The Tennessee Vols are expected to be one of the top teams in the SEC in 2022.

But where do they fall in the latest SEC pre-season power rankings from 247Sports?

With just a few weeks to go until the start of fall camp, the Vols are viewed by 247Sports as the No. 6 best team in the SEC, just behind Kentucky at No. 5.

From 247Sports:

Tennessee (No. 6) made strides in Josh Heupel’s first season, winning seven games before coming a yard short of beating Purdue during bowl season. The Volunteers’ offensive front should be strong, as well as the playmakers around returning quarterback Hendon Hooker, whom we consider to be the most talented signal caller in the SEC East. An early showdown against Florida is all-important, especially since it comes ahead of showdowns with LSU, Alabama and Georgia.

Tennessee running back Jaylen Wright (20) runs the ball during an SEC football game between the Tennessee Volunteers and the Kentucky Wildcats at Kroger Field in Lexington, Ky. on Saturday, Nov. 6, 2021. Tennessee defeated Kentucky 45-42.
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Tennessee definitely deserves to be listed in the top half of the SEC, so 247Sports got it right by putting the Vols ahead of programs like Florida, Ole Miss, Auburn, and LSU.

But I’m not sure I understand why the Vols are below Kentucky. Tennessee has consistently beat some really good Wildcats teams in recent years. The Vols seemingly have Kentucky’s number. So how can 247Sports justify putting Tennessee below UK?

Ultimately, it doesn’t matter. The Vols have to go out and perform regardless of how they’re viewed by the national media. It’s just odd that we keep seeing national analysts higher on Kentucky than Tennessee. Maybe that will change if the Vols dominate the Wildcats once again this season.

Featured image via Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports