KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee’s offseason hype is losing steam, based on recent college football betting odds and Sports Illustrated’s recently unveiled Top 25 rankings.
The Vols are nowhere to be found in the magazine’s annual ratings, and even the oddsmakers are starting to sour on Tennessee.
The Bovada online casino odds for the Vols to make the playoffs worsened from 50-to-1 on Jan. 10, to 75-to-1.
Tennessee opens the season on Sept. 4 against Georgia Tech in Atlanta in the new Mercedes Benz Stadium.
The Vols opened as a 4-point favorite over the Yellow Jackets according to VegasInsider.com, but the line has dropped to three points.
Georgia Tech fans may have something to do with that, as they bought up at least 33,500 tickets for the opening game, while Tennessee just sold out its 25,000 ticket allotment.
The Yellow Jackets might have outmaneuvered the Vols in the marketing department, making their allotment of tickets part of their season ticket package.
Tennessee, meanwhile, held their 25,000 allotment for private donors until mid-July.
The Vols, by most all counts including Coach Butch Jones, had their best offseason in at least five years and ranked No. 24 in the Amway Coaches’ Poll.
But the team has lost a great deal of star power, and there are questions about the talent and toughness of the juniors and seniors that are leading Tennessee.
The Vols didn’t have any offensive or defensive players named first-team All-SEC, and they were picked to finish third in the SEC East Division after back-to-back Top 25 finishes.
Most recently, Jones has discussed canceling a scrimmage on account of injuries on the offensive line, and the receiving corps has jobs up for grabs after receivers opened fall drills dropping too many passes.
Tennessee has gone through nine fall practices while finishing up summer classes, and the Vols will return to the practice field on Friday.