Where Tennessee Stands In Way-Too-Early Top 25s

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    What Does Alabama Have to Do to Bounce Back from Loss?

    The 2021 college football season came to a close last night as Georgia knocked off Alabama in the National Championship game.

    With the season in the rearview, outlets have turned their attention to the 2022 season, releasing their way to early top 25 rankings.

    After a strong inaugural season for Josh Heupel and quarterback Hendon Hooker returning for his super senior season, the Vols made the cut in a handful of early rankings.

    ESPNNot Ranked

    247sports — No. 24

    SEC Rank: Sixth of six

    What they said about Tennessee: “Hendon Hooker’s return under center means Josh Heupel brings back his conductor offensively for a team that should challenge for an upper-tier finish in the SEC East.”

    CBS Sports — No. 15

    SEC Rank: Sixth of seven

    What they said about Tennessee: “Josh Heupel assimilated quickly at UT. Seven wins looked like a bright light at the end of a tunnel. Hendon Hooker has Heisman hopes and a rocket arm that produced 31 touchdown passes.”

    Sports Illustrated — No. 16

    SEC Rank: Fifth of six

    What they said about Tennessee: “Josh Heupel hit the ground running, recording a winning season in his first year on the job and rejuvenating a downtrodden fan base … A defense that allowed 29 points per game needs to make strides in 2022.”

    Yahoo! — NR

    Action Network — No. 17

    SEC Rank: Fifth of seven

    What they said about Tennessee: N/A

    The Athletic — No. 13

    SEC Rank: Fourth of six

    What they said about Tennessee: “Standout QB Hendon Hooker put off the NFL to lead Josh Heupel’s explosive offense for another season. He’ll be joined by top WR Cedric Tillman and top RB Jabari Small. Wyoming transfer Isaiah Neyor (44 catches, 878 yards, 12 TDs) joins what should be a deep receiver group.”

    Ryan Schumpert is a senior at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville who has covered University of Tennessee athletics since the moment he stepped on campus. He just completed a three-year stint with the Daily Beacon, the last two of which as the Sports Editor. Ryan also spent last three years at Volquest providing strong Tennessee baseball coverage of Tony Vitello's resurgent program. While the bulk of Ryan's responsibilities involved beat coverage and writing, he also recorded podcasts for both the Beacon and Volquest. Did we leave out the part about Ryan interning for the Smokies? Ryan's work ethic, versatility, and strong writing skills are but three of the reasons why Vol Nation will be hearing from Ryan for years to come.