Well, ESPN would seem to think so. In a recent power ranking by Jeff Goodman, Tennessee comes in at No. 3 in the conference.
The Volunteers are being put in the right spot considering all of the talent they have for the upcoming season. The most notable players that will be back are Jordan McRae and Jarnell Stokes. McRae led the team in scoring with 15.7 points per game, while Stokes averaged 12.4 points and 9.6 rebounds per game.
However, Jeronne Maymon will be in a Tennessee uniform once again.
Maymom did not play last season, but averaged 12.7 points and 8.1 rebounds per game in the 2011-12 season. Memphis transfer Antonio Barton will also be on the team.
Not only will this be one of the best teams in the SEC, but Tennessee is good enough to be a top 25 team. It really should be ranked all season long and although Florida and Kentucky are both ranked higher than it in this power ranking, neither team should push the Vols around.
It would be a huge disappointment if the Volunteers did not dance, especially with all of the talent they have.
Tennessee did not make the NCAA tournament last season, despite finishing with a 20-13 record and a 11-7 SEC record.
The team will have to figure out the point guard position right away with Trae Golden leaving, but that should not be a problem since Barton is joining the team.
Whether the case, Tennessee should clearly be the No. 3 team in the SEC entering the 2013-14 season. It should be a great race in the conference regardless and Kentucky and Florida will definitely not be alone this year.