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Tennessee ranked in way too early top 25 poll for 2022 season

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NCAA Football: Music City Bowl-Purdue at Tennessee Steve Roberts-USA TODAY Sports

Despite the sour finish in the Music City Bowl, Tennessee still has plenty of momentum going heading into the 2022 season. Josh Heupel enters year two after a ridiculously successful flip of the Tennessee offense in year one, and he returns his starting senior quarterback, top receiver, along with four starters up front on the offensive line.

With the current state of the SEC East, Tennessee should be a popular pick to rise into that No. 2 slot behind Georgia. They also should start the season with a number beside their name for the first time in a while.

Brett McMurphy of Action has Tennessee inside of his way-too-early top 25 for the 2022 season. The Volunteers checked in at No. 17 in his poll.

Tennessee will take a road trip to return the favor against Pittsburgh, who will be replacing Kenny Pickett next season. Pickett tore up Tennessee in 2021 on his way to becoming one of the top prospects in this year’s NFL Draft.

The Vols catch a suddenly rebuilding Florida team at home, and will also get Alabama and Kentucky in Knoxville. Tennessee draws LSU out of the west, which will also be rebuilding under new head coach Brian Kelly. A road trip to Georgia in early November will hopefully mean something.

Alabama and Georgia captured the top two spots in this particular poll, followed by Texas A&M at No. 4. Arkansas was the next SEC team to check in, ranked 15th. LSU followed Tennessee at No. 18, while Kentucky snuck in at No. 23.

Expectations are officially here for Josh Heupel — how will his program respond?