NCAAF: Will Tennessee Make the 2023-24 Playoffs?
- Tennessee clobbered Clemson in the Orange Bowl, winning 31-14.
- They’ll need to overcome the loss of QB Hendon Hooker in 2023.
- The Volunteers are also bringing in some 5-star recruits this year.
As the 2023-24 college football season approaches, let’s take a look at Tennessee’s playoff odds and weigh their chances to make the College Football Playoff this year. They’ll face a tough SEC schedule.
Tennessee had a breakout season last year. They started the year 8-0, with 5 wins against ranked teams. That start was good enough to earn the Volunteers their first #1 ranking in the CFP era. Unfortunately, a devastating injury to star QB Hendon Hooker derailed their season. They lost to Georgia 27-13, and then South Carolina 63-38 two weeks later. Even so, they regained their momentum enough to crush Clemson.
This season, Tennessee will have some new faces on offense. QB Hendon Hooker, WR Jalin Hyatt, and WR Cedric Tillman were all selected in the 3rd round of the 2023 NFL Draft. That creates some big holes for the Volunteers to fill, though 5-star freshman QB Nico Iamaleava has some serious hype surrounding him. If he’s able to play consistently in his first year, Tennessee could rank higher than expected once again.
The Volunteers may have made the CFP last season had Hendon Hooker not gotten hurt, but will need to put that behind them and focus on trying to repeat their success this year. It won’t be easy to repeat the same success right away with more young and inexperienced players on offense, but the potential to crack the CFP is there. I wouldn’t bank on it in Iamaleava’s first year, especially with a tough SEC schedule.
- No (-1800)