Steele Projects Vols in Top 10 in 2016

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    College football pundit Phil Steele has a strong track record of projecting who will be in the AP Top 10 in the next year. Steele says he’s been perfect the last two years and 66 of the last 70 over the last seven years.

    That’s good news for Tennessee fans for 2016. Steele has projected the Vols at No. 10 in his updated projections. Here’s what he had to say about the Vols:

    “After starting 3-4, Tennessee won its final six to finish 9-4 and finish No. 22 in the end-of-season poll. That hardly sounds like a preseason top 10-caliber team — until you examine the four losses. The Vols dominated Oklahoma for three quarters, but blew a 17-3 fourth quarter lead and lost in overtime to a team that made the College Football Playoff. They led Florida 27-14 in the fourth quarter, but lost it late to a Gators team that would reach the SEC title game.

    “They lost by four points to Arkansas, and then on the road they only lost to eventual national champion Alabama by five, being out-first-downed 23-21. Tennessee played a lot of freshmen the past few years, but will have to stop using the “we’re young” label as it is now a veteran group with 17 returning starters, including senior quarterback Joshua Dobbs and junior running back Jalen Hurd. The Vols will be the clear-cut favorite to win the SEC East and if the road to the title game is smooth, a win there could put them in the playoffs.”