Tennessee can best be described as a fringe top 25 team entering the 2020 season. But one publication believes they’re a little bit more than that as we enter the summer months. Pro Football Focus placed Tennessee as their No. 19 team in their own top 25 power rankings last week.
As everyone else knows, Tennessee’s progress will be determined by the play of the quarterback. Pro Football Focus agrees. They point to Jarrett Guarantano’s win share — think about baseball’s WAR stat — as something that must improve.
19. Tennessee (+5000)
Jarrett Guarantano (0.07 win shares in 2019) returns. Will he finally hit on the promise he has shown at times during his career and propel Tennessee forward in 2020?
Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence is listed with a 1.4 win share, for reference.
Tennessee’s strength will be up front on the offensive line as they return all five starters. They’ll also add former five-star transfer Cade Mays from Georgia, who will seek a waiver for immediate eligibility. Breakout running back Eric Gray will look to build off of his strong finish to 2019, running behind one of the best offensive fronts in the country.
The Vols don’t need Guarantano to light the world on fire, but they do need more consistency from the redshirt senior, assuming he holds onto the starting job.
Clemson captured the top spot, followed by Ohio State and Alabama. Defending champion LSU came in at 4th, while Georgia checked in at 5th. Tennessee opponents Florida and Oklahoma were next, coming in at 6th and 7th respectively.
SEC members Auburn (10), Texas A&M (14), Kentucky (20) and Mississippi State (25) also were featured in the top 25.