Let me preface this one by saying that I think Josh Heupel is a very good coach, but the fact that everyone is already saying he’s the third or fourth-best in the SEC after just one good season is a little ridiculous.
Look, Heupel has brought excitement back to Rocky Top and the Volunteers are no longer pushovers. They’re no longer the laughingstock of the SEC. But let’s pump the brakes a little bit before we just crown him the third-best coach in the conference because he had one really good season following a 7-6 opening year.
Heupel is a good recruiter and has shown he can develop players at a high level (Hendon Hooker), but let’s see if he can do what he did in 2022 once again in 2023 with an unproven quarterback leading the way. And if he can’t repeat that success in 2023, let’s see if he can bounce back in 2024. If he can’t, we’ll look back on all of this hype and feel duped.
I think Heupel is going to hover around 9-10 wins this season and that should be the expectation for Tennessee, but I’m hesitant to place all the trust in a coach who got worse every year at UCF before taking the job in Knoxville.