4. Chemistry for each team with so many newcomers
I promise this is the last intangible factor going into Tennessee football’s opener. However, another point we have to bring up is the amount of attrition that both programs suffered in the offseason, and they are due to the previous factors we brought up, including coaching changes and hot seats along with NCAA investigations.
The Vols lost their two best players on defense and their three best players on offense. They lost a ton of other talent via the portal. Josh Heupel brought in lots of new talent, to be fair, and his depth chart Monday showed at least four transfers on the first team roster.
Meanwhile, the Bowling Green Falcons took a hit in the portal because, well, the program looks like it’s sinking under Scot Loeffler. In response, he has restructured his staff and personnel and is loading up on redshirt freshmen and transfers this year. BGSU may have the youngest team in the nation, and they have to develop as well as gel.
Simply put, there is a lot of development required for both programs. The one that has come together more will have an easier time at kickoff Thursday. Things can change throughout the game, but cashing in early in the first quarter helps. This will play a role in who does that.