At the magazine rack this afternoon, I was thumbing through 'Athlon' magazine's college football preview. They have picked Tennessee to finish third in the SEC Eastern Division and have us ranked 20th in their national poll.
I think that is about right. The Vols stumbled a bit down the stretch last year, including our 20-10 stink bomb loss to Penn State in the Outback Bowl. Plus, the inexperience at wide receiver and defensive secondary this year has me concerned. I think we have talent there, but by the time it matures to the level we need, we may already have two losses in the bag.
I think these predictions are a lot more realistic than 'Lindy's' magazine, which has us seventh in their national poll and winning our division. Obviously, I hope 'Lindy's' is correct, but the cautious approach is probably more prudent at this point.
But then again, perhaps picking us third in the SEC East is a bit harsh. 'Athlon' picked Florida first and Georgia second. I have no problem with Florida being picked first, but what about Georgia? After all, we play them in Knoxville this year. Plus, we spanked them by 18 points last year.
Second place is looking better all the time...