ESPN’s Football Power Index is one metric that actually likes the Tennessee Volunteers quite a bit heading into the 2019 season. Citing returning production, the popular ESPN tool spit out a ranking of 15th for the Vols, despite Tennessee’s 5-7 record in 2018.
So if the Vols are ranked 15th, just how many games does FPI have them winning? According to new projections, Tennessee is favored in nine games this season.
Here are Tennessee’s chances to win each game on their 2019 slate.
- Georgia State: 97%
- BYU: 81%
- Chattanooga: 99%
- Florida: 31%
- Georgia: 33.4%
- Mississippi State: 55.4%
- Alabama: 11.6%
- South Carolina: 63%
- UAB: 94.6%
- Kentucky: 61.4%
- Missouri: 50.4%
- Vanderbilt: 82.5%
FPI projects a 7.6-4.5 record for Tennessee. The metric gives the Vols a two percent chance at winning the SEC title.
Again, the reason for the love from FPI comes from returning production. Tennessee returns just about everyone on offense, while adding two five-star tackles into the offensive line equation. A trio of upperclassmen at receiver in a new offense with now junior quarterback Jarrett Guarantano should be able to take a step or two forward.
Additionally, Tennessee’s young secondary returns a year wiser. Cornerbacks Bryce Thompson and Alontae Taylor now have a full season under their belts after being thrown into the fire in 2018. The linebackers look solid, especially with the additions of Quavaris Crouch and Henry To’oto’o. The only question defensively is on the line, which saw three starters graduate after last year.
Tennessee is primed to take a step forward, but are they the 15th best team in the country? That’s a tough sell, but a projected 7-5 record does seem fair heading into the fall.