After last year’s surprising 11-2 record, the expectations for the Tennessee Volunteers are sky-high.
Some think too high.
A lot of fans and college football experts think that the Vols could compete for the national championship if they can get by rival Georgia in the SEC East.
But that’s a tall order. And unlike last year, the Vols also have to face Alabama in Tuscaloosa. That’s one of the reasons why ESPN’s Greg McElroy thinks that the expectations are just a bit too much for the Vols this year.
“When you look at Tennessee, some of the hype right now surrounding Tennessee is getting a little out of control,” said McElroy. “Some are saying ‘Hey man, 10-2 at the very worst. 11-1 possible.’ Now, I understand you beat Alabama last year, I understand last year you had a really good performance against Florida… So much to be proud of for what was accomplished last year. First 11-win season in 2 decades, the highest AP ranking in 2 decades, all these things need to be taken into account.”
Another thing to take into account is how bad the Tennessee defense was last year. While their offense was one of the best in the country, their defense gave up a lot of points and big plays.
McElroy also pointed out how both Georgia and Alabama won’t be caught off guard by the Vols as they were last year.
“I think Tennessee, given the fact that the expectations are so insanely high this year, that’s where I’m a little bit concerned,” McElroy explained. “You know Bama’s been studying them all offseason, you know Georgia continues to study them because right now they are the second-best team in the SEC East… and they are the biggest threat to what Georgia’s doing. There are some other difficult games on the schedule as well for Tennessee.”
One of the biggest questions coming into the college football season is can the Vols repeat last year’s performance?