One CBS writer says the Tennessee football Volunteers will cause chaos in 2020.
What makes a chaos team? And how often has Tennessee football ever played that role? Well, a chaos team, per an article on CBS Sports, is a team that may not compete for a national title but could dramatically alter the race through upsets at critical times.
Although UT has an expectation for itself to be one of the teams in the race, the fact is the Vols haven’t been in such a race down the stretch of a season since the early 2000s. As a result, playing the role as a chaos team would be a huge improvement on them as a program entering Jeremy Pruitt’s third season on the job.
Well, one writer for CBS has just those expectations. Tom Fornelli listed Tennessee football as his chaos team for the 2020 season. He noted that although the Vols aren’t likely to be inconsistent like traditional chaos teams, they have so many opportunities to alter the national title picture. Here’s a bit of what he said about them.
In 2020, the Vols have Oklahoma, Florida, Alabama and Georgia on the schedule. Those are four programs that are considered title contenders this season, including two (Alabama and Oklahoma) that have been CFP stalwarts. If the Vols can pull off an upset in one of those games, it could change the entire title landscape.
It is true that Rocky Top’s schedule gives them plenty of chances to alter things. The Vols have lost eight of 10 to the Georgia Bulldogs, 14 of 15 to the Florida Gators and 13 straight to the Alabama Crimson Tide. Add in the Oklahoma Sooners being on the road, and this schedule seems to more negatively affect the Vols than it gives the Vols a chance to affect the season.
However, UT figures to be much better this year under Pruitt, as they won six straight games to close out the 2019 season with an 8-5 record, they return all of their starters in the trenches and all of their quarterbacks, and they added a top 10 recruiting class. A tougher schedule and the few losses involving key players are the only real concerns.
Given the fact that Pruitt’s kids have Alabama and Florida both at home and the fact that Oklahoma is early in the season and much younger than they have been in previous years under Lincoln Riley, the opportunity for upsets are there. It will be difficult, though.
If Tennessee football just upsets one of these teams and runs the table everywhere else, it would be the Vols’ best season since the mid-2000s, and Pruitt would be the hottest coach on the rise in the sport. Altering the season with such an upset would give the program lots of pride as well.