A week from now, the college football season will officially be underway and Vol Nation will be waiting with bated breath for the kickoff to Tennessee’s season, a primetime Sunday night matchup against Utah State which will be broadcast to some 91 million households on the SEC Network. Exciting, right? Absolutely. In fact, this year UT fans are as excited they’ve been in quite sometime. What’s more, there’s greater reason for that excitement than there’s been in quite sometime.
Yes, the same could be said about last year. And the year before. And the year before that. And every other year since the end of the Fulmer era, for that matter. The only difference is that this time it’s really true.
But why? Why does this year hold more hope and promise for the Tennessee Volunteers than any year since the Fulmer era? The answer doesn’t lie in the projected on-the-field results, as most project the Vols to have the exact same type of season they’ve had since Fulmer’s departure — a regular-season record of somewhere between 5-7 and 7-5. (Well, some are more optimistic, but I digress.)
So what is it about Team 118 that warrants such excitement? Several things. Here are seven of them.