Tennessee Ranked No. 13 in SI’s College Football Way-Too-Early Top 25
The Tennessee Volunteers seem just outside many people’s twelve-team playoff predictions. Sports Illustrated updated their “way-too-early” rankings for next season, which you can read here, and the Vols found themselves slotted at No. 13.
“Volunteers fans are eagerly anticipating Nico Iamaleava’s ascendance to the starting QB role, hoping he reenergizes an offense that took a step back in 2023. Adding WR Chris Brazzell (Tulane) and TE Holden Staes (Notre Dame) via the portal to holdovers Bru McCoy and Squirrel White will help as well.
Tennessee’s improved defense loses several key veterans, but gets a couple of playmakers in the secondary from the portal and has a rising star in edge rusher James Pearce (10 sacks, 14.5 tackles for loss last season).”
SI previewing Tennessee’s 2024 season There’s a formula for Tennessee to be quite successful in the 2024 season. They spent the first two years under head coach Josh Heupel developing their up-tempo offensive style, highlighted by explosive passing plays.
They built a strong run game and made it the identity of their offense in 2023 due to a down year from the passing game. Tennessee reinvented itself as a ground-and-pound, defensive football team to win nine games.
Now, they have quarterback Nico Iamaleava taking the reigns. The hype and anticipation continue to build after he earned Citrus Bowl MVP honors for a four-touchdown performance against the Iowa Hawkeyes.
He flashed the talents that many saw in him coming out of high school, and if Tennessee can restore that downfield passing attack, they’ll be a tough matchup for many teams around college football.
SI’S WAY-TOO-EARLY TOP 25 Georgia Ohio State Texas Oregon Ole Miss Notre Dame Missouri Alabama Penn State Florida State Arizona Michigan Tennessee Utah Clemson LSU Oklahoma Kansas Oklahoma State North Carolina State Kansas State Louisville USC Boise State Washington