2009 Tennessee Volunteers College Football Predictions
2009 Tennessee Volunteers Predictions
2008 Record: (5-7, 3-5)
Coach: Lane Kiffin, 1st year (0-0 overall)
Off. Coordinator: Jim Chaney (1st year)
Def. Coordinator: Monte Kiffin (1st year)
Returning Starters: 13 (7 offense, 5 defense, kicker)
Ret. Starting Quarterback: Yes (Jonathan Crompton)
Offense: The Vols hired a brash young coach in Lane Kiffin, who appears to be the opposite of Phil Fulmer. Fulmer won a national championship with Tennessee in 1998, but finished with a 5-7 record last season. He also produced the worst offense since 1964 so Kiffin enters a situation where there is some talent, but they don’t match up with the elite of the conference. Senior QB Jonathan Crompton (6-4, 228) was supposed to be the next great Vols qb, but threw for just 889 yards last season. He has all the tools but will need help. At running back, senior Montario Hardesty (6-0, 215) returns after an injury-prone career. He’ll be pushed by sophomore Tauren Poole and true freshmen Toney Williams, Bryce Brown and David Oku. At receiver, they need somebody who can stretch the field. Junior Gerald Jones (6-0, 199) led the team with 30 receptions, while Austin Rogers (6-2, 190) was limited to just 14 receptions, after catching 56 in 2007. The front line returns four of five starters led by senior center Josh McNeill (6-4, 280).
Defense: The defense returns just five starters from a unit that was outstanding, allowing just 16.8ppg (10th in the nation) and just 263.5 yards per game (3rd in the nation). That unit will now be led by Monte Kiffin, a defensive genius in the NFL and father of Lane. They do lose six starters, but return SEC Defensive Player of the Year, safety Eric Berry (5-11, 203), who tied for the lead in the nation with seven picks. Up front, junior Chris Walker (6-3, 232) should have a breakout season, after recording three sacks off the bench last year. Senior Dan Williams (6-3, 327) added 8.5 tackles for loss last year and returns to dominate at tackle. The other tackle is a concern as they moved former end Wes Brown (6-4, 257) over to play tackle. At linebacker, they return just one, but he’s a good one. Senior Rico McCoy (6-1, 220) recorded 87 tackles last season and is the leader of the defense. They have talent in the secondary along with Berry, and also return junior Brent Vinson (6-0, 201), who started in 2007 at corner.
Outlook: The Vols non-conference schedule opens with Western Kentucky at home and then follows that with UCLA at home. They also have to take on Florida on the road, which could get ugly after Kiffin’s comments concerning Urban Meyer cheating. They also take on Ohio at home, along with Alabama and Ole Miss on the road. They should be improved and with eight home games, they have a shot at a bowl game.
This SEC conference prediction is courtesy of the ATS Sports Blog. If you are looking for winning college football betting picks be sure to choose ATS Consultants this year, A featured sports handicapping service on Touthouse.com