2021 Tennessee Volunteers Football Predictions: Season Win Total Picks
2020 Record: 3-7
2021 Las Vegas Season Win Total: 6.0
2021 Season Win Total Picks NCAA Football: ‘Under’
Josh Heupel is in. All the Volunteer players are out.
The Jeremy Pruitt debacle came to its merciful conclusion after another losing season in Knoxville. Tennessee football continues to be an SEC punch line and has endured three losing seasons in the last four years. Heupel, who led Central Florida to a 28-8 mark over the past three seasons, has been brought in to pick up the pieces.
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The new regime will be working with an empty cupboard of talent after a mass player exodus this offseason. Transfers hit Tennessee hard, and they return one of the least experienced teams in the league this year. The Volunteers have just three returning starters on offense to go with six starters back on defense.
Points shouldn’t be a problem in Volunteer games this fall. Heupel’s offenses are known for their quick tempo and lightning strike capabilities. Defensively, the Vols will be shifting to a 4-2-5 formation. And while they have some experience in the secondary, my feeling is that the scheme change – and the weak defensive line – is going to cause some big-time problems for them.
Heupel is going to have plenty of chances to show the Tennessee faithful what they are in for. The Volunteers open with three straight home games, and they are in Knoxville five of the first seven weeks of the season. They also close with three straight home games, meaning that eight of their 12 games this year will be played in their home stadium.
The Volunteers should be able to earn easy wins over Bowling Green, Tennessee Tech and South Alabama. They also host Pittsburgh, South Carolina and Vanderbilt, all of which should be competitive games. However, they would have to win all six of those games AND still pull off another upset to get past this number.
Here we have new players learning new schemes from a new coaching staff. In the SEC. That is not a recipe for success. I know that Tennessee has a cushy schedule. All that’s going to do is ease the breaking in period for Heupel. This is still a bad football team, though, and I don’t see any scenario where they clear this bar and get to seven wins. This is one of the easiest bets you could make this year: take the ‘under’.
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