Another outlet, another top 25 ranking for Tennessee. The Vols just were just barely able to sneak into the first top 25 poll from Sporting News, checking in at the 25th position. This is a small decline from Athlon Sports, who placed the Vols 19th. I don’t have any problem with this number from Bill Bender.
That’s a pretty accurate assessment. Tennessee not only has to replace Josh Dobbs the quarterback, but they have to replace Josh Dobbs the runner. Neither Quinten Dormady or Jarrett Guarantano is going to be able to do that. That means leaning on John Kelly that much more. It also means that the offensive line is going to have to carry this offense. It’s time for them to step up and shine.
I still think the defense will be the main issue. There’s uncertainly up front with Shy Tuttle and Kahlil McKenzie. They’ll have to find a new go-to pass rusher. Linebacker is pretty thin as well and the secondary issues have been well documented. Hopefully Shaq Wiggins can fix some of that.
All this to say, I think the 25th ranking is fair. That’s around the area that I would have them slotted. We are going to figure out who the Vols are with early tests against Georgia Tech and at Florida. Let’s hope the defense has taken a step forward from last year and can stay healthy this time around.