1. Crack the top 25 at one point
Yes, this is highly ambitious and the least likely goal on here. However, we’re not calling for Tennessee football to actually finish in the top 25. This is just a goal of actually spending one week during the season in the rankings.
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If you look at all the goals we gave the Vols recently, a 3-0 start to the season should be an expectation. That’s because they have two non-Power Five games and their one toss-up game, the Pittsburgh Panthers, to start things off. Beating Pitt is all but a goal given the fact that it’s almost a necessity if they want to reach the goal we named of a winning record.
Should the Vols do that, they could immediately be flirting with the top 25. However, if they take it to another level, they could reach it in October. That’s because they’ll lose to the Florida Gators to get out of September with a 3-1 record.
Then, the Vols will visit the Missouri Tigers before hosting the South Carolina Gamecocks and Ole Miss Rebels. Beating USC is a goal. Ole Miss and Mizzou are two of the three teams that the Vols want to get one win against. If they do it against Mizzou and meet their other goals, they could easily be 5-1. Wouldn’t that be top 25 worthy?
Heck, even if Tennessee football loses to Mizzou but beats Ole Miss, that gets them to 5-2. Either way, reaching the top 25 by October is a goal. By the time they face the Alabama Crimson Tide, forget about it, as they face Bama, visit the Kentucky Wildcats and then host the Georgia Bulldogs. Only UK is not a sure loss in that group.