What Should We Expect from the 2019 Vols?
But what should you expect when you take off the orange tinted glasses? Well, Tennessee is improving, but it’s important to remember just how long it takes to rebuild a program. It takes multiple recruiting cycles, and given the state of UT right now, it will take even longer. Under former Head Coach Butch Jones, the Volunteers not only failed to make a bowl game, but they also failed to win an SEC Game, making it the worst season in the program’s 127 year history. Tennessee was at the bottom of the barrel, at the worst point they had ever been at, and even though they’re now trending upwards it will take at least 3 more recruiting cycles to get them back into contention for the SEC East according to many CFB Experts. According to Michael Bratton of Saturday
Down South an opposing coach said, “it’s going to take 5 years to get it (The Rebuild) done.” Rebuilds are never completed over night, and this UT rebuild is no different. Tennessee has to get to a Bowl Game this year to gain credibility on the recruiting trail. If they don’t, Tennessee is in for a very wild ride.
When you look at the schedule for Tennessee in 2019, most people agree there are at least 3 games that would be extremely shocking if UT lost (Georgia State, Chattanooga, and UAB). Most people are also in agreement that 2 more games (BYU and Vanderbilt) are likely to be a victory for the Vols, bringing them to a total of 5 wins that would be somewhat surprising to see Tennessee lose. In addition games such as Mississippi State, South Carolina, Kentucky, and Missouri are viewed as tossup games, and it would be pretty shocking to see UT go 0-4 against all 4 of those teams. Finally, the 3 huge games against Alabama, Florida, and Georgia are all going to be tough to win, as UT will be the underdog in all 3 of those games. So, if Tennessee goes 0-3 against Alabama, Florida, and Georgia (as most people expect. Beat Georgia State, Chattanooga, BYU, UAB, and Vanderbilt. Then go
2-2 in the 4 toss up games, they’ll finish 7-5, which is exactly what I expect to happen.
In short, Tennessee and Jeremy Pruitt are on the right track, but it will be a while before they’re back in contention for the SEC East. However, in the meantime we can expect a decent 7 or 8 win season and a very refreshing Bowl Game for the first time since 2016.