The Tennessee football program has been gaining momentum in recent years, and entering the 2016 college football season many believe the Vols could compete for a shot at the SEC Championship.
However, the team surpass those expectations and compete for a national championship if one of the most respected voices in the sport is to be believed.
Phil Steele, whose annual preview magazine has developed a cult-like following, made an appearance with Sports 180 on WNML in Knoxville to share his belief that the Vols are a national title contender.
“You look at the fact that if you win the SEC East, you find yourself in the SEC title game,” Steele said. “And if you win the title game, you’re basically one game away from being right there in the playoffs. I think Tennessee’s got a good shot, provided they don’t let those leads slip away and play up to their talent level.
“They’re definitely a legitimate national championship contender.”
If Tennessee builds off of their 9-4 season which included a bowl win and reaches the SEC championship game, they could very well appear in the College Football Playoff.
And as we’ve seen in the past, once the playoff begins, anything can happen.
With a quarterback like Joshua Dobbs and the talented running back duo of Jalen Hurd and Alvin Kamara, the Vols offense has the chance to be something special. Add in a number of experienced, returning players all across the field and Tennessee definitely looks like a major player in the 2016 college football landscape.
Do you think the Vols can compete for a national title this season? Sound off in the comments section below with your thoughts.
*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports