If you haven’t heard by now, Barrett Sallee is now writing for CBS Sports, which is a win for everyone involved. In his first piece for CBS, Sallee took a look at past predictions from SEC Media Days and how each team has fared against those predictions. The study illustrated some trends with South Carolina, LSU and Georgia checking in as the most consistently overrated teams.
Tennessee checks in in the “pretty close” column at -2 overall. That means Tennessee has been slightly overrated since 2012, finishing an average of -0.4 spots worse than the media projected them to finish in the SEC East.
Here’s what Sallee said about the Vols.
Tennessee (-2): Tennessee's second-place finish last year was a slight disappointment on paper for the preseason favorites, but the Vols haven't been as volatile as one might expect. They haven't chimed in more than one spot higher or lower than their predicted finish since the division split.
Tennessee has gotten the overrated label for the past two seasons. They were the trendy pick to win the east and capitalize on Florida and Georgia being down, but had no such luck. Hence the overrated tag.
However, as Sallee notes — Tennessee has performed as expected, at least in the media’s eyes. The big event next week at SEC Media Days will be the picks to win the conference. It’s going to be interesting to see where Tennessee lands. I’d be shocked if they land any higher than 3rd in the SEC East.
Could Tennessee land lower than 3rd? The SEC SIDs picked the Vols 4th in the East last month. They actually tied with South Carolina for that spot. Kentucky was the surprise here in 3rd. Don’t be surprised if it happens again next week.
Of course, none of this matters. But it’s still fun to see where the media views the program. It’ll be at the very least bulletin board material for camp.