College football's 2021 season is fast approaching. Don't believe us? Phil Steele's 2021 College Football Preview has already been printed and sent to customers. With it, SEC football fans can now get a good look at where things stand within the conference ahead of the fall.
We already know who the SEC contenders will be this season. Alabama reloaded, per usual, and is the favorite to win the conference crown. Georgia should be in the mix. Florida will probably take a step back while LSU regains a step.
Then there are a few teams we have yet to get a grasp on. Tennessee is one of them. In fact, Steele called the Volunteers the team he's "most concerned" about ahead of the 2021 campaign.
In an interview with SEC analyst Paul Finebaum, Steele said he's very concerned about the coaching change and roster turnover the program's experienced this year. A total of 25 Tennessee football players hit the transfer portal this off-season. Combine that with a coaching change and you've got yourself a recipe for disaster.
“Probably the team I’d be most concerned about would be Tennessee, going through the coaching change,” Steele said, via 247Sports. “They lead the nation in one category, and that is players that have hit the portal. Twenty-five have hit the portal this year, you’ve got new schemes on offense and defense, a new head coach. I think it’s going to be tough for Tennessee to stay near the top, the middle of the pack or the upper half.”
It's going to take a few years before we find out whether or not Josh Heupel is the man for the job.
Expectations for the Volunteers are low ahead of the 2021 season. They haven't been competitive in years, and that shouldn't be any different later this fall.
Until the program gains some continuity on the roster and coaching staff, Tennessee will remain one of the SEC's basement football teams.