There’s a fine line between experience and history.

And that’s what Tennessee finds itself straddling as it goes into this season.

Tennessee: The Vols might be really good this season. They might win the SEC East. These things definitely fall within the realm of possibility. It’s just, this is the same Tennessee team that hasn’t beaten Florida since 2004 and hasn’t won against Georgia in Athens since 2006. It’s also 3-13 against ranked teams under Butch Jones, so while I see the potential, I’m still approaching with caution.  [Emphasis added.]

I’ve been thinking about my annual preseason SEC projection post for the past couple of days.  I think I may be less certain about which team wins the East than I’ve ever been before.  Hell, I can’t even figure out whether that’s because some team legitimately scores a breakthrough to become a powerhouse, or simply because one program muddles through 2016 a little better than everyone else.

26 Comments

Filed under Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange

26 responses to “There’s a fine line between experience and history.

  1. 92 grad

    Haha. If I had to predict the east with the understanding that people would expect me to be right about it? No way.

    TN has it on paper thanks to their roster alone. The gut check is on the coaching in my mind, looking forward to your take.

    Then coming up with the runner up? I read somewhere that everyone in the east (GA, TN, UF) are likely to be 5-3. (4-2 east and 1-1 cross division).

  2. Tenn has no business losing the East. They’re clearly the best team when you look at talent and experience. But as Georgia fans we all know what it means to be the most talented and experienced only to face plant.

  3. Gravidy

    I think the East champ this season will be much better described as the “best muddler” than a “breakthrough powerhouse”. But either way, I can’t wait to find out. August is always the longest month of the year, but it is almost over. Hallelujah.

  4. dawgfandanno

    Not mentioned is their nine game losing streak to Bama. I’ll believe the Vols are legit when/if they remove the Gator/Tide monkeys from their back.

  5. One loses every time complacency follows entitlement.

  6. Russ

    If Tennessee is going to win the east, it had better be this year because I think we’re about to go on a run.

  7. Dave

    As already mentioned, Georgia fans know what it’s like all too well to have talent and experience returning.

    That being said, I literally (though, not literally) get a headache when people talk about what you’ve got returning from a team that was slightly above average, as UT was.

    Georgia was relatively average against the run last year statistically, and even worse in certain games. In those cases, give me some unknowns vs. returning starters.

    I understand why they do it, but it’s been disproved as a viable philosophy as much or more as it’s been validated. If you have a very good/great team one year, and are returning the majority of your key components, then I can definitely see it. But, don’t just automatically hand it to a mid-grade UT team just because they have people returning.

    Glad the writer looks at other factors.

    • SouthernYank

      Your take on UT last year is laughable. They were fare better than your assessment. Look at who they played.

      • Will (The Other One)

        Yes, what were their big signature wins last season? Because all I see is beating a UGA team that lost Chubb for the season, then fired their coach, and a very, very lucky Northwestern team. But, fresh off a bye week, playing a Bama team playing its 8th game in a row, they “almost won” so they’re clearly the best in the east. Right.

  8. SouthernYank

    Their whole overrated assessment is based on this UT team being the same team as before. But it isn’t the same UT team. It’s a different team than all those teams since ’04. As are all the other SEC teams, different.

    UT is going to destroy UF. UF won with mirrors last year WITH GRIER. He’s gone. Del Rio is not nearly as good as Grier and UF lost more than just Grier on offense. Their defense will be good, but it will not be as good as last year. And what people keep forgetting is UT’s D and the addition of Shoop. UF could hardly score on UT’s D last year, and UT’s D has almost everyone back and better depth. AND SHOOP.

    UF is going to lose to UT, LSU, UGA and FSU, and likely 1 or 2 others. Last year was aberration.

    I think UT’s most likely loss is UGA. The talk of them losing to A&M is nonsense. Bama is of course a possibility, but it’s at UT. I think they go through the regular season with 1 or 2 losses. The UGA game is the key.

    • I wholeheartedly agree with you about Shoop. I think he was the best offseason hire in the entire conference.

      • SouthernYank

        And that’s huge for them. Because they’re going to run the ball on O and eat up clock.

        • Will (The Other One)

          But as DeBord is still OC, they will try and run the ball, eat clock, and sit on even a 14 point lead early (which, incidentally, is what helped lose the Florida game for them.)

      • Otto

        I’m not as down on UF as ya’ll are but I think this is the year UT finally beats Florida which I am pulling for. A Gator loss almost always makes me smile, and it sets up nice for UGA getting UT in a let down game.

  9. GATA 72

    vandy or uk. yes, I will get the last laugh in nov boys

  10. Mike

    I will believe Bootch can get over the Florida hump when he actually does so. Same with him beating UGA.

    I think your “muddle” comment is going the be the way the East goes this year, Senator.

  11. TMC DAWG

    I think there are flaws in this team that will become more apparent this year. I just do not think Booch can Handel the expectation

  12. 69Dawg

    The UT QB scares the heck out of me. Alabama’s D had their worst games against QB’s that could run. I hope Kirby has found a way to cure that or we will be chasing that dude all day.