Tennessee football is expected to take the next step forward this fall, and Barrett Sallee thinks the Vols do that by beating Florida.
Many Tennessee football fans are expecting Tennessee to take the next step forward to getting back to dominance this fall. If that doesn’t happen, disappointment and doubt will set in. But what does Tennessee have to do to take the next step forward?
Tennessee’s schedule also doesn’t give the Vols a great opportunity to take the next step forward that a lot of elite programs take and go 10-2. Oklahoma, Florida, Georgia, and Alabama all sit on Tennessee’s schedule.
Just by looking at where all of those teams finished last year and where Tennessee finished last year, that looks like four losses already, so the Vols don’t have much wiggle room outside of those four games.
I would say an 8-4 record is the worst record Tennessee can have in 2020 to keep moving forward and continue to gain momentum and continue to take that next step forward. But CBS Sports contributor Barrett Sallee thinks that the Vols can one-up an 8-4 record.
Sallee has the Vols winning every game that I didn’t list above, giving the Vols eight wins along with a win against rival Florida to give Tennessee nine total wins for the 2020 season.
"Wins: Charlotte, Furman, Florida, Missouri, at South Carolina, at Arkansas, Kentucky, Troy, at VanderbiltLosses: at Oklahoma, Alabama, at GeorgiaAnalysis: The Volunteers should be stout along the offensive line, have firepower in the backfield and a defense that has taken on the mentality of coach Jeremy Pruitt. The quarterback position might not be completely set, but Jarrett Guarantano at least provides some experience unless the potential of another contender is enough to unseat him. They draw Arkansas as their rotating cross-division opponent and have a tuneup vs. Furman prior to the home game vs. Florida on Sept. 26. It sets up well for a team that’s clearly on the rise after reeling off six straight wins to end last season."
Sallee has also placed Tennessee third in the SEC East behind Georgia (10-2, 6-2 SEC) and Florida (11-1, 7-1 SEC), which means that he’s predicting Tennessee to be the only thing that gets in the way of a perfect regular season for Florida and maybe a spot in the College Football Playoff.
I think the Vols can go 9-3 in 2020, but my prediction would have been a win against either Oklahoma or Georgia, but I wouldn’t be upset if the SEC East plays out how Sallee predicted.
Jeremy Pruitt is building something special at Tennessee. Right now, it’s on the recruiting trail, and he has the opportunity this fall to prove that he’s the real deal on the field.