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.