UT will be the most improved team in the SEC

#1

secking

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#1
I can see him going 5 for 5 on predictions

I think the Volunteers take the next step this fall, going 9-3 by sweeping through their non-conference slate of Georgia State, BYU, Chattanooga and UAB, then finishing 5-3 in the SEC. Tennessee will beat Mississippi State, South Carolina, Kentucky, Missouri and Vanderbilt, but lose to Florida, Georgia and Alabama.
AL.com All-Access: 5 bold SEC football predictions for 2019
 
#4

Remy

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#4
Anything is possible. However nothing the Volunteers have put on the field yet including our most recent spring game gives confidence a 9 win season is due. Perhaps once we get everyone who is slated to actually play on the field this fall more confidence will occur.
 
#6

DiderotsGhost

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#6
Unfortunately, I think this is the least likely of those predictions to happen. We'll improve but issues on both the O-line and D-line are going to hold us back.

Biggest reasons for optimism:

(*) Ty Chandler is underrated as a Running Back; he's up in the top 5 RBs in the SEC
(*) Wide receiver corp is arguably the strongest in the East [the only argument would be with Georgia]
(*) JG is now a veteran and could be poised to take the next step
(*) Chaney will maximize the offense
(*) Defense will improve significantly in Year 2 as players won't have to think as much
(*) LBs will improve significantly after struggling last season
(*) DBs look much improved after we played true Freshmen last season

That said, the line issues are very big. While we brought in the best O-line class in the country, they're still true Freshmen in a league where true Freshmen O-linemen typically don't fare very well. For significantly improvement on O-line, we need the veteran guys (Niehaus, Tatum, Ryan Johnson, etc) to take a big step forward this year. They've bulked up and look more like SEC OL now, so that's good, but we still have a very young and inexperienced O-line overall.

D-line depth is a major issue, as well, and I'm not optimistic that Solomon is going to be declared eligible this season. Solomon would be an insta-starter at NT, but without him, that reduces our depth and makes NT a lot trickier. Savion Williams is promising, but he doesn't come in till the summer and hasn't played SEC-level ball before, so might take him a few games to get adjusted.

I'd be pretty happy with 7-5. If Pruitt went 9-3, he'd deserve to be coach of the year.
 
#9

landscapingvol

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#9
How many years in a row are we going to be expected to be the "most improved" team? If they can somehow manage to win 7 games that will be tremendous improvement considering how poor the line play has been, certainly 9 wins are possible but that would have to be considered a great year imho.
 
#10

Tennesseefan2019

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#10
How many years in a row are we going to be expected to be the "most improved" team? If they can somehow manage to win 7 games that will be tremendous improvement considering how poor the line play has been, certainly 9 wins are possible but that would have to be considered a great year imho.
If Tennessee does win 9 games this season I wonder what the media expectations for them going into 2020 will be?
 
#15

BowlBrother85

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#15
Unfortunately, I think this is the least likely of those predictions to happen. We'll improve but issues on both the O-line and D-line are going to hold us back.

Biggest reasons for optimism:

(*) Ty Chandler is underrated as a Running Back; he's up in the top 5 RBs in the SEC
(*) Wide receiver corp is arguably the strongest in the East [the only argument would be with Georgia]
(*) JG is now a veteran and could be poised to take the next step
(*) Chaney will maximize the offense
(*) Defense will improve significantly in Year 2 as players won't have to think as much
(*) LBs will improve significantly after struggling last season
(*) DBs look much improved after we played true Freshmen last season

That said, the line issues are very big. While we brought in the best O-line class in the country, they're still true Freshmen in a league where true Freshmen O-linemen typically don't fare very well. For significantly improvement on O-line, we need the veteran guys (Niehaus, Tatum, Ryan Johnson, etc) to take a big step forward this year. They've bulked up and look more like SEC OL now, so that's good, but we still have a very young and inexperienced O-line overall.

D-line depth is a major issue, as well, and I'm not optimistic that Solomon is going to be declared eligible this season. Solomon would be an insta-starter at NT, but without him, that reduces our depth and makes NT a lot trickier. Savion Williams is promising, but he doesn't come in till the summer and hasn't played SEC-level ball before, so might take him a few games to get adjusted.

I'd be pretty happy with 7-5. If Pruitt went 9-3, he'd deserve to be coach of the year.
Nice post but my biggest reason for optimism is the schedule. I think it's the easiest out of conference schedule we have had since 2012 and we get Miss State, South Carolina and Vandy at home while Kentucky should be depleted. Miss State and Kentucky both lost a lot (check the draft). That leaves 8 very winnable games. I don't expect to win all of those but if we don't at least make it to 6-6 and a bowl game then something is wrong with this staff.
 
#17

TMvol10

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#17
Why do people think we all the sudden are a guaranteed W over Missouri? I know they lost Lock but it’s not like he was the only reason they have beaten the crap out of us two years in a row. I think 8-4 is possible with loses to Flas, Ga, Bama and Missouri.
 
#18

Tennesseefan2019

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#18
Why do people think we all the sudden are a guaranteed W over Missouri? I know they lost Lock but it’s not like he was the only reason they have beaten the crap out of us two years in a row. I think 8-4 is possible with loses to Flas, Ga, Bama and Missouri.
Since Missouri is on NCAA Probation and wont be bowling this season I think they limp to 5-7 and 3-5 in the SEC.
 
#24

DiderotsGhost

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#24
Nice post but my biggest reason for optimism is the schedule. I think it's the easiest out of conference schedule we have had since 2012 and we get Miss State, South Carolina and Vandy at home while Kentucky should be depleted. Miss State and Kentucky both lost a lot (check the draft). That leaves 8 very winnable games. I don't expect to win all of those but if we don't at least make it to 6-6 and a bowl game then something is wrong with this staff.
I'm not 100% sold on the "easier schedule" argument. OK, so BYU 2019 is probably not as tough as West Virginia 2018, but for everywhere else the schedule gets easier, it seems like it gets harder elsewhere.

Kentucky loses a ton of starters, so they are probably easier, but we also beat them last season with their super-talented squad. Missouri loses a lot of starters, but had a major coup with landing Kelly Bryant to replace Drew Lock; they might be easier, but it's not as big of a dropoff as it looked a few months ago. Vanderbilt loses Kyle Shurmur, but keeps Ke'Shawn Vaughn; they also might be easier, but I'm not 100% sure.

No reason to expect Florida, Georgia, or Bama to be any worse this season. In fact, all 3 might be even stronger this year.

Miss State does lose some talent, but are they any easier than Auburn last season? I'm not so sure.

South Carolina will probably improve, but who knows.

And last season, our non-P5 OOC slate was the weakest of the past 30 years. It's still easy this year, but UAB is tougher than UTEP or Charlotte.

So it might be marginally easier this year than last, but not by much. If we beat BYU, you can probably say the easier schedule was +1 in the win column, but we're going to have to earn every other additional win the hard way.
 

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