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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Jeremy Pruitt hasn’t won a single game as a head coach, but Tennessee’s new leader already oozes the sort of confidence that has his athletic director hyped up and the fan base salivating.
Expectations have always been high for the Vols, so much so that the first back-to-back nine-win seasons in nearly a decade were met with a shrug in 2016.
Indeed, fans and some former players made it clear that the expectation at Tennessee is to win the SEC East, at a minimum.
That leads to ….
Today’s Question of the Day
Seth Justice Will Pruitt get us to the playoff in the coming years?
Pruitt needs to do that to meet the demands of his bosses, and that was made clear at the press conference introducing him last Thursday.
“Make no bones about it, [Pruitt] told me he wanted to win championships,” Tennessee chancellor Beverly Davenport said, “and I told him, make no bones about it, Tennessee expects you to.”
An SEC championship would likely lead to an appearance in the College Football Playoff and the Vols’ first top-10 finish since 2001. But Pruitt has a lot of work ahead to get there, starting with closing out the 2018 recruiting class.
Pruitt will work on Tennessee recruiting up until what is known as the dead period, when coaches are not permitted to contact recruits. He will also carry out his duties as Alabama’s defensive coordinator through the College Football Playoff.
To win the SEC championship, the Vols need drastic improvement at the line of scrimmage on both sides of the football.
Tennessee also needs to find or develop a championship quarterback, as play at the position last season was inadequate.
Once the Vols start winning at the line of scrimmage and getting better quarterback play, a conference championship and College Football Playoff berth will become more realistic.
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