to relevancy in just a year or two.

Featured image via Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports
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