Expectations for Tennessee football are low this year with another regime change. Here are five reasonable goals for Jeremy Pruitt’s first Volunteers team.
There are different ways to define success. When it comes to sports, that is especially true. In Tennessee football’s case, fans are thinking about a bit of a rebuilding project this year. First-year head coach Jeremy Pruitt has other goals in mind.
Pruitt, when he took the job, noted that fans don’t have near his expectations, and he said he expects to win every game he plays. Well, he’s right. Nobody on Rocky Top has those expectations for him his first year. But given the annoying brick by brick phrases that Butch Jones gave for five years, the Vols clearly need a head coach who will set that standard.
So what’s a reasonable way to look at his first season on Rocky Top? After all, Tennessee football went 4-8 last year, which is its worst year in history. Still, the Vols went 9-4 in back to back seasons before that. And for all his faults, Butch Jones recruited well enough to stock the cupboard with talent.
As a result, a lot of the success, or what will define it, comes to coaching. Of course, the transition to a pro-style offense and a 3-4 defense makes things more difficult this year. So fans know they could be in for a rough ride.
It also doesn’t help that the Vols open the season against the West Virginia Mountaineers, a team built specifically to exploit UT’s weaknesses. Adding to that, they have to face the two toughest teams from the SEC West this year, the Auburn Tigers and, as always, the No. 1 ranked Alabama Crimson Tide, while also having to travel to Athens to face the Georgia Bulldogs.
The difficult schedule, horrific season from a year ago and change in schemes on both sides of the ball leave lots of things in doubt. Still, there are things Vols fans can hope for. What are they? Let’s take a look here. These are five reasonable goals for the 2018 Tennessee football team.