Tennessee College Football Preview

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Tennessee Vols

College Football

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Schedule and Odds

Tennessee is probably the most-hyped football team in the country this season. Some experts have even projected the Volunteers to be one of the New Year’s Six. That seems like an enormous stretch for a team that went 7-6 last season and 3-5 in their conference. This team has potential, but just because they won against Iowa in a bowl Game doesn’t make them the team to beat.

5 dimes sportsbook lists the Vols at 67 to 1 odds to win the National Championship and 9 to 1 to win the SEC. Keep in mind that this is being written in May and odds can change. Best to check the 5 dimes website for current odds.

The Vols were the youngest team in the nation last season so Butch Jones has a ton of talent to work with, but they have to put it all together first. They dealt with numerous injuries in the spring, most notably on the defensive side. If that remains a problem in the fall, this team won’t win the SEC East.

The offense brings in Mike DeBord as offensive coordinator. DeBord was previously in the NFL with the Seahawks and Bears as a tight ends coach. They hope DeBord will help in the growth of quarterback Joshua Dobbs after Dobbs took over in the second half of last season and had some growing pains. LUckily, he’ll be getting help all around him. Tennessee boasts one of the better receiving corps in the Conference with Pig Howard, Von Pearson, Marquez North and Josh Malone. The first three led the team last season, while Malone was a stud recruit last year and had 23 catches.

Tennessee’s offensive line wasn’t great, giving up 43 sacks a season ago, but with Four starters returning, improvement should be expected. Also returning is running back Jalen Hurd (899 rushing yards), so that’ll give Dobbs even more comfort in the backfield. The pieces are there for the offense, but will Dobbs take the next step?

The defense loses a few players, but still have All-Conference performers in end Derek Barnett and linebacker Curt Maggitt. This unit doesn’t have much depth, which usually is a problem for anyone playing in the SEC. If they can stay healthy this will be a fine unit, and if they build on last season’s success, maybe the SEC East title could be in reach.

The Volunteers get to face Oklahoma early in the season again after falling 34-10 last year. This time they get to host the Sooners, and if they can get a win there, the hype will be real. The rest of their Schedule is passable, but their rivalry Game with Alabama will be played in Tuscaloosa this season. The Vols haven’t beaten the Tide since 2006, and haven’t won at Alabama since 2003. The rest of their road Games can be won, at Florida, Kentucky and Missouri. Games against Georgia and Missouri will be the big ones if Tennessee expects to contend for the East title.

The pieces are there for the Volunteers, although a lot of people are just assuming improvement will happen from some spots. Getting to eight or nine wins is a real possibility, but to reach double-digit wins in regular season play may be asking for too much.

2015 Tennessee Football Schedule

Sept. 5 vs. Bowling Green (LP Field)
Sept 12 vs. Oklahoma
Sept. 19 vs. Western Carolina
Sept. 26 at Florida
Oct. 3 vs. Arkansas
Oct. 10 vs. Georgia
Oct. 24 at Alabama
Oct. 31 at Kentucky
Nov. 7 vs. South Carolina
Nov. 14 vs. North Texas
Nov. 21 at Missouri
Nov. 28 vs. Vanderbilt

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