Has Tennessee’s Power T turned into a little ‘t’?
Jeremy Pruitt talked a lot about Tennessee‘s brand at SEC Media Days on Wednesday. The Power T is a national brand, he emphasized.
Maybe, UT’s new football coach is right. Maybe, after all UT’s struggles for much of the past 10 years, the “T” still means something.
But I’m starting to wonder.
In discussing Tennessee’s status with a couple of sportswriters, both said they were picking the Vols last in the SEC East.
I realize that’s exactly where the Vols finished last season. I also realize they have lost nine consecutive conference games and haven’t played for the SEC championship since 2007.
But despite their recent shortcomings — and a current depth chart full of question marks — I’m still not convinced that the Power T has been reduced to the little “t.”
So, I’m boldly predicting the Vols to finish ahead of Kentucky and Vanderbilt in the SEC East, although Kentucky has a bountiful supply of starters returning from a team that beat UT last season, and Vanderbilt has won four of its past six games against Tennessee.
Here’s how I see the division stacking up:
See ADAMS, Page 3C
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There’s a better chance of the Vols finishing last than the Bulldogs finishing anywhere other than first.
Never mind the talent drain to the NFL. Georgia still has more skilled players than anyone else in the division.
After Ron Zook failed at Florida, no one was waiting in line to offer him another head-coaching job. So how can you explain Will Muschamp getting fired by the Gators and hired by South Carolina?
As surprising as that might have been, the result has been even more surprising. Muschamp has South Carolina headed in the right direction.
New Gators coach Dan Mullen mentioned “championships” often during his time at the podium. Why wouldn’t he? Gators fans don’t want to hear anything else.
But when Florida was actually doing what Mullen was talking about, Georgia wasn’t nearly as formidable as it is today.
If you could see a list of quarterback Drew Lock’s reasons for not going pro early, it probably would include: “Wouldn’t get to play against Tennessee’s defense again.”
Lock expressed disappointment at not scoring more points on UT last season. The Tigers managed just 50.
Pruitt will face a challenging first season.
But at least the Vols seem on board with the new coach.
He points out that only two players transferred after the coaching change. Compared to the attrition under former coach Butch Jones, that’s a good start.
The Wildcats still can hand the ball to star running back Benny Snell, who is so accomplished that he was referring to himself in the third person during SEC Media Days.
My guess is none of Kentucky’s quarterbacks are referring to themselves in the third person.
The Commodores promoted quarterback Kyle Shurmur with a giant billboard in downtown Atlanta.
Tennessee fans could see why. Shurmur has looked bigger than life in the Commodores’ back-to-back victories over the Vols.
John Adams is a senior columnist. He may be reached at 865-342-2684 or email@example.com. Follow him at: Twitter.com/johnadamskns.
Tennessee NCAA college football head coach Jeremy Pruitt speaks during Southeastern Conference Media Days Wednesday in Atlanta. ASSOCIATED PRESS