ESPN Analyst Predicts Tennessee Will Be "Right There" With Florida and Georgia
Volunteer Country Staff
Florida and Georgia have consistently been viewed as the front-runners to win the SEC Eastern Division throughout the entire off-season, with most analysts projecting the Vols to finish behind the two elite teams. However, one ESPN Analyst disagrees — predicting that Tennessee could find themselves in contention for the SEC East title against the Gators and Bulldogs.
According to Jordan Rodgers, a former quarterback for Vanderbilt University turned ESPN Analyst, Tennessee will give Georgia and Florida a run for their money throughout the entire 2020 season. “I think this is the year where they are right there with Georgia and Florida,” said Rodgers during an appearance on WJOX Radio. “They are going to have an opportunity — call it an upset if you want — to win over Florida and Georgia. They are gonna be in those football games”
Tennessee has been viewed as a program on the rise since around the half-way point of last season, when the Vols completely turned around their season and ended their 2020 campaign on a 6-game win streak and a TaxSlayer Gator Bowl Championship. Adding a victory against Florida or Georgia to their track record would not only be a major step forward to their pathway back to national prominence, it would also be a monumental deal in terms of recruiting — as the Vols could pitch that they are on an even playing field with the Gators and Dawgs in the SEC East.
Rodgers went on to further explain his rare opinion, stating that he believes the new talent which Tennessee head coach Jeremy Pruitt has brought into the program, in addition to the experience they have racked up, will be extremely beneficial to the Volunteers. “If (Guarantano) does play within that blueprint (with) the talent that Pruitt has added to this roster, and the experience they have, they’re gonna be there,” added Rogers. “They could be a team that could get Georgia to slip up, get Florida to slip up.”
The bold prediction comes at a time of uncertainty for all teams throughout the SEC, as the conference is reportedly closing in on announcing an SEC-only schedule as a modification to the season due to the Coronavirus Pandemic. If the conference goes through with the change, then the Vols season-opener will come against Florida in Neyland Stadium, with their match-up against Georgia in Athens coming later in the year — as their 2nd to last game of the schedule. With the season looming on the horizon, the conference is expected to make a definitive announcement in their near future, but until then, all fans of the SEC can do is speculate.