Tennessee may be among the youngest teams in the nation in 2015, according to Butch Jones, but the Vols will also be the most experienced in the conference when it comes to returning starts from the 2014 season, according to figures put out by RTI friend Dave Bartoo at CFBMatrix.com on Friday afternoon.
Tennessee comes in second in the SEC, behind Vanderbilt, in total returning starters (18), which Bartoo defines as a player who started over half the team’s games last year.
But when he looks at total returning starts from 2014 – which Tennessee gets a bump in over teams like Vanderbilt and Kentucky because the Vols played in a bowl game, then Tennessee comes out in this measurement as returning the most experience from 2014 in 2015. Tennessee has 240 total starts returning, topping Vandy (236), Kentucky (215), Ole Miss and Arkansas (tied at 207).
Of course these figures can change over the course of the offseason if injuries or attrition set in, and certainly returning starters or starts doesn’t guarantee success. But at the very least, it’s another reason that Tennessee fans can be cautiously optimistic that the Vols are set to heading into the 2015 season.
Be sure to check out this article and more at Bartoo’s website, CFBMatrix.com.