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Where Tennessee Football Lands in Spring Power Rankings

On3 Sports released their official Spring 2022 SEC Power Rankings earlier this week and the Tennessee Volunteers are on the right side of the halfway mark.

There are exactly 149 days until the Volunteers open up the 2022 schedule against Ball State in Neyland Stadium. The Vols will be entering the second year of the Heupel era with significant momentum built up throughout the offseason and in year one.

However, there are a lot of days to go until that date, and a lot of work to be done. With each team going through spring camp around this time, On3 Sports has taken the time to power rank the SEC teams heading into the summer. Jesse Simonton’s power rankings for On3 Sports are as follows:

  1. Alabama
  2. Georgia
  3. Texas A&M
  4. Arkansas
  5. Tennessee
  6. Kentucky
  7. Mississippi State
  8. LSU
  9. Ole Miss
  10. Florida
  11. South Carolina
  12. Auburn
  13. Missouri
  14. Vanderbilt
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Tennessee Football Power Rankings
SEC Football Spring Power Rankings. Photo via On3 Sports on Twitter.

There are a couple of notable picks here from On3. For starters, plummeting Ole Miss all the way down to the ninth spot seems like a drastic drop. The Rebels have lost quarterback Matt Corral from the team, but still return an exciting offense under Lane Kiffin, who led the team to 10-3 last season.

The SEC West is likely going to step up after a relatively disappointing season from some of the teams. On3 is very high on Texas A&M, jumping them up to third in the conference, after an 8-4 season last year. Arkansas’ Sam Pittman has the Razorbacks program rolling but will need some more marquee wins this year to cement that Top 4 SEC spot.

Notably, Tennessee is projected as the runner-up in the SEC behind Georgia. As I spoke about last week for RTI, the SEC East (behind Georgia) is wide open. Florida is rebuilding and starting from scratch with new head coach Billy Napier, while Tennessee is 1-0 against Kentucky with Josh Heupel at the helm. Tennessee will get both Florida and Kentucky at home this year, which is a huge advantage when projecting the eastern standings down the road.

Interestingly enough, Simonton isn’t too high on South Carolina, even with Shane Beamer winning the co-First Year Coach of the Year award along with Josh Heupel. Considering Tennessee was able to put on a dominant showing against the Gamecocks in Knoxville last season, South Carolina shouldn’t be too much of a concern as long as Tennessee can handle its business.

With the visual graphic to look at, it’s also interesting to try to nail down how many games Tennessee could be favored in this year. Will the Vols be favored on the road against LSU? Will Tennessee be favored against Florida in Knoxville after losing 16 of the last 17 contests? Only time will tell.

Even though Georgia did wind up winning the National Championship over Alabama last season, the Tide took down the Bulldogs in the SEC Championship game.

The SEC standings in 2021 ended as follows:

SEC East

  1. Georgia (14-1)
  2. Kentucky (10-3)
  3. Tennessee (7-6)
  4. Missouri (6-7)
  5. South Carolina (7-6)
  6. Florida (6-7)
  7. Vanderbilt (2-10)

SEC West

  1. Alabama (13-2)
  2. Ole Miss (10-3)
  3. Arkansas (9-4)
  4. Mississippi State (7-6)
  5. Texas A&M (8-4)
  6. Auburn (6-7)
  7. LSU (6-7)

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