The Tennessee Vols aren’t yet ready to challenge for a spot in the College Football Playoff like some of their SEC counterparts, but that doesn’t mean they’re a team that can’t wreak some havoc on the national title picture.
In fact, ESPN believes the Vols could be a problem for one of the expected top teams in the nation in 2019.
ESPN recently listed a “game to beware” for each top 25 team.
For the Georgia Bulldogs, they listed Tennessee.
Here’s what ESPN had to say about the matchup:
The Bulldogs might be feeling pretty good about themselves heading into an Oct. 5 trip to Tennessee. Assuming they handle their business against Vanderbilt, Murray State and Arkansas State, and assuming they win a tough nonconference game against Notre Dame, they’ll likely be ranked in the top three. But coming out of that stretch and the bye week that follows could have Kirby Smart’s squad feeling too good about themselves.
Now, I’m not expecting Tennessee to beat Georgia in 2019. The programs are still too far apart to make that kind of prediction.
But I also don’t think you’ll see the Vols get blown out again by the Bulldogs like they were in 2018.
Tennessee should take a major leap forward in Jeremy Pruitt’s second season at the helm. And it’s certainly possible that Georgia could sleepwalk into Knoxville on October 5 and leave with a loss.
But on paper, it’s a game Georgia should win easily. And I’m sure the Vegas oddsmakers will feel the same way.
Of course, games aren’t played on paper. College football is unpredictable, so perhaps this is a prediction that ESPN will get right.
If the Vols somehow knock off UGA in October, then it won’t be long before coach of the year talks start centering around Pruitt.
Featured image via Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports