Tennessee has gotten a lot of publicity and expectation heaped on the program heading into the 2016 season. The Volunteers are pegged as the favorite to win the SEC East this year and are expected to turn the corner finally into the upper tier of the conference.
It is almost to the point that Tennessee is overhyped entering this season. And the Volunteers have always seemingly found a way to disappointment.
The turning point for Tennessee’s season might come when it always does — its annual game against Florida. The Volunteers have Sept. 24 circled on their calendars. That SEC opener has all the major implications it always does.
And Tennessee is the early favorite.
South Point Casino issued early lines for several games in the first half of the season and posted Tennessee as a 12.5-point favorite over Florida for that home game to open the conference season.
— Johnny Detroit (@Johnny_Detroit) June 26, 2016
Tennessee has plenty of demons to exorcise. The Volunteers have not won in the series since 2004, losing the last 11 games. Tennessee has only four wins since 1994.
Last year, it seemed like Tennessee would win in the Swamp with a double-digit lead in the fourth quarter, only to see Florida come from behind and score the win.
If the Volunteers want to win the SEC East, they will have to get over the hump with the Gators. And it appears they are heavy favorites to do so right now.