ESPN Says Tennessee Could Win the SEC East in 2020
The year was 2007. Apple had just released the very first iPhone, the Mitchell report just exposed hundreds of MLB players for steroid usage, the Wii gaming system was all the rage, and Tennessee was crowned SEC East champs.
In the 12 seasons since Tennessee won its last division title, Georgia has won 5, Florida has won 4 and even Missouri has snuck in 2. So, does Tennessee have a shot in 2020 to reach the big game in Atlanta for the first time since Rihanna's "Umbrella" was No.1 on the Billboard charts?
ESPN's David Hale seems to think it's at least a possibility. In this week's "Bowl Game Overreactions" article over on ESPN.com, Hale said that Tennessee can win the SEC East and cited the late-season momentum that the Volunteers had as the potential reasoning.
After a rough (2-5) start to the season, Tennessee rolled off 6 straight wins. However, none of those contests were against ranked opponents, but the momentum alone is cause for optimism headed into next season according to Hale.
Hale did mention that you should pump the breaks on the hopefulness within regards to 2020 if you are a Volunteer fan due to the fact that both Florida and Georgia have dominated Tennessee over the last two decades.
Florida has won 14 out of the last 15 matchups, and UT has beaten Georgia just 6 times in the last 20 years. It goes without saying that if UT does have hope of winning the division, they are going to have to get over the big brothers still hanging around.
I don't think Tennessee will open the 2020 season with a (1-2) start with two losses to the likes of Georgia State and BYU, but I also don't exactly think they are on the same level as Georgia or UGA. They haven't recruited at a Top-10 level since 2014, and they haven't had a 10 win season since 2007.
Though, if they don't lose to BYU and GSU, two games they were heavily favored in, then they would have accomplished that double-digit win total last season. So, maybe there is a reason for hope in Knoxville. Only time will truly tell.
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