Go ahead and get your ticket for the hype train for the 2020 Tennessee Vols.
After finishing the season on a six game winning streak (the second longest active winning streak in the nation, behind LSU), the Vols are going to be a trendy pick to do some damage in 2020.
And rightfully so.
Tennessee returns an offensive line that improved immensely in 2019. They’ll have a more experienced defensive line. And they’re also bringing in some players who could contribute immediately in a big way (Harrison Bailey anyone?).
As a result, the Vols are already ranked in a couple of “way too early” top 25’s.
This is completely ridiculous.
It’s not that I don’t think Tennessee has the potential to be a top 25 team next year. They certainly played like a top 25 team near the end of the 2019 season.
But it’s way, way too early to even speculate about next year’s top 25.
In fact, it could even be considered irresponsible.
The dust hasn’t even settled on the 2019 season yet. Rosters will change a lot between now and next summer. Players will declare for the draft, there will be transfers and departures. Assistant coaches will be on the move.
And then there’s spring practice. Who knows what injuries will occur when players take the field again this springs (unfortunately, there are almost always significant injuries in spring). Or how important position battles will play out.
The landscape of college football will change a LOT between now and the start of the 2020 season.
It might be fun to talk about who will be good next season, and who has a chance to go far, but it’s silly to think we can accurately rank college football teams for 2020 when the 2019 season just ended on Monday night.
Preseason rankings are already pointless. And they’re almost never accurate.
Let’s hold off on ranking anyone until we know what a team’s depth chart might actually look like in 2020.
Until then, none of this matters. And even then, it doesn’t matter much.
Featured image via Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports