Advertise with usContact UsRTI Team

College Gameday Personality Picks Tennessee As Dark Horse To Win SEC

Jaylen McCollough
Tennessee safety Jaylen McCollough. Photo By Andrew Ferguson/Tennessee Athletics.

Tennessee’s breakout 2022 season brought the Vols back to college football relevancy. That caused more eyes to fixate on the Volunteers’ program which in turn led to more respect and admiration for Tennessee’s atmosphere and traditions.

One personality that learned that first hand was ESPN College Gameday’s Pat McAfee. The former Indianapolis punter was West Virginia’s kicker and punter about the last time Tennessee was relevant (2005-08), but in his first year with ESPN’s College Gameday he got a great look at what Tennessee football can be when its good.

And while some are down on Tennessee entering the season after the departures of Hendon Hooker, Jalin Hyatt, Darnell Wright and more, McAfee is not.

On the College Gameday season preview, McAfee picked Tennessee as his dark horse to win the SEC.

“It kind of feels like a cop out because they’re the 12th ranked team in the country but I like Tennessee,” McAfee said. “It’s another year with Heupel and the system. And obviusly Joe (Milton III) is going to have to do a good job at quarterback but they’re +1500 to win the SEC so it is a long shot, it is a dark horse.”

Tennessee’s over/under win total is 9 entering the season and the Vols have the fourth best odds to win the SEC though Georgia, Alabama and LSU all have better odds to win.

TN SportsbookBonus OfferBonus Link
BetMGMBet $5, Get $158 in bonus betsClaim Bonus — Use Code ROCKYBET
FanDuelBet $5, Get $150 in Bonus Bets GuaranteedClaim Bonus
Caesars Sportsbook Get a first bet on Caesars of up to $1,000Claim Bonus — Use Code STARTGET

The Vols have questions with new quarterback Joe Milton III and a shaky offensive line. However, Tennessee has plenty working for it this season. Heupel’s team boats one of the SEC’s best running back corps and a number of reliable receivers.

More From RTI: Former Tennessee Linebacker Lands With Deion Sanders And Colorado

There’s also reasons to think Tennessee’s defense should improve for a second straight season.

McAfee is betting on that and maybe his fondness towards Tennessee also contributes to his optimism.

“What we did with them last year, that magical run was beautiful,” McAfee said. “Made me fall in love with Rocky Top. I think Tennessee is a dark horse.”

While in Knoxville with College Gameday, McAfee jumped in the Tennessee River and led the Pride of the Southland marching band with his former Colt teammate Peyton Manning. He also witnessed an electric Neyland Stadium in rivalry wins over Alabama and Florida.

Maybe McAfee and College Football will make it back to Knoxville for College Gameday again this season. The Georgia and Texas A&M games are the most likely.

Similar Articles


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Tweet Us