Originally posted on The Sports Bank  |  Last updated 7/24/12

Is there any team in the country that benefits more from a more doable schedule than the Tennessee Volunteers? Not that their SEC schedule is forgiving, but this year they get Miss St. and Mizzou instead of LSU and Alabama. That’s right the toughest two teams in all of college football are replaced by one mediocre and one decent team.

Now if only the Vols can establish the run and augment their defense offense to complement the NFL arm and high attack passing game of QB Tyler Bray. They also have the best receivers in the SEC, so expect them to be fun to watch, to say the least.

 

 

2011 was:a bad season in Knoxville, as they went 5-7 overall and just 1-7 in conference to finish tenth. They also had their worst running game in a half-century.

2012 will go smoothly if; They got to improve that running game, it was 116th in the nation last year. With any augmentation, they’ll win 8 games this year. Da’Rick Rogers complements Bray as one of the best pitch and catch combos in all of college football. They also have the best JUCO player in the nation coming in with WR Cordarrelle Patterson.  There’s a good amount of NFL talent on this team, and the LBs are kind of solid.

2012 will be rough if: This team has the same issues they’ve had for the past three years: the big uglies up front. Derek Dooley has seven new assistants on staff. And it’ll be interesting to see how they all blend in. Also, the DL leaves something to be desired, especially when match up versus those SEC East OL.

 BMOC:  Bray, Rogers, WR Justin Hunter, LB A.J. Johnson, Curt Maggitt. Also listed below: DB Prentiss Waggner

All-name team: LT Kyler Kerbyson, DE Trevarris Soulsberrry, DT Darrington Sentimore, WR Alton”Pig” Howard 

Bottom Line: They should be better than .500 as 7-8 wins certainly looks likely. New assistants and some questions about the kind of scheme they run (is it really suited for their personnel?) means they probably won’t compete for a SEC East title. However, their secondary should be decent, and they will be super strong from practicing everyday versus the league’s best WRs.

Rankings Athlon- 37  Lindy’s- 37  Phil Steele- 21

All the 77s

#39 Rutgers

#40 Penn State

#41 Baylor

#42 Texas Tech

#43 Pittsburgh

#44 Cincinnati

#45 Mississippi State

#46 North Carolina

#47 Northwestern

#48 Miami, FL

#49 California

#50 SMU

#51 South Florida

#52 UConn

#53 UCLA

#54 Illinois

#55 Vanderbilt

#56 Washington St.

#57 Wake Forest

#58 Ole Miss

#59 Purdue

#60 Iowa St

#61 Kentucky

#62 Arizona State

#63 Boston College

#64 Ohio

#65 Marshall

#66 Arizona

#67 Southern Miss

#68 Tulsa

#69 Oregon State

#70 Houston

#71 Syracuse

#72 Colorado

#73 Kansas

#74 Maryland

#75 Duke

#76 Minnesota

#77 Indiana

Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports Bank.net, an official Google News site generating millions of unique visitors. He’s also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, Chicago Tribune.com, Fox Sports, MSN, Walter Football and Yardbarker

A Fulbright scholar and MBA, Banks has appeared on live radio all over the world; and he’s a member of the Football Writers Association of America, U.S. Basketball Writers Association, and Society of Professional Journalists. The President of the United States follows him on Twitter (@Paul_M_BanksTSB) You should too

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