USA Today released their post-spring rankings for all 130 college football teams.
Clemson, Alabama, Wisconsin, Washington and Ohio State held down the top five.
Tennessee’s first opponent, West Virginia, surprisingly didn’t show up until number 19. The Mountaineers have been in or hovering around the top 10 in most preseason rankings for the 2018 season. The Vols will take on West Virginia to kick off the 2018 season in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Here’s how the rest of Tennessee’s opponents were ranked: Georgia (6), Auburn (11), South Carolina (24), Florida (53), Missouri (56), Kentucky (73), Vanderbilt (83), Charlotte (123), and UTEP (130).
The Vols show up in the rankings at number 66, two spots behind in-state Middle Tennessee State.
The national forecast of Jeremy Pruitt’s first Tennessee team isn’t exactly pretty. Being ranked in the second half of all college football teams, group five included, is not good. The early gambling line for Tennessee’s win total is 5.5.
The Vols are ranked behind seven of the teams on their schedule but will get the two teams ranked closest to them in Knoxville, meaning that getting to six wins and bowl eligibility should be the goal for Vol fans.
How quickly can the new coaching staff clean up the mess left behind? Typically, you don’t see significant improvements until year two of a regime. Last year was certainly a disaster in Knoxville, but the remaining roster still has talent on it.