They've spent the last few weeks hearing about projections. They've been praised for their experience and depth. They've been lauded for their gradual rebuilding process.
It's finally time for the Tennessee football players and coaches to try and live up to the hype.
The Vols open their most highly anticipated season in more than a decade on Thursday (TV: SEC Network, 7:30 p.m.) against Appalachian State at Neyland Stadium.
Tennessee is ranked No. 9 in The Associated Press poll and No. 10 in the USA Today coaches' poll. The AP ranking is UT's highest since 2005, when the Vols started the season at No. 3.
Read more from our news partners at the Knoxville News Sentinel.
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