Photo By Kate Luffman/Tennessee Athletics
With SEC media days in the rearview mirror, the league released its All-Conference teams and predicted order of finish (voted on by the league’s media) Friday afternoon.
The media picked Tennessee to finish second in the SEC East behind defending national champion Georgia and directly ahead of South Carolina, Kentucky, Florida, Missouri and Vanderbilt.
The predicted order of finish in the SEC West in order is Alabama, LSU, Texas A&M, Ole Miss, Arkansas, Auburn and Mississippi State. Georgia was picked to win the SEC with Alabama receiving the second most amount of votes, LSU receiving the third most voted and Tennessee and Vanderbilt tying for the fourth most votes.
.@GeorgiaFootball has been predicted to win the 2023 #SECChampionship by a vote of the media at #SECMD23 ⤵️
🔗 https://t.co/TYRTK28RyH pic.twitter.com/kG8mj33Joz
— Southeastern Conference (@SEC) July 21, 2023
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Tennessee is coming off its best season in over 20 years. Josh Heupel’s second Tennessee team went 11-2 (6-2 SEC) with marquee wins over SEC foes Florida, LSU and Alabama as well as an Orange Bowl victory over Clemson. Tennessee finished second in the SEC East behind Georgia
While the Vols enter 2023 with an abundance of momentum, they lost a number of crucial players to the NFL including Hendon Hooker, Jalin Hyatt, Cedric Tillman, Darnell Wright and Byron Young.
Tennessee does return key offensive linemen Cooper Mays and Cedric Tillman and defenders Omari Thomas and Aaron Beasley. Still, only four total Vols landed on the three All-SEC teams.
The 2023 Vols face all six SEC East teams, Alabama and Texas A&M this fall. Key matchups against Georgia, South Carolina and Texas A&M are at Neyland Stadium.
But before SEC play begins, Tennessee opens up its 2023 campaign against Virginia at Nissan Stadium in Nashville on Sept. 2.