No. 5: Tennessee Volunteers
The Tennessee Volunteers are a work in progress, but they’ve been that way for most of the past decade. Tennessee football fans are likely tired of being a work in progress, which would explain why they’ve moved on to another new head coach.
After parting ways with Jeremy Pruitt, the Vols will now be led by Josh Heupel. While Pruitt was defensive minded, Heupel steps in with a respectable pedigree of orchestrating and designing explosive offenses, something Tennessee could definitely benefit from.
Last season, the Vols managed to score just 21.5 points per game, which is good for 109th in the country. In 2019, Tennessee scored 24.2 points per game, which was 98th nationally. In 2018, which was Pruitt’s first season in Knoxville, Tennessee scored 22.8 points per game, which is back at 109th nationally.
This team’s offense has been dreadful. We’ll see what Heupel can do with that during his first season.
ESPN’s FPI has the Vols ranked at No. 55 going into 2021, which is actually a decent ranking, all things considered. Meanwhile, Connelly’s SP+ preseason rankings put Tennessee at No. 49, which is even better. We’ll see where the Vols end the year, but those aren’t bad rankings for a first year head coach to inherit.