Volumes will reach ‘at least’ eight wins this season

If you’re thinking about Tennessee’s total football win for the 2022 season, Dennis Dodds, national college football writer for CBS Sports, take it easy.

Dodd on Thursday posted “22 Compelling Stories” for the upcoming college football season, with the Vols total and their wins (over 7.5).

Dodd wrote: “The specter of massive NCAA offenses under Jeremy Pruitt is now known, but that probably won’t affect this team. Josh Hubble has one of the best offenses in the SEC. That would be enough to get him to 8-4 on the least with QB Hendon Hooker at the helm of the attack.”

A year ago, Tennessee’s win total was set at 6.5 for the first season of the Josh Hubbell era. The Vols exceeded most expectations, ending the season with 7-6 records, with wins over Kentucky, South Carolina, Missouri, Vanderbilt, South Alabama, Bowling Green and Tennessee Tech.

CBS Sports college football writer Chip Patterson earlier this week ranked Vols 24th while ranking 131st Football Bowl Subdivision.

Patterson wrote, “The reinstatement of QB Hendon Hooker and key parts of the crime set Tennessee once again to be one of the SEC’s most successful crimes, but can the Volunteers get enough stops to take a big step forward?”

“This rank order indicates that our voters believe Tennessee ranks second in the Eastern SEC, which would be a great step forward for Josh Hubble’s program.

ESPN’s Football Strength Index ranked Tennessee at number 25 as of last month.

Dropping an FPI gave a better than 50% chance of winning over seven teams in their schedule – UT Martin (98.5%), Akron (97.3%), Ball State (95.1%), Vanderbilt (87.9%), Missouri (78.5%), Florida ( 60.2%), South Carolina (55.9%). Five games left with less than 50% chance of winning – Kentucky (47.4%), Pittsburgh (37.3%), LSU (32.3%), Alabama (11.9%), Georgia (7.4%).

Tennessee State opens the season on September 1, a prime-time Thursday against Bull State at Neyland Stadium, before going to Pittsburgh for the first road game of the season on September 10.

There are back-to-back games at home against Akron (September 17) and Florida (September 24) before Tennessee goes to LSU on October 8. UT-Martin, Tennessee’s homecoming game, is set for October 22 and tracks Kentucky in Knoxville on October 29.

Tennessee goes to Georgia on November 5, hosts Missouri on November 12 and ends the season with two back-to-back games on the road, in South Carolina on November 19 and at Vanderbilt on November 26.

Kick-off time and TV rights for the first three games of the season have been decided. Ball State will be at 7 p.m. ET on the SEC Network. The game will begin at Pete at 3:30 p.m. on ABC and Akron at 7 p.m. ET, streaming on ESPN+ or SEC Network+.

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