We’re five days away, and the options at quarterback for the Chick-fil-A Kickoff have been narrowed down all the way to six people. Also, everyone has an opinion on the outcome, but nobody’s putting any money on it. This and more in today’s Vols link roundup.
247Sports says the smart call on the Tennessee-Georgia Tech game is to not bet any money on it due to neither team having named a starting quarterback yet. Well, that’s not exactly accurate: Georgia Tech has published a depth chart that identifies the starter as Matthew Jordan. Or TaQuon Marshall. . . . Or Lucas Johnson or Jay Jones.
I’m going to check again tomorrow to see if maybe I’ve made the list.
And, of course, Butch Jones hasn’t announced yet whether he’ll be starting Quinten Dormady or Jarrett Guarantano, so that’s six potential quarterbacks for the season-opener.
So yeah, most folks don’t have any firm feeling about this game, but that doesn’t stop any of us from making our picks now, does it? A couple of 247Sports staff members have picked Tennessee to cover the three-point spread, even with linebacker Darrin Kirkland out. After all, Georgia Tech is without running back Dedrick Mills, who was dismissed from the team last week, and might also be without running back Clinton Lynch, who’s not been practicing.
- We posted our sort of unique method for baselining preseason expectations this morning. I’m settling in at 9-3 and won’t be surprised by 8-4.
- The staff at GoVols247 have all weighed in with their own predictions, and they’re all saying 8-4 overall and 4-4 in the SEC. They’re also marveling at the effectiveness of the buzzkill that was the end of the 2016 season, noting that many Vols fans are still wandering around in apathy even a mere five days away from kickoff.
- Paul Finebaum, though, thinks that Tennessee is going to have a big year, so there’s that. Which is nice.
- The Times Free Press seems to maybe sort of agree, as long as they do three things: Start well, stay healthy, and value the football. Good goals.
- Tennessee is sending the Big Orange Caravan to Atlanta for the Chick-fil-A Kickoff game, and it’s just what it sounds like: a pre-game party for Vols fans. If you’re going to be in Atlanta, you should be there.
- I do love offensive coordinator Larry Scott’s no-nonsense answer to the question about his expectations for the Vols opener. Scott said, “Realistic expectations are to win — to score points and win, that’s the realistic expectation.” He sounds grumpy. Good.
- 247Sports thinks you should expect a breakout year for Vols wide receiver Brandon Johnson.
- Tight end Ethan Wolf is loving the competitive depth on the team this fall and says that it should help them overcome any injury attrition.
- When former 5-star recruit Jonathan Kongbo says that fellow defensive end Darrell Taylor is more athletic than Kongbo, it speaks volumes. Kongbo is also trying not to sound overconfident, but he can’t keep regular confident from escaping his lips: “I don’t think there will be a drop-off. I’ll just say that.”
- We’ve been hearing all offseason about the growing maturity of Vols cornerback Justin Martin, and Martin recently informed his Twitter followers that he’ll be avoiding the social media channel starting Sunday because he doesn’t want it to be a distraction. If you don’t think that’s a big deal, stop what you’re doing right now and count the people around you currently staring at their phones instead of lifting weights or studying playbooks. #GetOffMyLawnAndYourPhone
- CBSSports has an amusing and informational post of 25 things to watch this college football season, including a “Netflix or Ole Miss” quiz. Examples: “House of Cards,” “Stranger Things,” and “Walking Dead.”