TSN picks Vols to go 8-3

The folks at The Sporting News think Tennessee's football team will suffer some early-season growing pains this fall.

TSN's SEC Football issue (available now at $6.99 per copy) projects the Vols to lose three of their first five games -- Sept. 18 vs. Florida, Oct. 2 vs. Auburn and Oct. 9 at Georgia -- then win their six remaining games to finish 8-3 overall and 5-3 in Southeastern Conference play.

The article on Tennessee, written by Mike Strange of The Knoxville News-Sentinel, noted that the Vol offense ''has changed little since 1982, when Al Saunders joined Johnny Majors' staff.'' Strange then referred to offensive coordinator Randy Sanders as ''a lightning rod for critics who believe the system is stale and needs an infusion of outside ideas.''

Under the heading ''Bottom Line,'' this is what TSN has to say about the upcoming Vol season:

''The development of a rookie quarterback overshadows all else. Directly related is Tennessee's urgent need to restore the running game after several years in the weeds. If the Vols again spin their wheels on the ground, the offense will be in a world of hurt against big-time defenses like Florida, Georgia and Auburn. In any case, this won't be a high-scoring Tennessee team, and Chavis' defense will be under pressure to keep folks out of the end zone.

''The schedule is formidable but brings most of the toughest opponents to Neyland Stadium. The Vols shouldn't feel bad about an 8-3 season.''

Inside Tennessee Top Stories