So is there anything to even be excited about this fall?

#1

volbound1700

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#1
It seems like the Football program is a train wreck right now.

This isn't a dig at the coach or players (what players we have retained) as the issues pre-date them. I just don't see Tennessee capable of fielding a very good team with so many defections and impending sanctions. This program is a real mess right now and it is going to be hard to watch or enjoy them as a fan.
 
#6

AustinMem

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#6
I mean there are a number of cupcakes on the schedule, so maybe? I expect us to suck early in the season. The optimism will be more around seeing how different the team looks towards the end of the season compared to the beginning of the season. Hopefully somewhere during the season we can start to see things come together a bit and lights come on for a few guys. I mean at this point its like watching your kid go from barely able to crawl, to walking. Its going to be a bump road, but hopefully at some point the team starts to walk, cause if we just keep on crawling..... see you in a few years for the next Coaching search.
 
#10

sjt18

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#10
It seems like the Football program is a train wreck right now.

This isn't a dig at the coach or players (what players we have retained) as the issues pre-date them. I just don't see Tennessee capable of fielding a very good team with so many defections and impending sanctions. This program is a real mess right now and it is going to be hard to watch or enjoy them as a fan.
There was already a "gloom and despair" thread.

A couple of things and then I will leave you to your wallowing.

One, the roster isn't as bad as you think. There's talent where there isn't experience and experience where there isn't talent. The primary concerns are LB and CB. This isn't a roster that we should expect to challenge for the East. It isn't a roster devoid of talent either. There are 4 almost built in wins. There are 5 games vs UK, Ole Miss, Pitt, Mizzou, and USCe where UT even with the roster concerns are in roughly equal shape. How many of those games are won comes down to coaching.

Two, you see a "mess" because of the public stuff but really none of us know what's going on inside the locker room... where it really matters. Heupel has focused on developing team unity. Some guys will gravitate to it... some guys will find the door. That could leave some gaps. Probably will. It will also produce a team that will sacrifice for each other. Maybe a RB who decides that the team needs him more at LB or a receiver who can play safety.

Right now Heupel is trying to piece together what he has. In some areas... he has a lot to work with. In some areas not so much. But how about we save the "woes" until he's done what he can?
 
#11

CA_Vol

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#11
I’d say it’s going to at least be entertaining offensively. I’m afraid we’re going to see more than a few 45-31 type losses, but at least the era of tractor pull offense is likely over.
Yeah, this is also where I’m at. I think we will win the games we are suppose to win and at least score some points in the others.

Heupel deserves a long leash for taking over this dumpster fire. I honestly like the guy and think he can do well in time.
 
#12

volbound1700

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#12
So here is the schedule and my predictions.

9/4/2021 Bowling Green: Win - Should be a win but you never know. Bowling Green isn't a bad program. Not an easy opener for a program that is struggling

9/11/2021 Pittsburgh: Likely a loss. Pittsburgh has issues as well so should at least be close game

9/18/2021 Tennessee Tech: Win Even with our issues, this will still be a blowout.

9/25/2021 @ Florida: Loss. I don't expect this to be close.

10/2/2021 @ Missouri: Loss. Missouri got hot the second half of the season.

10/9/2021 South Carolina: Toss-Up. I really cannot predict this one. Both teams have major issues. They are pretty much in the same spot right now. It might come down to luck.

10/16/2021 Ole Miss: Loss. I really hated to write that as I would love to see us take it to Kiffin.

10/23/2021 @ Alabama: Loss. Why do we even play this series anymore? It is an annual beat down every year.

11/06/2021 @ Kentucky: Loss. I don't see us beating them but you never know. Kentucky struggles on offense. This could be a potential upset.

11/13/2021 Georgia: Loss. It won't be close.

11/20/2021 South Alabama: Win. I don't see us losing this one but you never know after we lost at home to Georgia State.

11/27/2021 Vanderbilt: Win. Vandy has far more issues than Tennessee right now. I wouldn't underestimate them but I think Tennessee beats them.

4-7-1. The season will come down to the games against Bowling Green, Pittsburgh, South Carolina, Kentucky, Vandy. If we can beat all 5 of them, Heupel deserves a raise.
 
#13

volbound1700

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#13
There was already a "gloom and despair" thread.

A couple of things and then I will leave you to your wallowing.

One, the roster isn't as bad as you think. There's talent where there isn't experience and experience where there isn't talent. The primary concerns are LB and CB. This isn't a roster that we should expect to challenge for the East. It isn't a roster devoid of talent either. There are 4 almost built in wins. There are 5 games vs UK, Ole Miss, Pitt, Mizzou, and USCe where UT even with the roster concerns are in roughly equal shape. How many of those games are won comes down to coaching.

Two, you see a "mess" because of the public stuff but really none of us know what's going on inside the locker room... where it really matters. Heupel has focused on developing team unity. Some guys will gravitate to it... some guys will find the door. That could leave some gaps. Probably will. It will also produce a team that will sacrifice for each other. Maybe a RB who decides that the team needs him more at LB or a receiver who can play safety.

Right now Heupel is trying to piece together what he has. In some areas... he has a lot to work with. In some areas not so much. But how about we save the "woes" until he's done what he can?
True. Arkansas was a mess but look what they did this past season. They looked like a different team with some motivation. Missouri fit that bill as well. (Frankly Missouri never recruits well, not near as well as Tennessee but typically has better teams than Tennessee and half the SEC). Looking over the schedule, there are a lot of pitfalls but they could also be Ws.
 
#14

sjt18

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#14
True. Arkansas was a mess but look what they did this past season. They looked like a different team with some motivation. Missouri fit that bill as well. (Frankly Missouri never recruits well, not near as well as Tennessee but typically has better teams than Tennessee and half the SEC). Looking over the schedule, there are a lot of pitfalls but they could also be Ws.
I like the schedule. Open with an opponent that should be good enough to expose some weaknesses but not good enough to be a serious threat. They've won less than 10 games in the last 4 years I believe. Pitt will challenge but due to raw talent and style of play UT should win.... if the coaching is good. There's a warm up game then UF.

Unlike the past, I don't think UT has consecutive weeks playing elite opponents all year. They only have 2 and maybe 3 elite opponents on the schedule depending on how good UF is.

PS- I really like that UF plays Bama the week before UT gets them.
 
#15

volbound1700

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#15
I like the schedule. Open with an opponent that should be good enough to expose some weaknesses but not good enough to be a serious threat. They've won less than 10 games in the last 4 years I believe. Pitt will challenge but due to raw talent and style of play UT should win.... if the coaching is good. There's a warm up game then UF.

Unlike the past, I don't think UT has consecutive weeks playing elite opponents all year. They only have 2 and maybe 3 elite opponents on the schedule depending on how good UF is.

PS- I really like that UF plays Bama the week before UT gets them.
We don't have the talent to run with Alabama, Florida, Georgia, or even Ole Miss so don't get your hopes up. These teams would have to lay a major egg to lose to us. Unfortunately, teams still tend to get up for Tennessee most of the time even when we are down. Those schools are more likely to lay an egg against a South Carolina, Missouri, or Vandy team.
 
#19

sjt18

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#19
So here is the schedule and my predictions.

9/4/2021 Bowling Green: Win - Should be a win but you never know. Bowling Green isn't a bad program. Not an easy opener for a program that is struggling

9/11/2021 Pittsburgh: Likely a loss. Pittsburgh has issues as well so should at least be close game

9/18/2021 Tennessee Tech: Win Even with our issues, this will still be a blowout.

9/25/2021 @ Florida: Loss. I don't expect this to be close.

10/2/2021 @ Missouri: Loss. Missouri got hot the second half of the season.

10/9/2021 South Carolina: Toss-Up. I really cannot predict this one. Both teams have major issues. They are pretty much in the same spot right now. It might come down to luck.

10/16/2021 Ole Miss: Loss. I really hated to write that as I would love to see us take it to Kiffin.

10/23/2021 @ Alabama: Loss. Why do we even play this series anymore? It is an annual beat down every year.

11/06/2021 @ Kentucky: Loss. I don't see us beating them but you never know. Kentucky struggles on offense. This could be a potential upset.

11/13/2021 Georgia: Loss. It won't be close.

11/20/2021 South Alabama: Win. I don't see us losing this one but you never know after we lost at home to Georgia State.

11/27/2021 Vanderbilt: Win. Vandy has far more issues than Tennessee right now. I wouldn't underestimate them but I think Tennessee beats them.

4-7-1. The season will come down to the games against Bowling Green, Pittsburgh, South Carolina, Kentucky, Vandy. If we can beat all 5 of them, Heupel deserves a raise.
You are likely overestimating Pitt. They are a middling ACC team at best. I don't believe they had a win last year against a team with a winning record. They play "good" D and safe O.... pretty much the Pruitt philosophy. UT will physically be a better team. Style of play favors UT as well.

Mizzou got hot... kinda, sorta...the 2nd half of the season. I also believe they lose most of their secondary and a good chunk of their most productive DL's. Their last two games were blow out losses to UGA and MSU. It wasn't nearly as rosy as some paint it. Definitely a winnable game.

USCe is worse off than UT roster wise. They appear to have more questions at QB than UT. Maybe less on D. Again... coaching.

Unless the season is a total collapse and Heupel is awful... I think UT will beat UK. Style of play will be the difference. I don't see UK transitioning to an O that wants to get into a track meet. Two of their top 3 rushers are gone. They didn't have a significant passing attack but two of their top 3 receivers are gone too. Gatewood appears to be set to step in after not being able to beat Terry Wilson out last year. I could be wrong but I think they will still be a run first team. If UT can score lots of points and pressure them out of running then it gets really good for the Vols.
 
#20

sjt18

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#20
Depends on what gets you excited I guess.

Personally, I like to see QBs explode onto the scene and WRs running away from defenses. I also like to see road graders like Wright and Mays maul people. So yeah I see plenty to be excited about. Primarily, the development of our stable of QBs.
Can't wait to see Spraggins play. If I had to choose one guy that "excites" me... it is him.
 
#25

sjt18

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#25
We don't have the talent to run with Alabama, Florida, Georgia, or even Ole Miss so don't get your hopes up.
Where did I say we did or I had gotten my "hopes up"? I am being hopeful but working pretty hard to stay in the range of "reasonable" based on what we know now. Lots of things could change between now and August for better or worse.

PS- I'm not sold on Ole Miss or Kiffin. Kiffin's best performance as a coach was probably his one year at UT. How much of that was Monte? Ole Miss was a mixed bag last year. They were pretty good on O and downright awful on D. UT could be mirror boxing in that game.

These teams would have to lay a major egg to lose to us. Unfortunately, teams still tend to get up for Tennessee most of the time even when we are down. Those schools are more likely to lay an egg against a South Carolina, Missouri, or Vandy team.
Out of the 5 games in serious question, I would say Ole Miss is the most likely loss followed by UK then Mizzou. I think UT will beat USCe, Vandy (badly), and Pitt.

But... for every one of these teams it comes down to coaching and what happens between now and the season. Any could pick up important transfers. Any could lose key players. Any could have guys emerge that aren't expected to help.

For UT... much of it comes down to how good the staff is. Pruitt for all his flaws did not leave an empty cupboard. There are holes. For most teams there are every year. The coaches have to figure out how to close those holes.
 

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