KNOXVILLE, TN - OCTOBER 06: A general view of the Tennessee Volunteers taking the field before the start of their game against the Georgia Bulldogs at Neyland Stadium on October 6, 2007 in Knoxville, Tennessee. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

Athlon Sports laughably puts Tennessee on upset alert early in season


Tennessee is expected to win the SEC East this season and that means the Vols will need more than nine wins this season. They are hoping to get the season started off right with an easy game against Appalachian State and then the widely anticipated "Battle at Bristol" game against Virginia Tech.

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However, Athlon Sports is convinced that Tennessee actually has a chance of losing both of those games despite the dominance along the defensive line and improved offense. Athlon says that the Vols are likely to overlook Appalachian State in anticipation of the Virginia Tech game the next week and that the Mountaineers are an underrated Group of Five team.

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Athlon believes Tennessee could lose the game against Virginia Tech because of a veteran offensive that could contain Derek Barnett and the other linemen --- which doesn't seem possible at this point in time --- and the spotlight shining so brightly on the Vols for the first time in a long time. The Hokies are also playing with house money under first-year coach Justin Fuente and are expected to have a better offense this year.

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I highly doubt that Butch Jones will let his players get ahead of himself after all of his brick by brick and game by game talk that inevitably makes it to press conferences every year. This team will need to be ready for the hype though and the expectations placed on it if it wants to be successful and fulfill the fans' dreams of an SEC Championship appearance.



[h/t Saturday Down South]