It’s no secret that the national media as a whole aren’t high on the Vols for the upcoming 2017 season. Writers have claimed everything from Butch Jones being on the hottest seat in the country to picking Kentucky to beat the Vols for only the second time in over three decades.
But there’s at least one national writer, however, who thinks Tennessee could be in for a surprising year.
Chip Patterson of CBS Sports gave his predictions on every SEC team’s over/under win total for the 2017 season, and his prediction for the Vols is much more positive than the consensus among other national sports analysts.
Patterson picked the “over” for the Vols’ line of 7.5 wins, and he seemed fairly confident that Tennessee could put together a better than expected season this year. Here’s what Patterson had to say about the Vols’ 2017 season:
“It wasn’t until I saw the conference title odds for Tennessee that I started to consider the universe serving up SEC fans with an unexpected twist: turning the “Champions of Life” jokes around as the Vols put together their most successful season under Butch Jones. But consider that while Josh Dobbs, Cameron Sutton and Jaylen Reeves-Maybin are all gone, there is still much of the core of two strong recruiting classes and a ton of them have gotten experience thanks to the injuries that have derailed the last two runs at an SEC East crown. I’m not picking the Vols to win the division, but if they do, it will be a much-needed win for Jones.”
As Patterson states, he isn’t picking the Vols to win the SEC East, but he does appear higher on their odds than many other national analysts are. Patterson even believes this could be the most successful season Tennessee has had under Jones.
Patterson also picked the “over” for Florida’s line of eight wins, and he picked “push” for Georgia’s line of nine wins.
The Vols were the media darlings of last offseason with many picking them to win the SEC East and return to Atlanta for the first time since 2007. Now Georgia is the team being hyped up this offseason, and Tennessee has been relegated to third and sometimes fourth fiddle in the division.
One writer, however, seems to think it’s fairly possible the Vols can surprise people and make 2017 a better year than expected. Vol fans hope he’s right.