The Vols’ schedule in 2013 was historically tough.
Unfortunately for the Vols, 2014 isn’t looking much better.
The realization of the difficulty of Tennessee’s 2014 schedule became clear on Thursday night as we watched Utah State knock off #23 Northern Illinois in the Poinsettia Bowl.
Utah State’s swarming defense held Northern Illinois’ dynamic QB Jordan Lynch in check, allowing the Aggies to come away with the win.
Now it’s not like Utah State’s win over Northern Illinois is a major upset. The Aggies were only slight underdogs. But it does show that Tennessee is opening 2014 with a far better opponent than they did in 2013 when they opened against Austin Peay.
In addition to their game against Utah State, the Vols also have yet another brutal non-conference road game as they travel to Norman, OK to take on the Oklahoma Sooners.
Tennessee’s other road games in 2014 include trips to Georgia, Ole Miss and South Carolina.
While the schedule doesn’t appear quite as tough as it did in 2013, it’s still far from a cakewalk.
Combine that with the fact that Tennessee is losing their entire starting offensive line and most of their defensive line and you’ve got some huge holes to fill.
Those looking for a quick turnaround in 2014 are going to be out of luck. It’s entirely possible that Tennessee could win seven games, with eight being a bit of reach, but that’s absolutely the ceiling for Tennessee in 2014.
The Vols are going to get back to where they need to be, but as Kirk Herbstreit said earlier this week, 2015 is looking like the year for the Tennessee.
It will be very important for fans to continue showing their rabid support for the Vols in 2014. Selling out home games is a must for Tennessee.
Tennessee’s 2014 class is getting all the attention right now, but the Vols are quietly putting together an impressive 2015 class.
Part of building that class is winning over recruits with the incredible atmosphere at Neyland Stadium.
Recruits were able to see that incredible atmosphere — even in losses — last season at Neyland.
Tennessee football will need your support more than ever in 2014 as Butch Jones and his staff continue embarking on their “rise to the top”.
There’s no better way to help that rise than to fully support the Big Orange.