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Report Card: Tennessee’s 2014 Season

Georgia Game-1


Daniel: I pegged this team at 5-7 before the season and this squad surpassed my expectations. It wasn’t always pretty and there were a few performances, such as the Florida game, that were still disappointing despite the positive overall work of the team. But credit this group. The veterans who have been through so much did a good job of blending with the talented young players to form a team that improved in almost every area in 2014. It wasn’t just the bump in wins, but also the way the team was so much more competitive against virtually every opponent. There’s still work to do, but you can see the gap shrinking between the Vols and others currently ahead of them in the SEC. I don’t know what the future will hold, but if Tennessee continues to head in the direction it looks like it is, this could be the team that people really look back at and say that it got it going in the right direction. Grade: A-

Houston: I predicted a 7-5 regular season for the Vols, and if not for the suspensions ahead of the Missouri game they may have been able to achieve it. Earning the seventh win against Iowa was huge for this team. It gave them a winning record, a post-season victory and sends them into the offseason with as much momentum as I can remember. While the losses to Georgia and Florida sting the most, the closing gap between Tennessee and its division rivals is clear to see. Heading into year two, folks wanted to see three things: marked improvement, a bowl berth and continued recruiting success. Tennessee fans got all of these things and more in 2014, and 2015 started with a bang after the TaxSlayer Bowl victory and the addition of three 4-star prospects to the recruiting class. This job was a definite rebuild when Butch Jones and this staff took over, and 2014 showed marked progress in the “process.” For that reason, this year was a huge success. Grade: A

Reed: The Vols met my season expectations on the field with a 7-6 record and probably exceeded them off it. Butch Jones and Company are tearing up the recruiting trail and have clearly energized the Vol fanbase. Fans are flocking back to the program, the talent level of the team is on the rise, the Vols are taking care of business in the classroom and Tennessee is slowly getting its fiscal house in order. While a win over Florida or Georgia would have been nice, the Vols look primed to down one of those teams in 2015 and look to be a contender in the SEC very, very soon. Grade: A-

Average Grade: A-

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